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Many penis enlargement pills advertise increased penis size and sexual performance. However, evidence of their effectiveness is lacking, and taking them could even be dangerous.

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Penis size can be a source of insecurity for many people concerned about their own size. It can be an uncomfortable topic for some, which may lead to misunderstandings about average length and what ways — if any — someone could increase their size.

In fact, according to a 2021 study, most men believe the average penis size is bigger than it actually is. They think the average size of an erect penis is more than 6 inches, but the study found the actual average length is around 5.1 inches.

Companies that create penis enlargement products can perpetuate these insecurities, leading people to look for penis enlargement methods. But the truth is, many of the products you see advertised as penis enlargement supplements just aren’t effective. Some can even put your health at risk.

Keep reading to learn more about penis enlargement pills and other products to understand their effectiveness and potential risks.

Penis enlargement pills are advertised to help people with a penis who are self-conscious about their size. Most of these dietary supplements and pills don’t require approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and don’t have to prove they’re safe or effective.

Since supplements aren’t regulated as drugs are, it’s easy for incorrect ingredient types or amounts to be listed on the packaging, which may make it difficult to know how they’ll affect your health.

Sometimes called male enhancement supplements, these pills may also claim to increase energy levels and sexual performance.

Ginkgo biloba extract is one common ingredient in these types of supplements. Some believe the extract helps increase blood flow and sexual function. However, research from 2020 shows there’s no relationship between this ingredient and sexual function.

Other common herbal ingredients in penis enlargement pills include yohimbine, maca, and horny goat weed. Research from 2014 shows these are also ineffective and could lead to negative health effects, such as mood changes, anxiety, hallucinations, and addictive behaviors.

One ingredient in some penis enlargement pills is sildenafil, the main active ingredient in erectile dysfunction (ED) medication like Viagra. Sildenafil could be dangerous at high doses, especially for people with heart conditions or people taking medication for blood pressure. Additionally, sildenafil has only been shown to treat ED and doesn’t have any effect on your size or length.

All that said, because these supplements don’t require FDA approval, they may also contain ingredients that aren’t identified on the label.

Male enhancement products claim to work through a combination of herbal ingredients and medications. Despite the growing market of supplements claiming to be aphrodisiacs, little to no research has been done to demonstrate the safety of these products.

The little research that has been done showed that these products are ineffective, and some can have potentially dangerous side effects.

Once you get past the marketing hype of penis enlargement pills, you’ll see most of the claims have little to no evidence to support them. Since supplements have little regulation, there are no actual requirements to prove the effectiveness of products or even list all the ingredients.

Be sure to talk with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements to fully understand the potential benefits and risks of these products.

Some of the ingredients in penis enlargement supplements could interact with medications or health conditions.

These ingredients include:

  • Yohimbe: This ingredient may change the effectiveness of monoamine oxidase inhibitors, an antidepressant.
  • Ginkgo biloba extract: This ingredient may change the effectiveness of medications that affect the nervous system, such as clozapine, alprazolam, olanzapine. It may also cause changes in mood if taken with St. John’s wort, fluoxetine, and melatonin.

People with heart conditions or those taking blood pressure medication could experience unsafe drops in blood pressure, leading to:

  • loss of consciousness
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • difficulty concentrating

There are other methods and products on the market that claim to help increase penis size.

Research from 2010 shows that surgery is the only proven method to increase size, but it’s important to note that surgery is considered high risk and a last resort. It is not recommended by the American Urologic Association (AUA) and is not endorsed by most urologists.

Here is a closer look at the other treatments and products available. Note that we include general pricing information with each method so you can get a sense of the least expensive, moderate, and most expensive options and compare.


Like pills, lotions or oils use ingredients like vitamins and herbal aphrodisiacs to increase penis size. On average, they are also the least expensive option on this list. But these, like pills, are proven ineffective.

These lotions are unregulated and may contain unsafe ingredients. Some people may experience side effects to lotions containing certain ingredients like menthol and gingko biloba extract.

These side effects include:

  • allergic reaction
  • rashes
  • burning sensation


  • variety of products available
  • simple to use


  • products aren’t regulated
  • most products aren’t effective
  • could cause skin irritation or reactions
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Traction devices

Traction devices, also called penile extenders, are designed to be worn for an extended time. The main reason people may use a traction device is due to penile shortening secondary to Peyronie’s disease.

The device is strapped to a flaccid penis and worn for several hours every day. Traction devices use gentle tension to gradually stretch the penis.

A small 2011 study suggested that the devices may increase penis size by a half-inch to up to 2 inches. Larger scale research is needed to fully understand the risks and benefits of traction devices.

Andropenis is an FDA-approved device that may provide results for length and girth.


  • may increase penis length by 0.5 to 2 inches
  • FDA-approved devices available


  • may not work for everyone
  • limited research available on long-term safety and effectiveness
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Vacuum pumps

Penis pumps, also known as vacuum pumps, are sometimes used for treating ED. It’s considered an option for people who had their prostate removed or are not candidates for ED medications like Viagra.

