Truth About Penis Enlargement:Does It Work?

Penis size is a common source of anxiety. Most people who consider penis enlargement treatments have normal-sized penises, meaning that they have an adequate penis size for sexual activity and urination.

Manufacturers claim that products, including penis enlargement pills, creams, and stretching devices, can increase penis size. Some men also consider penis enlargement surgery.

penis enlargement surgeries

Penis Size: What Is Normal?

Think you have a smaller penis size than average? You're probably not.

The typical erect penis is usually 5 to 6 inches long with a circumference of 4 to 5 inches. There is more variation in the size of flaccid penises.

Some guys have a genuinely smaller penis size than that. In rare cases, genetics and hormone problems cause a condition called micropenis -- an erect penis of under 3 inches. 

But studies show that most of the guys seeking penis enlargement are average-sized. They just think they have below-average penis size.


Types of Penis Enlargement Methods

Most advertised penis enlargement methods are ineffective, and some can cause permanent damage to your penis. Here are some of the most widely promoted products and techniques of penis enlargement:

Pills and Lotions

These usually contain vitamins, minerals, herbs, or hormones that manufacturers claim to enlarge the penis size. None of these products has been proved to work, and some may be harmful to men’s health.

Vacuum Pumps

Because pumps draw blood into the penis, making it swell, they are sometimes used to treat erectile dysfunction. A vacuum pump can make a penis look larger temporarily. But using one too often or too long can damage elastic tissue in the penis, leading to fewer firm erections.


Sometimes called jelqing, these exercises use a hand-over-hand motion to push blood from the base to the head of the penis. Although this technique appears safer than other methods, there is no scientific proof it works, and it can lead to scar formation, pain, and disfigurement.


Stretching involves attaching a stretcher or extender device — also referred to as a penile traction device — to the penis to exert gentle tension. A few small studies have reported length increases of half an inch to almost 2 inches (about 1 to 3 centimeters) with these devices.


Also read: Most Common Myths About Erectile Dysfunction


Penis Enlargement Surgery

There are two main types of penis enlargement surgery.


Penile augmentation involves injecting fat cells into the penis. The aim is to increase girth, or width, as well as the length of the penis, in some cases.

The procedure carries risks to men’s health. Side effects may include swelling and distortion of the penis. If a side effect is severe, the penis may require removal.

Another method of penile augmentation involves grafting fat cells from elsewhere in the body onto the penis. This is less invasive and can add an average of 2.39 to 2.65 cm after one year.

However, the penis can lose 20% to 80% of the new volume within one year of surgery, so men may need multiple penis enlargement surgeries to achieve the desired result.


The second main type of penis enlargement surgery is the suspensory ligament release. This ligament anchors the penis to the pubic area and provides support during an erection. If a surgeon cuts the ligament, this changes the angle of the penis, which can make it look longer.

On average, suspensory ligament release can increase flaccid penis size by between 1 to 3 cm, but patient and partner satisfaction rates tend to be low. The lack of support during an erection can make penetration difficult.


Is Penis Enlargement Surgery Always Successful?

The success rate of penis enlargement surgery is high. Most side effects or complications are purportedly due to people not following surgical aftercare instructions.

The Journal of Sexual Medicine reported on a surgical study evaluation of 400 men who underwent the Penuma procedure of penis enlargement. The study found that 81% rated their satisfaction with their penis enlargement results at least “high” or “very high.”

A small number of subjects experienced complications including seroma, scarring, and infection. And, 3% needed to have the devices removed due to problems following the penis enlargement procedure.


When Should Penis Enlargement Surgery Be An Option?

The medical community only deems penis enlargement surgery necessary if a person has a condition called micropenis. This term describes a penis that is 7.5 cm or shorter when stretched.


Risks And Side Effects Of Penis Enlargement Surgery

  • Penis enlargement surgery can cause several side effects, including swelling and infection. 
  • These can be so severe that the penis requires removal.
  • Penis enlargement surgery can also cause erectile dysfunction.
  • In addition, overusing a vacuum pump can damage penile tissue, which can lead to weaker erections.


So many men out there are so anxious about their penis size, and this has fueled a huge market for penis enlargement products and techniques.

However, only limited evidence suggests that any of these penis enlargement methods are effective, and many come with serious risks.

Anyone concerned about their penis size should talk to a doctor or sex therapist.


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