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08 December 2008

Penis enlargement methods: do they work?

Is there something you can do to enlarge your penis? Health24 looks at non-surgical and surgical methods.

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Most men worry about the size of their penis at some point in their lives. And most do come to terms with what they’ve got. But for some men, the anxiety about size continues to grow until it becomes a serious disability, impacting on their sexuality, relationships and their perception of themselves as men.

Unfortunately, whenever it’s recognised that people feel insecure about an aspect of themselves, such as their appearance or sexuality, there will be unscrupulous types who’ll try to turn it into a money-making opportunity. This is why ads for miracle ‘cures’ for the small penis abound – on the internet, in magazines, in your inbox – not because they work, but because the advertisers know that millions of men hope these claims just might be true.

But the overwhelming majority are not; read on to discover why.

So-called ‘non-surgical methods of penile enlargement’
You might have come across some of the following ‘nonsurgical methods’:

  • Vacuum pump devices. These lower the air pressure around the penis, causing blood to flow into it and allowing it to become engorged, and, yes appear larger – but only temporarily. These devices can be damaging: used too often, they can harm the elastic tissue in the penis, resulting in less firm erections.
  • Jelquing. This strange word refers to exercises that involve manual stretching or squeezing of the penis. Jelquing can be painful, and even disfiguring.
  • Attaching weights to the penis to stretch it. Because the penis is elastic, this may produce small, temporary increases in size.
  • Magnetic or electrical devices to stimulate penis growth. Another clearly bad idea.
  • Pills, potions, creams and lotions. These may contain vitamins, minerals, hormones like testosterone or steroids, or herbal mixtures. There is no evidence that any of these can increase penis size, and its always unadvisable to risk unregulated remedies.

NONE of these methods has been shown to be effective (or safe) by any reputable scientific studies, and none have been approved by medical institutions or government agencies. Some of the ads punting such products may claim that they are backed by scientific research, but a little digging will quickly show that such research is highly dubious. You can’t trust customer testimonials either.

However, the traction device Andro-Penis has shown promising results. Based on this principle of external traction, it is able to exhert a gradual traction force of 600 to 1500 grams.

The device consists of a plastic ring, where the penis is introduced and from where two dynamic metalic rods that originate the traction. In the superior part there is a plastic support where a silicone band holds the glans in place.

Studies have reported an increase in the length of the penis in erection and flaccidity and an increase in the perimeter of the penis in erection and flaccidity.

The following simple nonsurgical methods can help make your penis appear a little larger:

  • Lose weight. A large belly makes your penis look smaller, especially if it actually hangs over the upper part of the penis.
  • Trim your pubic hair. Thick pubic hair may make the penis appear smaller.

Surgical methods to increase penis size
There are surgical methods to permanently enlarge the length or width of the penis, but they are highly controversial and problematic. Many plastic surgeons will not perform these operations, and medical organizations do not endorse them.

The surgery is called penile enlargement or penile augmentation surgery, or penoplasty. The length or girth, or sometimes both, of the penis is augmented

In an operation to increase penis length, the surgeon cuts the suspensory ligament, which attaches the penis to the pubic bone. The result is that the flaccid penis appears longer (but not much), because more of the upper part of the shaft is exposed outside the body. Skin from the abdomen is used to cover the new longer shaft of the penis. The risk involved in cutting the suspensory ligament is that its function, that of supporting an erection and angling it upwards, may be lost. The erect penis may be unstable or point downwards.

Surgery to increase penis girth involves taking fat from another part of the body (usually the abdomen), injecting it into the penis, and shaping it around the shaft. Another technique is to graft fat onto the penile shaft. Some of the fat injected will be absorbed after a few months. The remainder may or may not be permanent. One of the risks of this type of operation is if the fat forms lumps, making the penis look misshapen.

There are a number of additional potential complications associated with these surgeries, including scarring, hair on the base of the penis, a low-hanging penis, impotence, urinary incontinence, persistent pain, infection, sensory loss, excessive bleeding, and even a shorter penis.It may be necessary to undergo additional operations to correct deformities resulting from the initial surgery.

Who is a candidate for penile surgery?
Men who have lost all or part of their penis as a result of injury or surgery are certainly candidates for reconstructive operations. And, in certain cases where a man has a very small penis that is causing him severe, intractable psychological problems, cosmetic surgery may be considered a last resort. However, this is a radical step and clearly not a decision that can be rushed into. It is strongly recommended that anyone considering surgery should consult a urologist, as well as a therapist to discuss the issue and its psychological ramifications.

 
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