Vacuum pumps are sometimes advertised to increase penis size, and pumps can provide a temporarily larger size. However, vacuum pumps may damage tissue or blood vessels in your penis, causing issues with future erections.

A popular vacuum pump brand is Encore. If you’re searching for a pump, it’s important to have the proper education about use and check for products with a vacuum limiter.


  • may increase penis size
  • may help treat ED symptoms


  • can cause damage if used incorrectly
  • results may be temporary
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Research from 2020 suggested surgery is the only effective option to increase penis size, but it still carries risks and is generally not recommended. In addition, this option is very expensive and likely isn’t covered by insurance unless medically necessary.

A few surgical procedures occasionally used for penis enlargement include:

  • injecting fat from another part of your body or filler into the shaft of your penis, which may only provide temporary effects, as part of the fat or filler can be absorbed
  • cutting the suspensory ligament and increasing length, though this option may affect the stability of erections
  • inserting inflatable or flexible implants

Penis enlargement surgeries are considered high risk. Most doctors believe the dangers aren’t worth the risks of surgery when used for purely cosmetic reasons. Typically, surgery is only recommended as the last treatment option for certain conditions like ED.


  • may increase penis size


  • generally not recommended due to health risks
  • most doctors believe the dangers outweigh the possible benefits
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Lotions• variety of products
• simple to use
• may cause irritation or skin reactions
• unregulated products
• products aren’t typically effective
Traction devices• could increase penis size up to 2 inches• may not work for everyone
• long-term safety and effectiveness unknown
Vacuum pumps • may help with ED symptoms• results are temporary
• could lead to tissue damage if used incorrectly
Surgery• could increase penis size• usually not recommended due to risks

There are no guarantees when it comes to enlarging your penis. Most options have little evidence to prove their effectiveness and may not be safe in the long term. It’s normal to have some concerns about your penis size, and there are a few options that may ease your mind:

  • Understand what’s average: It may just be a misperception about average penis size that has people worried. Studies show that the average penis size is closer to 5 inches. The study also found most men seeking penis enlargement treatments had average-size penises. Understanding what is typical may make people feel better without needing cosmetic treatments.
  • Weight management: Excess belly fat could partially cover your penis and make it look shorter. Regular exercise and following a nutritious diet may help. It can also increase endurance, mood, and confidence.
  • Communicate with your partner: It can be challenging to discuss insecurities with a partner, but opening up to them can increase intimacy and connection. You may be surprised how open communication benefits your sex life and increases pleasure for you and your partner.
  • Talk with a counselor or healthcare professional: Feeling unhappy with your sex life or penis size is common. Talking with a certified counselor, sex therapist, or psychologist can help cope with any insecurities and improve your experience with sex. If you’re concerned about function or interested in penis enlargement options, talk with a healthcare professional about options, safety, and effectiveness.

If you have any concerns about your penis size, talk with your doctor before trying any penis enlargement methods. Many of the methods people recommend to enlarge penis size are simply ineffective, and others can be harmful.

If you’re experiencing an allergic reaction, pain, or discomfort from using a penis enlargement product, stop use immediately and talk with your doctor.

At what age does your penis stop growing?

The majority of penis growth happens during puberty, and your penis isn’t likely to grow much after 18 or 19 years old.

How can you enlarge your penis naturally?

Even natural penis enlargement methods have little evidence to support their effectiveness. These methods appear to offer minimal results and may not be safe.

Talk with a doctor if you’re concerned about penis length to learn more about which methods could offer some results and how they affect health.

Is penis enlargement possible? How can you increase your size?

Most research shows that penis enlargement products aren’t effective, and there are no proven ways to increase penis size.

That being said, penis enlargement surgery is possible. Penuma is the only penis enlargement surgery cleared for commercial use under the FDA 510(k) regulation.

The device is FDA cleared for cosmetic enhancement. Penuma’s data only shows increased girth (and only in certain patient populations), though the implications from their site are that length will be improved.

All in all, penis enlargement surgery isn’t a recommended treatment by urologists, due to the high risks of complications and poor efficacy for most patients.

How do penis enlargement pills work?

Many penis enlargement pills claim to work by increasing blood flow to the genital area. However, most pills are proven to be ineffective at increasing penis size.

What do penis enlargement pills do?

Penis enlargement pills usually contain herbs, vitamins, and other natural compounds that claim to increase penis size. They claim to work by stimulating blood flow, hormones, and the male reproductive system. However, there’s no evidence to support these claims.

Do penis engagement pills work?

There’s currently no known penis engagement pill or male enhancement supplements known to work. Some of the pills could contain ingredients that may be harmful to health when consumed in large amounts.

What is the average penis size?

The average penis is about 5.1 inches long when erect.

Most products claiming to help increase penis size simply don’t work as claimed. Many of these products can even cause harm, potentially damaging your penis or interacting with medical conditions or medications.

Before you try any supplements or products, talk with a doctor to see how they might affect your health.

Ashley Braun, MPH, RD, is a health and wellness writer based in Michigan. Her work helps people understand what affects their health, so they can make informed choices to take back the control in their health and wellness journey.