Many purported methods of enlarging the p3nis are risky and/or have significant drawbacks. These include p3nis enlargement surgery, “male enhancement” pills, and jelqing. Pornography and pop culture have caused some men to develop unrealistic expectations and disordered thinking about wanting a larger p3nis.
If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Many men live in fear that their p3nis suffers from Wizard of Oz syndrome—when it’s time to pull back the curtain, they’ll be revealed as rather…unimpressive. The reality is, most men who worry about their p3nis size are well within the normal range. The average p3nis is 5.16 inches erect. Nearly 90% of guys have a p3nis between 4 and 6 inches.
• When erect, the average p3nis is 5.16 inches. Nearly 90% of men have a p3nis between 4 and 6 inches.
• Research has shown that only 55% of men were satisfied with the size of their p3nis.
• Pornography and pop culture have caused some men to develop unrealistic expectations and disordered thinking about wanting a larger p3nis.
• Psychologists term this “small p3nis anxiety” or “p3nis dysmorphic disorder” (PDD).
• Many purported methods of enlarging the p3nis are risky and/or have significant drawbacks.
In a survey of 52,031 heterosexual men and women, researchers reported that 85% of women — 85%! — said they were satisfied with their partner’s p3nis size, but only 55% of men were satisfied with the size of their p3nis (Lever, 2006).
Seth Cohen, MD, a urologist with NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, frequently sees patients expressing concern about their size and asking about p3nis enlargements. “At the end of the day, what I really want to do is ask them, ‘Is this what your partner asked for, or is this something you thought they wanted?’” he says. “Oftentimes, it’s something we falsely believe our partner wants, but in actuality, they don’t give a shit. They just want sex.”
But if you insist: These are the most common procedures used, or touted, to increase p3nis size.
1. P3nis enlargement surgery: length
In this procedure to increase p3nis size, the suspensory ligament, which fixes the p3nis to the pubic bone, is cut, increasing the perceived length of the p3nis. “The suspensory ligament suspends the p3nis just like the suspension on a bridge. If you cut the suspensory posts on a bridge, the bridge will lag lower,” says Cohen. “But I really don’t recommend it, because your erection will never point north again.”
2. P3nis enlargement surgery: girth
Some doctors offer surgery in which the patient’s own fat is injected into the p3nis, or a substance like Alloderm — sterilized tissue harvested from cadavers — is wrapped under the skin of the p3nis like seaweed in a sushi roll, resulting in a girth increase. This is called “off-label use” — Alloderm is approved for burn therapy and reconstructive surgery, not p3nis enlargement, and there are reports in the medical literature (Solomon, 2013) of complications like infection and skin necrosis (Bruno, 2007).
3. P3nis injections
To enhance girth, some doctors inject temporary cosmetic fillers into the p3nis, similar to the fillers used on lips, brows and smile lines to plump them up. “I’ve never done this, but I’ve seen them done a few times,” says Cohen. “It really depends on the substances you use. Restylane and Juvederm are tried-and-true substances we use as fillers, on cheeks, chins and different areas in the body. They usually last around six months, and they get absorbed into the body. They’re not really tried-and-true tested on the p3nis. We just don’t have any data to say it works long-term.”
There is a significant potential downside to shooting fillers into your dick. “The p3nis is a very vascular organ, full of smooth muscle and spaces that hold blood,” says Cohen. “If you fill one area, it may look very blotchy in another area. So you get this sort of lumpy, bumpy effect that is probably not what people are looking for.”
4. P3nis implants
Permanent implants placed under the skin of the p3nis have been available for decades for men with intractable ED. But in 2004, the FDA approved a silicone sleeve called Penuma for cosmetic enhancement. It costs $13,000. A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine looked at 400 men who had gotten Penuma implants; they experienced an 56.7% increase in girth, on average, and two years later, 81% of them reported “high” or “very high” satisfaction (Elist, 2018).
