Can a man increase penis size?

Many men seek treatment to increase penis size. However, research shows that in most cases, their penises are already within "normal" limits.

Many manufacturers claim that products including pills, creams and stretching devices can increase penis size. Some people also consider surgery.

However, the Urology Care Foundation notes that none of these methods work.

A 2020 review found little evidence to support penis enlargement in men with smaller penises but no other health problems. Participants were treated. However, most people don't realize until they learn that their penis size is "normal." Most people did not seek further treatment.

Surgery can help people with micropenis disease. However, it can be risky and may not necessarily improve sexual satisfaction.

penis enlargement products

Here, we look at the evidence for various penis enlargement methods.

traction device

Traction devices are designed to increase the length of the penis by stretching the penile tissue. People place a weight or small extension frame on the flaccid penis to gently lengthen it.

Several studies have investigated the effects of traction devices, with varying results. Some results suggest that these devices can lengthen the penis by as much as 1-3 centimeters.

Notably, the participants in these studies had medical conditions, such as Peyronie's disease, which causes penile curvature, or prostate cancer.

In most trials, participants wore the devices for 4 to 6 hours a day. In one of the experiments, they wore the devices for nine hours a day.

However, there is limited evidence regarding traction devices. Determining their safety and effectiveness requires more research, and the Urology Care Foundation does not currently support their use.

Vacuum device

A vacuum device, also known as a penis pump, consists of a tube that is attached to the penis. Pulling out the air creates a vacuum that draws blood into the penis, causing it to swell.

People often use vacuum devices to treat erectile dysfunction. There is no scientific evidence that they can increase penis size.

A 2020 reviewTrusted Source concluded that vacuum devices do not increase penis size.

Learn about the best pumps for erectile dysfunction.

Pills and lotions

Various pills and creams promise to increase penis size. They often contain vitamins, minerals, herbs or hormones.

However, there is no scientific evidence that these products can increase penis size.

In fact, tests show that some contain pesticides, lead, animal waste, E. coli and other harmful substances.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning about male enhancement products that are contaminated or contain undeclared pharmaceutical ingredients.


Jelqing is an exercise in which a person uses their thumb and forefinger to repeatedly pull on a penis that is not straight. Its purpose is to stimulate blood flow, which may increase penis size during an erection.

Like other methods, it can help people feel more comfortable with their penis. However, its size is unlikely to increase. Possible side effects include bruising, pain, fibrosis, or scarring, which may shorten the penis.

penis enlargement surgery

There are many surgical options that can improve the appearance of your penis and possibly even increase its size.

Injecting fat cells

Penis enlargement involves injecting fat cells from other parts of the body into the penis. The purpose is to increase girth or width.

After 12 months, this can increase the average trusted source by 2.39–2.65 cm (0.94–1.04 inches).

However, possible side effects include:

  • swollen and twisted penis
  • disfigurement and scarring
  • lumpy
  • Infect

The graft may also lose 20-80% of its new volume within 1 year after surgery, so people may need multiple surgeries to achieve the desired results.

A 2020 reviewTrusted Source concluded that the injection may increase girth. However, this is accompanied by a high complication rate.

biodegradable frame

Another method of increasing girth, still experimental, involves pulling back the penis skin and wrapping a biodegradable stent or frame around the shaft.

The frame is biodegradable, using substances derived from tissue cells.

ligament release

The suspensory ligament anchors the penis to the pubic area and provides support during erection.

During this surgery, the surgeon cuts the ligaments to increase the length of the penis. They may also perform a skin graft at the base of the penis to allow for extra length.

However, cutting the ligaments may result in a lack of support for the penis during erection. This can make penetration during intercourse difficult.

On average, suspensory ligament release can increase the length of a flaccid penis by 1-3 cm. However, satisfaction rates for individuals and their partners are only 30-65%. Lack of support during an erection can make penetration difficult.

The American Urological Association considers penis enlargement surgery to be neither safe nor effective.

liposuction surgery

If a man has a high amount of fat in his lower abdomen, removing the fat through liposuction can reveal a buried penis or make the penis appear larger. Bariatric surgery and abdominoplasty can also do this.

