Penis stretching refers to using your hands or a device to increase the length or girth of your penis.

Although there’s evidence to suggest that stretching can increase your size, the results are usually minimal. In some cases, they may even be temporary.

Read on to learn more about how penis stretching works, how to set realistic expectations, and safe stretching techniques you can try at home.

It’s important to remember that much of the evidence around penis stretching is anecdotal.

Stretching exercises

Manual stretching exercises involve using your hand to massage the tissues along the length of your penis. This is intended to stretch the skin and create “micro-tears” in the tissue. The tissues may appear engorged as they heal, making your penis 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 penis pump, for example. A penis 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 penis length.

Penile traction devices are also popular. The device pulls on your penis 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.

Research on penis stretching techniques is limited. None of the studies that have been done point to any one technique as an effective way to permanently lengthen the penis. However, a temporary increase in size may be possible.

One 2010 review reported that men who used the Andropenis stretching device saw an increase in size with extended daily use. Participants used the device for six hours per day over the course of four months. They gained anywhere from 1.8 to 3.1 centimeters (cm) in length.

Much more research is available for traction devices, though not necessarily for increasing penis length:

  • A 2011 study found that men who wore traction devices for up to nine hours a day over the course of three months gained up to an inch in length.
  • A 2013 review of penile traction studies found that traction devices were most useful for correcting penis curving or deformities, not increasing length.
  • A 2016 report also found that traction devices had negligible lengthening effects.

There’s no harm in trying stretching exercises. They may help you feel more comfortable with your penis size and appearance.

Stretching exercises

Before you do any manual stretching:

  • Only do these exercises while you’re flaccid.
  • Stop if the exercise causes pain or discomfort.
  • Sit or stand against a wall or table while you’re doing them.
  • Only do these exercises once or twice a day to avoid injury.
  • Talk to your doctor if you want to hold these exercises longer or do them more frequently.

To manually stretch your penis:

  1. Grip the head of your penis.
  2. Pull your penis upward, stretching it out for about 10 seconds.
  3. Pull your penis to the left for another 10 seconds, then to the right.
  4. Repeat these steps once or twice a day for about 5 minutes.

Or try this:

  1. Grip the head of your penis.
  2. Pull your penis upward.
  3. Press on the area around the base of your penis at the same time.
  4. Hold this position for about 10 seconds.
  5. Repeat these steps with your penis pulled to the left, applying pressure to the base of your penis on the right side.
  6. Repeat these steps with your penis pulled to the right, applying pressure to the base of your penis on the left side.
  7. Repeat this exercise once a day for up to 2 minutes.

To “jelq” your penis:

  1. Put your index finger and thumb in an O shape.
  2. Place the O-shaped gesture at the base of your penis.
  3. Make the O smaller until you put mild pressure on your penis shaft.
  4. Slowly move your finger and thumb toward the head of your penis until you reach the tip. Reduce the pressure if this feels painful.
  5. Repeat this once per day for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Stretching with a device

To use a penis pump:

  1. Place your penis inside the air-filled chamber.
  2. Use the pump mechanism to suck the air out of the chamber. This pulls blood into your penis, causing it to become erect.
  3. Attach the included ring or clamp to your penis to keep it erect for up to 30 minutes. It’s safe to have sex or masturbate during this time.
  4. Remove the ring.

To use a traction device:

  1. Insert your penis into the base end of the device.
  2. Secure the head of your penis within the two notches at the opposite end.
  3. Fasten the silicone tube around the shaft of the penis.
  4. Grip the ends of the silicone tube on the bottom of the device and slowly pull your penis outward. Stop pulling if it starts to feel painful or uncomfortable.
  5. Leave the penis in the stretched position for 4 to 6 hours a day.

Being too rough with your penis can cause large tears in the tissues or damage to the ligaments that connect your penis to your body. These injuries can potentially hinder your ability to get or maintain an erection.

When wearing a traction device, follow your doctor’s instructions for how long to wear it. Wearing it any longer can cause injuries that affect penis function.

After using a pump, don’t let the blood stay in your penis for more than 30 minutes. Having an erection for more than a few hours can permanently damage your penis.

Stretching exercises or devices may cause:

  • itching
  • minor bruising or discoloration
  • red spots along the penile shaft
  • numbness
  • vein rupture

See your doctor if your symptoms last for more than a couple of days or are severe. Your doctor can assess your symptoms and advise you on any next steps.

Your results will depend on the approach you take and how consistent you are with use.

Traction devices, for example must be used daily — often for months at a time — in order to achieve any noticeable effects.

Anecdotal reports suggest that using a penis pump can produce much faster results, but there isn’t any research to support this.

It’s also unclear how much time will pass before you see results from manual stretching exercises.

If you have questions or concerns about your penis size, talk to your doctor. They can discuss your options for lengthening and explain how to do so safely.

Learning how your penis responds to stretching and other forms of stimulation may help you feel more comfortable with your body. You may also notice changes in appearance or performance over time.

Be sure to follow any product directions or guidelines provided by your doctor. If performed incorrectly, stretching can result in injury or erectile dysfunction.

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience pain or discomfort while stretching, or if you notice any change in your erectile function.