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Many companies market penis enlargement pills and claim that these pills can increase a person’s penis size. However, there is no scientific evidence that these supplements work.

This article explores the use of penis enlargement pills, their side effects, and alternative treatments.

Penis enlargement pills are products that manufacturers claim can enlarge a person’s penis and increase their energy levels and sexual performance. Many online brands market these supplements as male enhancement pills. However, according to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), any health benefits these supplements claim are clinically unproven.

A person with concerns about their penis size may consider purchasing penis enlargement pills. However, some people who believe their penis is smaller than average may actually have an average penis size.

A 2021 study notes that many men think that the average length of an erect penis is more than 6 inches (in). However, the research found that the average length of the penis is between 5.1–5.5 in.

Another study explains that those with an average penis size but believe they have less girth may have a penile dysmorphophobic disorder. This condition causes people to experience severe anxiety about their penis size.

While most people have an average penis size and length, some health conditions may cause a smaller penis, such as micropenis and Peyronie’s disease.

Micropenis is a rare condition where the penis is substantially smaller than average. The condition has links with hormonal differences in some people.

Peyronie’s disease is when the penis develops a characteristic bend when erect. This may make the penis appear smaller than average.

The NHS states that although penis enlargement pill manufacturers claim these products increase the penis’s size, there is no clinical evidence to suggest that they can boost an individual’s sexual performance or increase penis length or girth.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), many brands market sexual enhancement products as dietary supplements containing hidden active ingredients that could be harmful. These ingredients may include tadalafil and sildenafil, the active ingredients of Viagra and Cialis. These medications treat erectile dysfunction and an enlarged prostate.

Sildenafil can interact with prescription drugs that contain nitrates, such as nitroglycerin. Doctors prescribe nitrates for high blood pressure and heart disease. Interaction between these two medications can cause life-threateningly low blood pressure.

Behind many penis enlargement pills is the claim that their proprietary formulas of herbs, vitamins, minerals, hormones, and botanicals enhance a person’s vitality and sex life to such an extent that their penises grow.

However, these pills may contain unreported drugs for treating erectile dysfunction, making it easier for people to achieve and maintain erections. They may feel that their penises are longer as a result.

Some penis enlargement pills claim to work by:

  • increasing “total and free” testosterone
  • improving blood flow to the penis with vasodilators
  • increasing semen’s volume of zinc and testosterone

One penis enlargement pill lists its ingredients as:

  • tongkat ali, which purportedly increases testosterone levels
  • maca, an herb the website claims increases sexual stamina
  • l-arginine, an amino acid that the company says can prompt the growth of new penis tissue and improve blood flow
  • a blend of ginseng roots to increase libido, boost testosterone levels, and fight inflammation

A 2014 study states that the most common ingredients found in penis enlargement supplements are yohimbe, maca, horny goat weed, and Ginkgo biloba. However, this research notes that these are ineffective in helping individuals with penis size concerns and can cause mood changes, anxiety, and hallucinations.

A 2018 study also states that all-natural enhancement supplements that companies market as dietary supplements can lead to adverse effects, such as life-threateningly low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and potentially increased cancer risk. These risks are partially due to undeclared active ingredients, such as sildenafil.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) states that many companies do not declare how much yohimbe is in their products. This substance can cause anxiety and increase the risk of heart attacks and seizures.

People taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors, a type of antidepressant, should avoid yohimbe to reduce the risk of side effects from these drugs. These antidepressants include phenelzine (Nardil) and tranylcypromine (Parnate).

The NCCIH states that Ginkgo biloba extract also comes with risks. This ingredient can increase the risk of bleeding, particularly if an individual is taking blood thinners. Other side effects can include headaches, constipation, and allergic dermatitis.

Individuals with concerns about their penis size should consult a urologist or a doctor specializing in sexual health. They may recommend different treatment options that include the below.

Lifestyle changes

The NHS recommends the following lifestyle changes to increase a person’s confidence in their penis size:

  • Grooming: People can trim the pubic hair around the penis to make it look bigger.
  • Maintaining a moderate weight: Having a larger stomach that hangs over the pubic area can make a penis appear smaller.
  • Engaging in regular physical activity: Increasing overall fitness may lead to more confidence and better sex.

Traction devices

Traction devices work by stretching the penis tissue, which may lead to an increase in penis length.

Individuals can wear traction devices, or penile extenders, for around an hour each day. These devices may be beneficial for those with Peyronie’s disease.

Traction devices or extending frames may lead to some growth in penis size, particularly for people with smaller penises. However, the gains in size are typically around 1–2 centimeters (cm) and take about 6 months of treatment to achieve.

A 2019 study reviewed the effects of RestoreX in individuals with Peyronie’s disease. The traction device improved penile curvature and erectile function and did not produce any adverse effects.

