Ads for penis enlargement products or supplements may seem tempting, but there’s never been any sound evidence to suggest these products actually work.
The only way to increase the size of your penis is through cosmetic surgery — but this brings a high degree of risk, and has never been supported by any official medical organization.
Here, we’ll discuss the many “penis enlargement” products and techniques, explain how they work, and why they can’t be used to enlarge your penis.
Can You Make Your Penis Bigger?
A recent study found that roughly 50% of the men believe they can change the size of their penis through non-surgical means . This offers a good explanation as to why so many men fall for products claiming to increase the size of their penis — despite there being no evidence that any of these products actually work.
The size of the penis is determined by the time you’re 19 years old.
Throughout puberty, increasing testosterone levels causes the size of your penis to increase. Once it reaches the set length and girth (as determined by your genes), it stops growing.
There is no way to physically increase the size of your penis through supplementation, medications, weights, or penis pumps.
The only effective way to increase the size of your penis is through cosmetic surgery — and even this has limitations.
Penis Enlargement Products 101
1. Penis Enlargement Pills
There are a ton of penis enlargement supplements and lotions on the market promising to make your penis “larger, thicker, and harder than ever before”. They often use famous pornstars with especially large penis’ to market their products — such as Ron Jeremy or Jonny Sins.
They also usually feature a suggestive name like:
- Size Up XL
- Size Focus
- Big Penis Male Sexual Stimulant
- Black 3K Plus
Why do so many penis enlargement supplements involve the letter X?
Many of these products are listed on the banned supplements lists in various countries after it ws discovered to contain prescription medications like Viagra, or other potentially dangerous or unproven ingredients.
There are a few herbs marketed as “penis enlargers” as well, such as:
- Black ant
- Muira puama
- Tongkat ali
The bottom line is that no pill, nutrient, or herb can increase the size of the penis.
With that said, there are supplements that can help form a harder erection, which help a man reach the maximum size available to him. Supplements like Nugenix, VigRX Plus, and Andro400 are all helpful supplements to promote a firmer and longer-lasting erection.
2. Stretching Devices & Weights (Traction)
Traction devices work by pulling on the glans of the penis for extended amounts of time (>6 hours). They consist of a plastic base designed to fit comfortably around the base of the penis, adjustable metal bars to apply traction to the shaft, and a top ring to secure the device around the top of the penis.
There are many different products in the penis traction or stretching market.
Some of the most popular options include:
- FastSize Penile Extender
- Golden Erect Extender Device
- Quick Extender Pro
- Size Genetics
- Male Edge Extender
There’s been some evidence to suggest these devices can lead to a mild increase in the size of your penis  — but only after using the device for more than 4 hours a day for over 6 months. Even in the few examples of cases where these devices worked, the increase in length was marginal (0.8 inches). No increase in girth has been officially reported after using these devices.
Traction devices are useful for men with Peyronie’s disease — a condition involving a build-up of scar tissue in the penis that causes it to bend or curve in one direction. Traction devices are used to help straighten the penis and reduce pain caused by this condition.
3. Jelqing (Lengthening Exercises)
Jelqing is a technique that involves massaging the penis to ‘stretch’ the skin. The idea is that the technique causes small micro-tears, which lead to an enlargement and thickening of the penis as they heal.
Many people use jelqing techniques to increase both the length, and size of the penis. A lot of men report improvements in the size of their penis after several months of jelqing, but there has never been any clinical evidence to prove this actually works.
There are some indications that jelqing can actually damage the penis and increase the likelihood of developing Peyronie’s disease later in life. In some cases, jelqing could lead to permanent damage to the penis, leading to erectile dysfunction.
Side effects of jelqing include:
- Scar tissue formation (Peyronie’s disease)
- Pain or soreness
- Bruising on the penis
- Skin irritation or inflammation
- Erectile dysfunction
- Vein ruptures
Using lubrication, and making sure to avoid squeezing too hard can help reduce the chances of experiencing side effects while jelqing.
How to Jelq
Step 1: Make the shape of an “O” with your thumb and forefinger and place it around the base of your penis.
Step 2: Tighten your fingers to place pressure on your penis, but don’t squeeze so tight it causes pain.
Step 3: Maintaining this grip, slowly slide your fingers towards the top of the penis (it should take about 5 seconds from base to tip).
Step 4: Repeat once or twice per day, every day.
4. Penis Pumps (Vacuum Pumps)
A penis pump (sometimes called vacuum pumps) is a device used to induce erections in men suffering from erectile dysfunction.
Penis pumps are designed to form a seal around the base of the penis, which is then encapsulated in a plastic tube. Air is then removed from the tube using an electric or manual hand pump. As the air is removed from the tube, it places a negative pressure on the penis. Blood flows into the penis to fill the space — resulting in an erection.
These pumps are a safe and effective way to induce an erection, and can even be used to ‘train’ the penis to form erections more easily on its own.
Some penis pump manufacturers advertise these products for enlarging the penis — but there’s no evidence to suggest these devices affect the size of the penis in anyway.
Some people with Peyronie’s disease use penis pumps to help straighten the penis, but these don’t work as well as a traction device for this application.
There are many different types of penis pumps available, but it’s recommended to always go for a product that comes with an FDA stamp of approval to avoid potentially damaging your penis. Pumps that don’t have a vacuum limiter on them can lead to severe damage to the penis.
5. Botox Injections
Botox (botulinum toxin) is a neurotoxic protein produced by a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum.
The toxin works by blocking the release of a neurotransmitter called acetyulcholine — which induces the contraction of muscles. Blocking this neurotransmitter leads to partial paralysis and relaxation of the affected muscles.