It can increase one's self-esteem. However, they need to follow dietary and exercise recommendations to prevent the fat from coming back.

Who should have surgery?

The medical community considers surgery necessary only in cases of micropenis disease. This refers to an adult's penis being 9.3 cm or less in length when stretched.

Micropenis is often caused by hormonal factors and may be related to certain genetic conditions.

Your doctor will first prescribe hormone therapy. If that doesn't work, they may recommend penile reconstruction surgery.

average penis size

Scientists say most men consider the average size of an erect penis to be over 6 inches.

However, a 2014 study (including 15,521 men from around the world) determined that:

The average length of a flaccid penis is 9.16 cm (3.61 inches) and its circumference is 9.31 cm (3.66 inches).
The average erect penis is 13.12 cm (5.16 inches) long and 11.66 cm (4.59 inches) in circumference.
The authors estimate that 5% of men have an erect penis longer than 16 cm. In another 5% of people, the erect penis will be shorter than about 10 cm.

In 2019, a review found that the average length of an erect penis was 12.95-13.97 cm (5.1-5.5 inches). However, after adjusting for bias, they concluded that the true number was likely closer to the lower bound.

The average stretched penis length is 12.98 cm (5.11 inches).

What does your partner think about penis size?

The authors of a 2015 study found that, on average, women in cisgender relationships preferred a long-term partner with a penis length of 16 centimeters (6.3 inches) and a girth of 12.2 centimeters (4.8 inches).

This is larger than average. However, the authors note that these judgments may be based on inaccurate memories of previous sexual partners.

Other researchers believe that the size of a man's penis is not the most important factor in determining a woman's sexual satisfaction.

Penis Enlargement Risks and Side Effects

The risks of penis enlargement interventions vary depending on the method.

They include:

  • Deformation, swelling and infection caused by surgery
  • Damage to penile tissue, which may lead to weak erections
  • In the case of adipocyte injections, repeated interventions are required to maintain girth
  • If the patient does not see improvement, worry and stress may increase
  • Waste money on products that don't work

Tips to improve your sex life

Negative feelings about penis size can inhibit a person's enjoyment of sex and quality of life.

Most penis enlargement methods do not increase penis size. However, the following tips may help prevent anxiety or enhance your sex life without increasing penis size:

  • Seek counseling to help build self-esteem and correct distorted thoughts related to body image
  • Trim pubic hair to make penis look larger
  • Regular exercise, which can help with weight control and overall health, and may help improve erectile function
  • Weight control
  • Seek help understanding health conditions that may affect your sexual desire or physical ability to be sexually active (such as depression or heart disease)
  • Follow a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, processed foods, and low in added fats and sugars from trusted sources
  • Share concerns with partners
  • Try new sexual behaviors, such as oral sex or using sex toys during foreplay

When to see a doctor

If concerns about penis size are affecting a person's quality of life, it might be a good idea to see a doctor. They can help decide if there are health issues that need to be addressed.

Excessive focus on penis size can lead to depression, sexual anxiety, and sexual dysfunction. The person may have difficulty getting or maintaining an erection and lack sexual satisfaction.

small penis anxiety

People with this condition are often so worried that others will think they have a small penis that they don't want to undress in front of others.

Penis deformation phobia

People with penile deformity disorder (PDD) consistently underestimate the size of their own penis and overestimate the size of other people's penises.

PDD is a form of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).

body dysmorphic disorder

Research shows that men with BDD are more likely to feel anxious about their penis size and seek penis enlargement treatment than men without BDD.

A person should see a doctor if they find themselves engaging in the following behaviors, which may be signs of BDD:

Worrying too much about penis size

  • Frequently wanting to compare other people's penises
  • Feeling strongly concerned about a possible flaw that others may not notice
  • Feeling distressed about work, social life, or other aspects of life
  • considering or attempting suicide


Many men feel anxious about their penis size. This has created a huge market for expanding products and technologies.

However, there is no scientific evidence that these methods work, and many carry serious risks.

Anyone concerned about penis size may wish to consult a doctor or sex therapist.


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