Penis enlargement is a popular topic on the Internet, for obvious reasons. There are tons of pills, potions, and pumps on the internet that supposedly enhance your junk.
But do male enhancement products actually work?
The simple answer: No. Penis enlargement products don’t work. Sorry!
“To date there’s never been a cream, a pill, or anything of that nature that’s been shown to benefit phallus size,” says Thomas J. Walsh, M.D. an associate professor of urology and director of the University of Washington Men’s Health Center.
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In other words: “There’s no quick, one-shot way to increase the size or the function of the male penis.”
Here’s why penis enhancement products don't work:
To understand why these treatments don’t work, it’s important to know what actually goes on in your body when you have an erection.
As you rise to the occasion, your penis contains spongy erectile tissue that fills with blood, thus determining the size of your erection. Unfortunately, the tissue isn’t easily changed, according to Walsh. "These fibrous cylinders are fixed to the pelvic bone, and by virtue of being fixed to the pelvic bone, they are not easily manipulated,” he says. “They are fixed in place, and for most men, the length of the penis that they achieve through puberty becomes their maximum length.”
A penis enlargement supplement that increases blood flow might help those bodies fill faster so you get erect quicker, but they won’t actually make you bigger, says Larry Lipshultz, M.D., a Men’s Health urology advisor and chief of male reproductive medicine and surgery at the Baylor College of Medicine.
What about male enhancement pills? Do those work at all?
Some websites and companies claim that guys can get bigger just by taking supplements. One product sold on Amazon promises to “increase length and girth size of your penis in only a few shorts months.” These products typically are said to contain ingredients like the amino acid L-arginine (it helps the body make proteins), and maca.
Unfortunately, none are proven to enhance size, and there is no evidence that over-the-counter products enhance penis size.
“If it [sounds] too good to be true, it probbably is,” urologist Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt, MD, a urologist in Florida, previously explained to MensHealth.com.
What about natural male enhancement?
Aside from questionable pills, some might seek the assistance of penis extenders or exercises that seem more natural and safe.
As MensHealth.com previously reported, a small study from 2015 showed that one device, known as the Andro-Penis, added roughly half an inch in length. However, Brahmbhatt says they aren’t worth the risk.
“The research on the benefits of penile extenders is scant,” he previously told MensHealth.com. "Plus, you have to wear them for hours a day on a sensitive part of your body.”
So is there anything you can do to get a bigger penis?
Honestly, not really. But rest assured that size-wise, you're probably just fine.
“The majority of men who come in seeking penile enlargement are average,” says Lipshultz. “I just don’t think men have a realistic idea of what normal is. Hence they think that they are below normal when actually they’re average.” (For the record, the average erect penis measures 5.6 inches, according to research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.)
If you’re really concerned about your size, consider losing weight. Some men have pubic fat that essentially buries part of their penises, making them appear smaller, says Dr. Lipshultz. Losing weight could help you uncover a few inches.
If you aren’t getting it up as quickly as you usually do, see your doctor, Walsh recommends. You won’t just help your penis—you could save your heart. “There’s a very strong association between new erectile dysfunction and subsequently experiencing a cardiovascular event,” says Walsh.
If you notice a change in the angle of your erections, see a urologist who specializes in sexual medicine. Your doctor can prescribe an intervention, such as a penile traction device or vacuum device, which can essentially stretch contracted scar tissue back to its normal length, says Walsh. They won’t do much for healthy penis tissue, which is probably as elastic as it can be already, he says.
Finally, don’t do anything drastic in search of a longer penis: “Steer clear of clinics that are offering quick fixes or unsanctioned surgical procedures to increase the size of a phallus,” says Walsh.
Some doctors will implant materials like silicone around the penis to add girth, but those penis enlargement procedures can have problematic side effects. The material can migrate and destroy surrounding tissue or decrease sensation.
“These kinds of surgical procedures can be dangerous for men and can really have a negative impact on their sexual function overall,” says Walsh.
Remember: a bigger penis won’t make you happy if it inhibits your sex life. So just leave your member alone, OK?
Julie Stewart is a writer and content strategist whose work has also appeared in Health, and Women’s Health, Everyday Health, Vice, and Shape.