Botox is injected into target muscle groups to force the muscle to relax. There are many use cases for botox depending on where it’s injected.
A recent study showed that botox injections in the penis could offer an effective (temporary) treatment for small penis lengths caused by a hyperactive retraction reflex . This condition involves an overactive cremaster muscle, which is used to pull the testes and shaft of the penis closer towards the groin. Hyperactivity of this muscle can reduce the maximum length of the penis while erect.
Botox injections force this muscle to relax, stopping it from impeding the length of the penis while erect.
This treatment only works in patients with a hyperactive retraction reflex. It doesn’t increase the size of the penis, it merely reduces the interference this muscle has on perceived length of the flaccid ad erect penis. Botox injections will wear off after a few months and will need to be readministered.
There has never been any evidence to suggest it can increase the size of the penis.
6. Cosmetic Surgery
A cosmetic surgical proceduce called phalloplasty can be used to increase the overall length and girth of a penis at rest. There are several different techniques that can be used, some focusing on increasing girth (fat transfer), others improving the length (V-Y plasty).
Cosmetic surgery shouldn’t be taken lightly.
There are serious risks of damage to the penis as a result of the surgery, as well as side effects that may include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Penile oedema (swelling)
- Fat nodules or lumps in the penis
- Penile curvature or Peyronie’s disease
There are no medical associations that endorse penile lengthening procedures unless there’s a specific medical reason to do so. Cosmetic alterations to the penis are considered unecessarily risky.
With that said, there are a lot of men who seek penile lengthening to help them achieve what they deem to be the ideal body shape. You can set up a consultation with a plastic surgeon who will review your situation, assess the risk to benefit of performing the operation, and provide details on expected outcomes.
What’s the ‘Normal’ Penis Size?
The average size of a penis is just over 5 inches (13 cm).
This is the average, which means half the population is below 5 inches, and half the population is above 5 inches.
Can a Penis Be Too Short?
The size of the penis has very little to do with fertility and only has a minor effect on pleasure for the man. For women, a penis less than 5 inches, but greater than 3 inches is unlikely to make much difference on sexual satisfaction. This is because only the first 2 or 3 inches of the vagina are responsible for stimulating pleasure during sexual intercourse.
A study conducted in the Netherlands asked 375 women questions about the ideal penis size and shape. 77% of the women polled reported that penis size was not important .
A penis is only considered ‘too short’ from a medical perspective when it’s at or below 3 inches. This is a condition referred to as a micropenis, which is caused by developmental issues during puberty when the penis normally matures and grows to its full length.
As long as penetration can ocurr, a small penis isn’t going to have any impact on fertility. However, low testosterone levels are common in men with micropenis, which can affect fertility and libido. It’s important to treat the underlying problem in this case and work towards improving testosterone levels over time.
It’s important to note that increasing testosterone levels isn’t going to have any effect on the size of the penis.
Can a Penis be Too Long?
The average vagina is only 3.8 inches deep — which is below the length of the average penis (5 inches). The vagina is made from highly elastic tissue, and can accompany many different sizes and shapes of penis.
However, a penis that is too long and puts too much pressure on the cervix during intercourse can cause pain to the woman. The specific size of penis that’s too long for a woman is highly variable. Every woman is different, and other factors like penis girth and width can also impact whether a penis is too big or not.
In general, a penis over 7 inches is considered ‘too long’ for most women.
What’s the Ideal Penis Size?
The ideal penis size is a hotly debated topic, but it’s a myth that most women prefer a very large penis. Studies have shown that most women prefer a penis that’s clos to the average, aroudn 5 inches, and several studies even suggest the ideal size is a little bit shorter than that — around 4.6 inches.
Key Takeaways: Is Penis Enlargement Effective?
Men often question whether the size of their penis is adequate, or normal. Studies have shown that roughly 50% of men believe it’s possible to increase the size of their penis through non-surgical techniques. Many men actively seek out some of these methods, buying supplements, traction devices, vacuum pumps, and practicing manual techniques like jelqing.
While there is some evidence that products like traction devices can increase the length of the penis over time, the increases are very subtle, and the vast majority f penis enlargement products and tools simply don’t work. Many of them are not only ineffective, they bring the potential for serious risk to the health of the penis.
The only way to physically increase the size of your penis is cosmetic surgery — which brings its own risk of side effects, and doesn’t always work as planned.
Most men who believe they’re penis is too small are false in their beliefs. The average penis is around 5 inches. The pleasure region of a women vagina rarely extends past 3 inches in depth, so having a longer penis doesn’t necessarily mean more pleasure for either the man or the woman.
Rather than focusing on the size of your penis, it’s better to focus on technique if your goal it to provide more pleasure to your sexual partner(s).
References Cited in This Article
- Francken, A. B., Van de Wiel, H. B. M., Van Driel, M. F., & Schultz, W. W. (2002). What importance do women attribute to the size of the penis?. European urology, 42(5), 426-431.
- Johnston, L., McLellan, T., & McKinlay, A. (2014). (Perceived) size really does matter: Male dissatisfaction with penis size. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 15(2), 225.
- Oderda, M., & Gontero, P. (2011). Non‐invasive methods of penile lengthening: fact or fiction?. BJU international, 107(8), 1278-1282.
- Shaeer, O., Shaeer, K., & Shaeer, A. (2009). MEN’S SEXUAL HEALTH: Botulinum Toxin A (Botox) for Relieving Penile Retraction. The journal of sexual medicine, 6(10), 2788-2794.