What is a Penis Enlargement?

Marjorie McAtee

Penis enlargement is a cosmetic procedure intended to enhance the length and girth of the male sexual organ. Many devices and products claim to be capable of lengthening or widening the penis, but experts say that most of these claims aren't true. Only surgical penis enlargement is considered able to legitimately achieve these results. Experts advise caution to those considering this cosmetic procedure, however, because the procedure has not yet been thoroughly researched and the risks may outweigh the potential benefits. Complications can include permanent damage to the tissues of the penis, and erectile dysfunction.

Doctors say most of the products claiming to increase penis size are unlikely to work.
Doctors say most of the products claiming to increase penis size are unlikely to work.

The normal, adult male penis typically varies in length from 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10.2 cm) when not erect. The normal erect human penis is usually 5 to 7 inches (12.7 to 17.8 cm) long. A man whose erect penis is shorter than 3 inches (7.6 cm) is considered to suffer from micropenis, a medical condition in which the penis is considered abnormally small. Cultural influences in many societies can lead a man to believe that his penis is significantly shorter than average. Men who struggle with this body image issue may believe themselves to be sexually inadequate.

The normal, adult male penis typically varies in length from 3 to 4 inches when not erect.
The normal, adult male penis typically varies in length from 3 to 4 inches when not erect.

Many of the methods, devices, and supplements used for penis enlargement have not been proven effective. Non-surgical methods of penis enlargement can include jelqing, a technique that involves stretching the tissues of the penis by hand. Vacuum pumps often claim to be able to enlarge the penis, but these effects usually aren't permanent. Some proponents of penis enlargement believe that attaching weighted devices to the penis can stretch and lengthen the tissues of the reproductive organ. Creams and supplements often claim to be capable of enlarging the penis naturally, through the use of herbs and vitamins.

Medical experts warn that these methods of penis enlargement are ineffective, and, in some ways, dangerous. Vacuum pumps, weighted devices, and jelqing can tear or injure the tissues of the penis, leading to permanent scarring, deformity and erectile dysfunction. Surgical procedures can increase the length and girth of the penis, but doctors do not yet fully understand the risks inherent to these surgeries.

There are several surgical procedures used to enlarge the penis, or give the impression of penile enlargement. Surgeons can make the penis appear longer by severing the tendon that attaches it to the pelvic bone. Grafts of fatty tissue, either from a donor or from the patient himself, can be injected into the penis to enhance its girth.

Surgeons often point out that penis enlargement surgery generally isn't terribly successful. Many men remain dissatisfied with the results of the surgery. The surgery normally adds only about 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) of length to the penis. Procedures to widen the penis can leave the penis deformed in appearance. Complications can include erectile dysfunction, scarring, and abnormal hair growth on the penis.

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Discussion Comments


This is a little embarrassing to admit, but I tried one of those vacuum pumps when I was in my 30s. I felt like I was a little inadequate in that department, although my girlfriend at the time didn't say anything was wrong. I wish I hadn't done it, now.

The vacuum pump will definitely make a penis look larger, since the pump's seal is airtight and the vacuum pressure is powerful. I was happy with the results at first, but then things went very wrong. The instructions said to wrap a tight ring around the base of the penis to maintain the erection. I did it, and a few minutes later felt a sharp pain. I had broken a large blood vessel in my penis, and my girlfriend had to drive me to the emergency room.

I recovered fully, but I never tried any other penis enlargement method again. It's just not worth it.


Most of my female friends tell me that penis size really doesn't matter as far as the actual sex act is concerned. They may admire a well-endowed man in photographs, but only in the same way that men admire women with large breasts or shapely legs. It's just a sexual fantasy.

I wouldn't want to go through the pain and risks of penile surgery only to increase my size by a half inch. Most men are large enough to satisfy most women sexually. Some of us may wish we had more to offer, but it's not strictly necessary.

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