But you won’t find too many urologists who’ll recommend a p3nis implant for enlargement. “Penile implants are appropriate in men who have erectile dysfunction that doesn’t respond to more conservative therapies,” says Landon Trost, MD, a urologist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “The issue with penile fillers or implants is that they have many side effects. Fillers and Penuma are generally not recommended by the far majority of sexual medicine specialists.”
5. Penile extenders
Penile extenders are traction devices that you strap to your flaccid p3nis and wear an extended time, usually several hours a day. This can result in penile lengthening, although it might take months to see results. “Nearly anything can be stretched in the body, including the p3nis, and that has been done for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years,” says Trost, who developed a traction device called RestoreX to help men with Peyronie’s Disease, a condition in which the p3nis becomes unnaturally bent.
In three randomized, controlled trials, nearly all men who used RestoreX experienced penile lengthening, says Trost. “Regarding penile girth, that is less well established,” he says. “There are no known therapies which have consistently shown an ability to increase penile girth outside of penile injections (fillers) or surgery.”
There’s plenty of info online about jelqing, or stretching exercises in which the flaccid p3nis is pulled and massaged with the fingers or a specially designed device. But results aren’t permanent, and jelqing comes with no small risk of injury. “I’ve had plenty of patients come to see me, post-jelqing, with neurological tears, so now they have a numb p3nis, or tearing and overstretching of the arteries and veins, so they have permanent ED,” says Cohen. “If you tear the microvasculature or microneurological input to the p3nis, no one can correct that.”
7. P3nis pumps
P3nis pumps — or vacuum devices that coax blood flow into the p3nis — will cause an erection, but they won’t permanently make your p3nis bigger. In a study published in the journal BJU International, 37 men used p3nis pumps for 20 minutes, three times a week, for six months. Researchers found that the participants’ mean p3nis length increased by only .3 cm (which was not statistically significant), the treatment was only 10% effective, and only 30% of the patients were satisfied (Aghamir, 2006).
Trost doesn’t even recommend them for ED treatment, because they might cause the disorder they’re being used to correct. “There is a question as to whether use of a vacuum device in younger men, who are trying to augment the penile girth, may result in some degree of erectile dysfunction,” says Trost. “In general, men who try vacuum devices for ED use them a few times and then put them on the shelf.”
8. Male enhancement pills
No matter how sweet the siren song of those “male enhancement pills” behind the bodega counter or in Google ads, they won’t make your p3nis bigger, science says. “There are no supplements out there that are going to grow the size of your p3nis,” says Cohen.
9. Losing weight
An easy way to make your p3nis look larger might be to lose weight — in overweight men, fat in the pubic area can protrude over the p3nis, making it look smaller. Extreme cases have earned the phenomenon a name: “buried p3nis syndrome.” See your health provider to discuss whether losing weight, improving your diet or getting more exercise can benefit your sexual health. All three have been associated with an improvement in erection quality and erectile dysfunction (ED).
10. Stretching exercises
Manual stretching exercises involve using your hand to massage the tissues along the length of your p3nis. This is intended to stretch the skin and create “micro-tears” in the tissue. The tissues may appear engorged as they heal, making your p3nis look longer.
Some exercises also claim to increase girth. Girth exercises, such as jelqing, are also centered around tissue massage. Consistency is key to maintaining either of these purported effects.
Stretching devices: Although researchers have studied penile extension devices, it’s still unclear how well they might work.
Take the p3nis pump, for example. A p3nis pump is a cylinder-shaped, air-filled chamber that you attach to your pelvic area. They’re known to produce an immediate erection. Some anecdotes also claim that consistent use can eventually increase your p3nis length.
Penile traction devices are also popular. The device pulls on your p3nis to modify its curvature. Traction devices have been used to treat Peyronie’s disease, but more research is needed to determine how effective they really are.
11. Manscaping for a larger p3nis
An even easier way to make your p3nis look bigger is to trim your pubic hair. Cutting your pubes a bit closer to the base of the p3nis can make it appear to have more length. Naturally, you’ll want to exercise caution in this area. There are several “bodygrooming” shavers on the market; they include guards and attachments that can help you get a more even result and avoid any undesirable nicks and cuts in an extremely sensitive area.