Penis enlargement: it’s on the rise – see how penis enlargement works

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Penis enlargement: it’s on the rise – see how penis enlargement works

Penis enlargement is using devices, medication, or other techniques to attempt to increase the length or girth of your penis. There are no proven ways to reliably increase the size of your penis other than surgery, and some methods can actually cause permanent damage.

Around 45% of men aren’t satisfied with the size of their penis, but that doesn’t mean that they are unable to satisfy their partners. One study showed that 85% of women were happy with their partner’s size, even if their partner wasn’t.

Find out about the methods people use to get a bigger penis, and whether any of these actually work.

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What is penis enlargement?

Penis enlargement usually refers to any method that is meant to increase the maximum penis or erection size.

Penis size

According to the NHS:
  • The average penis size in the UK is around 9cm (3.5 inches) when soft, and 13cm (5.1 inches) erect.
  • A micropenis is a penis that is 7cm (2.7 inches) or lower when soft.
  • 45% of men are not satisfied with their penis size.
  • Men with an average-sized penis are more likely to be dissatisfied with their size than men with smaller than average penises
Penis size can be a source of anxiety and discomfort for men, even if their penis size is considered to be “normal”. If you need support with your mental health because of your penis size, it’s a good idea to talk to a sex therapist.

Penis enlargement surgery

There are 2 main types of penis enlargement surgery, penis lengthening and penis widening.

Penis-lengthening surgery – this type of surgery makes the penis longer while it’s not erect (flaccid). To increase the length of the penis, a surgeon would cut one of the ligaments (suspensory ligament) which attach the penis to the hip bone (pelvis or pubic bone). This drops the angle of the penis, which makes it longer when it’s flaccid.

On average, successful penis lengthening surgery increases the length of the flaccid penis by 0.65-1.8cm. But, there’s no change to the length of the penis when it’s completely erect.

Penis widening surgery – to widen the penis, a surgeon can take fat from other parts of the body and transplant it into the penis. Or, they can put implants into the penis to make it wider. On average, this type of surgery can increase the girth (circumference) of the penis by 1.5 to 3.35cm when flaccid or 1.2 to 2.75cm when erect.

There are some drawbacks to this type of surgery. If you opt for a transplant of fat, over time the body can reabsorb 30% of the fat that’s been injected into the penis in the first 2 months. This can make the girth of the penis smaller again. Some men also experience scarring or changes in the shape of their penis.

There is also penile implant surgery but this is not for increasing maximum penis size and is only meant to help men improve erections when other erectile dysfunction treatments haven’t worked.

Penis enlargement devices

There are some devices that are believed to increase maximum penis or erection size, but there is no evidence proving they work.

Penis pumps

Penis pumps are devices that use air or water pressure to improve blood flow into the penis to improve erections.

Many people don’t understand that penis pumps do not make your penis bigger. They help men to get erections and reach their natural maximum erection size, but they do not increase the maximum size of your penis.

Penis extenders

Penis extenders are devices that are used to stretch your penis while it is flaccid, which is supposed to increase the length of your penis over a long period of time.

There are two main types of penile extenders:

Weight – small weights are attached to the penis, which stretches it. This can cause serious damage to the penis.

Traction – traction devices are frames that clamp onto your penis, which you can then adjust to extend it. This seems to be the safest type of penile extender, and reportedly has better results.

These devices are typically supposed to be worn for 6 hours a day, every day, for up to 6 months to see results. It is not clear if these devices actually work or are safe to use, and the NHS does not recommend starting this type of treatment without first discussing it with a doctor.

Penis enlargement exercises

There are no exercises that will make your penis bigger, but some exercises can help you reach your maximum erection size if you can’t already.


Jelqing is a kind of penis massage technique that is believed to help increase the size of your penis and improve your erections. Jelqing is meant to cause micro-tears in the tissue of your penis, which increases the length and girth as these tears heal. But, there is no evidence that it has any real effect. Some men have reported changes to the way their penis looked, and even permanent damage, after trying this method.

Pelvic floor exercises

Pelvic floor exercises, like kegels for men, won’t increase your maximum erection or penis size but can help you reach your maximum erection size if you can’t already. Kegel exercises strengthen muscles around the penis which are used for erections. Kegels are done by tensing and holding these muscles repeatedly. These exercises are a proven treatment for men for erectile dysfunction.

Penis enlargement pills

There are no pills that will make your penis bigger. Retailers selling pills that are advertised to increase penis size are making false claims. Buying these kinds of products is a waste of money and can be dangerous if they aren’t properly regulated.

There are pills like Viagra, and other PDE5-inhibitor medications, that can improve your erections. These medications increase the amount of blood flow to the penis, which helps you get a stronger and longer-lasting erection.

Penis enlargement creams

There are no creams that will increase your penis size. Similar to penis enlargement pills, products claiming to do this are not trustworthy and are most likely unsafe to use. In the best case, you would be wasting your money on these creams, in the worst case, these creams could cause damage to your penis.

Similar to erectile dysfunction pills, there are also creams like Vitaros that can help you reach your maximum erection size.

Natural remedies or supplements

Any ‘natural’ remedies or herbal supplements that are marketed to increase maximum penis or erection size are falsely claiming to do so.

There are some supplements that are believed to help you reach maximum erection size. They include:
  • Horny goat weed
  • L-arginine, and sources of L-arginine, like watermelon
  • Maca
  • Watermelon
  • DHEA
  • Red ginseng
  • Propionyl-L carnitine
  • Melatonin
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc

Top Penis Enlargement Myths

Myth: The average penis is about 8 inches in length
Truth: The real-life average is between 5-6 inches

Myth: Penis size is linked to shoe size/handspan/height
Truth: There is no scientific link between the size of your penis and any other body part.

Myth: Size matters
Truth: Actually, size is pretty low on the list of requirements for your partner. Affection, foreplay, and consideration are much more important. Satisfying sex is about more than just penetration.

Myth: Bigger is better
Truth: Women's vaginas when aroused are only 4.25-4.75 inches long. An oversized penis would cause discomfort rather than pleasure and very well-endowed men can find sex more difficult.

Myth: A bigger penis will make you a better lover
Truth: Having a large penis does not make you better in bed. Paying attention to your partner's needs is far more important than penis size

Myth: Supplements and pills can increase penis size
Truth: Not only will they do nothing for your size, but they may also actually harm your health

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