Vacuum erection devices

Individuals with erectile dysfunction may consider vacuum pumps to help them keep an erection. They fit these devices over their penis and pump air out to create a vacuum, which draws blood into the penis to cause swelling.

Vacuum pumps do not increase penis size but may help a person achieve an erection.

Vacuum devices can treat erectile dysfunction, but clinical studies show no evidence of increasing penis size.

According to a 2014 study, doctors may recommend treating erectile dysfunction after prostate cancer treatment with vacuum erection devices alongside medication, such as sildenafil.

Find out where to buy a vacuum pump.

Jelqing massage

Individuals may perform jelqing exercises, which involve using their thumb and index finger to pull the flaccid penis and improve blood flow. This technique may increase the length and girth of an erect penis.

However, no scientific studies review the effects of jelqing exercises. Additionally, some side effects of this technique include:

  • bruising
  • pain
  • fibrosis

Penile cast

Penile casts are support devices that a person can wear during sexual intercourse. These devices may provide length and rigidity to the penile shaft. They come in different sizes and fit over the penis.

Surgery

The Urology Care Foundation states that surgery is suitable for individuals whose penis is less than 7.5 cm when stretched.

There are three types of surgical procedures for penis enlargement:

  • Liposuction: Surgeons remove fat from the stomach to make the penis appear more prominent. People may be able to see up to 2 cm more of the penis after this procedure.
  • Suspensory ligament division: The doctor cuts the suspensory ligament that attaches the penis to the public bone. This causes the angle of the penis to drop, making it look longer when a person has an erection. However, the American Urologic Society does not recommend this procedure, and it can cause difficulties with penetrative sex.
  • Fat transfer: Surgeons remove fat from other parts of the body and inject it into the penis, increasing girth. However, this procedure can lead to scarring, lumps, and infection.

Learn more about penis enlargement surgeries.

Medications

There are no pills that can enlarge the penis, but some prescription medications may benefit individuals with erectile dysfunction. These can increase blood flow to the penis, making it easier for people to have and maintain an erection.

Doctors may prescribe:

  • Sildenafil (Viagra): This prescription drug is available in doses of 20–100 milligrams (mg).
  • Tadalafil (Cialis): This prescription drug is available in doses of 5–20 mg.
  • Avanafil (Stendra, Spedra): This prescription drug is available in 10–20 mg doses.

People may take these medications 1 hour before sexual activity. Some side effects include headaches, heartburn, and muscle aches.

Learn more about the side effects of these medications.

These medications are also available to purchase from online pharmacies or telehealth companies such as Hims, Lemonaid, and Roman. Individuals must usually undergo a consultation and receive a prescription before ordering from these companies.

There is no clinical evidence to support additional techniques to increase penis size that include:

  • using weights as penile extenders is not effective and may be harmful
  • removing fat from the low abdomen with liposuction can help make a partially buried penis more visible, but the impact will dissipate if the person gains weight again

The American Urology Foundation states that suspensory ligament division and fat transfer, the two main surgical procedures for increasing penis size, are neither safe nor effective.

People should seek medical advice if they have concerns with their penis size. Doctors may ask about their medical history to provide a diagnosis and suggest a treatment plan.

A person should disclose whether they are taking dietary supplements that claim to enlarge the penis or enhance performance or sexual activity to their doctor. Some supplements contain undeclared ingredients that can lead to severe adverse reactions when people take them with other prescription medications.

Below are some common questions on penis enlargement pills.

Are penis enlargement pills safe?

Not always. Since many penis enlargement pills companies market them as food supplements, they do not receive the same level of regulation as medications. According to the FDA, some penis enlargement pills may contain undeclared ingredients, such as sildenafil, a medication for erectile dysfunction.

Sildenafil can cause dangerous interactions with medication widely prescribed to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

What is the average penis size?

It is difficult to measure the size of a flaccid penis because many conditions affect it, such as room temperature. According to researchers, the average size of an erect penis size is between 5.1–5.5 in, and the lower end of this range is probably more common.

Is it safe to buy penis enlargement pills online?

Not necessarily. It is difficult to find out what the ingredients in these products are when shopping online.

In addition, some penis enlargement pills may contain potentially dangerous unlisted ingredients, such as sildenafil. Sildenafil is the active ingredient in erectile dysfunction medications, and people should only take it under the guidance of a licensed medical professional.

Many companies market penis enlargement pills or other sexual supplements as dietary supplements. They claim that they are safe and effective in increasing penis size.

However, there is currently no clinical evidence that penis enlargement pills work. Instead, research shows that these supplements can be dangerous as they may contain ingredients in prescription medications.

People concerned about their penis size should consider the evidence, which shows that most individuals with these worries actually have an average-sized penis. If a person’s penis is truly smaller than average, or an individual is distressed about their perception of it, they should consider consulting a healthcare professional.