Man taking a pill in bedShare on Pinterest
Chee Gin Tan/Getty Images

If you’re looking to put a spark in your sex life, it might be tempting to order some male enhancement supplements, also known as penis enlargement supplements.

These dietary supplements can be purchased without a prescription. Companies make lofty promises of big benefits, such as an elevated libido and an enlarged penis. These supplements seem to be everywhere these days. But do they work?

Like some prescription medications (like Viagra) that treat erectile dysfunction (ED), alternative male enhancement supplements work to increase blood flow to the penis.

If you have certain health conditions, such as liver disease or hypertension, your doctor may advise staying away from alternative or prescription pills to support ED.

As with any supplement in the United States, penis enlargement supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). So it’s important to do your homework and speak with a healthcare professional if you have questions.

This article looks at one specific supplement, Viril X.

Viril X enhancement is sold by Dignity Bio-Labs, which is based out of Pacoima, California. The company sells a variety of supplements intended for cognitive, joint, and prostate support, among others.

Viril X is made with a mix of 21 ingredients:

Viril X is a proprietary blend, which means the company doesn’t have to release the amount of each ingredient they use in the product.

It’s always best to consult with your doctor before taking any natural supplement.

With ED, the inability to achieve and sustain an erection isn’t unusual. Sometimes, ED presents as a reduced interest in sexual activity.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, talk with your physician, says Dr. Puja Uppal, a board certified family medicine physician and the chief medical officer at Think Healthy.

However, it’s unlikely a urologist will recommend a supplement, like Viril X, to help with ED symptoms. ED is a complex condition that involves your overall health, hormones, and state of mind.

Uppal says there could be a number of underlying health conditions causing ED symptoms, such as:

  • sleep apnea
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • ADHD
  • other mental health conditions

It’s possible to have an underlying condition without knowing you have it, so it’s always best to talk with your doctor rather than self-treating at home.

Additionally, Uppal notes, “I never advise my patients to take non FDA regulated supplements, because we simply don’t know what’s in them.”

Many of the ingredients in Viril X are natural remedies speculated to:

However, scientific research on these claims is hit or miss at best.

Viril X is also intended to support the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a neurotransmitter that’s the building block of an erection. It acts as a relaxant, allowing blood vessels to open up or dilate, swelling the tissues.

One Viril X ingredient, L-arginine, is the precursor to nitric oxide, a molecule that influences the body’s soft muscle areas, one being penile tissue.

L-arginine’s role in treating erectile dysfunction symptoms has been studied, and results show some positive findings.

A 2019 research review highlighted various research studies on L-arginine used alone or in combination with another medication for ED treatment. The review noted that there’s some evidence that L-arginine is effective, but there are few studies and many have small sample sizes.

While the ingredients in Viril X are natural, it doesn’t mean they won’t cause side effects.

Ginseng, pumpkin seeds, and cayenne may cause mild irritation in some people. And natural stimulants can cause anxiety in people sensitive to caffeine or similar substances.

Additionally, if you’re on any medication at all, it’s best to speak with your doctor before taking any supplements. Each of the ingredients in Viril X has the potential to react with a prescription medication.

L-arginine, for example, shouldn’t be used if you’re on antiplatelets or anticoagulants. It could increase the risk of heavy bleeding. It’s also thought to have reactions with medications for the heart, diabetes, and blood pressure.

Some online reviewers complain of diarrhea after taking Viril X. One reviewer says Viril X caused stomach cramps.

Bottles of Viril X come with a 30-day supply. The company recommends taking two pills every day with 8-ounces of water.

Pricing for Viril X depends on how much you buy.

  • One bottle: $54.95
  • Three bottles pack: $48.95 per bottle
  • Six bottles pack: $42.95 per bottle

The Dignity Bio-Labs website says the company conducts third-party testing on all products. The company manufactures in the United States in an FDA registered facility in Utah.

The website says, “The production facilities our products are produced in have met stringent performance standards regarding cleanliness and maintenance.”

Dignity Bio-Labs is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau. There are 21 listed complaints on the site, most of which involve people seeking refunds. Some complaints have been rectified.

Customers get a 100 percent no-risk guarantee. If you’re unhappy with Viril X, you can get a refund up to 90 days after purchase.

The company offers free shipping to the United States and Canada.

Reviews on Viril X’s efficacy are mixed. Some reviewers rate the product highly and say they will purchase more. Other positive reviews state they had more energy for work or the gym.

Some lackluster reviews say the product doesn’t work. Some reviewers note there’s a 15 percent restocking fee deducted from their refunds. Others say they didn’t receive the product.

One reviewer rates the product 4 stars, saying, “It takes time to see the effects.”

On the Dignity Bio-Labs site, however, the product has more than 3,700 ratings, averaging more than 4 stars.

There are no clinical trials or clinical data for Viril X.

If you have ED or suspect you might have it, your best bet is to see your doctor for a diagnosis. They can help you figure out what may be causing your ED and recommend a treatment plan.

Medication

Common medications for ED include:

If you’re in the United States, you’ll need a prescription for any of these medications. If you want to buy through a telehealth company, make sure you’re purchasing from a legitimate brand, like Roman, Hims, BlueChew, or Lemonaid.

ED medications are commonly counterfeited, and counterfeit products can be dangerous to consume.

ED devices

Some people have success with vacuum pumps or ED rings. Vacuum pumps help draw blood into the penis to create an erection. ED rings help keep blood in the penis to maintain an existing erection.

These devices can be purchased online over the counter, but it’s still best to talk with your doctor first. They can help you find an FDA approved device.

If you’re finding that you’re not able to get or keep an erection long enough to have sex, or if you’re experiencing low libido that interferes with your sex life, consider talking with your doctor.

A good place to start is with your primary care physician. In some cases, they may refer you to a specialist, such as a urologist.

Keep in mind that ED is very common, and doctors are used to discussing it. Be sure to come prepared with any questions you have, and be as open as you can about your symptoms so that your doctor can help you find a solution.

How long will I need to take Viril X to see a difference?

Some online reviewers say it takes a few weeks of taking the supplements regularly to see a difference. Others say Viril X has never worked.

Natural supplements respond differently from person to person.

Are there any negative long-term effects of taking Viril X?

It’s hard to say, since there aren’t any clinical trials on Viril X. We just don’t know enough about the product to conclude if there are long-term side effects.

Can I take more than the recommended amount if I find two pills aren’t working?

You should not take more than the recommended dose.

Viril X is composed of roots and herbs, some of which have been shown to spark allergic reactions. Ginseng is one of these plant ingredients. It’s shown to initiate insomnia, headaches, and dizziness — and that’s just one of the 21 ingredients in Viril X.

It might be tempting to try Viril X, or a similar supplement if you’re experiencing a low libido or symptoms of ED.

However, any natural supplement is not subject to FDA rules, and manufacturers can keep proprietary ingredients and recipes private.

If you’re on any prescription medications, you shouldn’t take a supplement without consulting a doctor. If you’re having symptoms of ED, they could be caused by an underlying health condition that’s unrelated to sex.

Tracee Herbaugh is a writer and journalist who lives in the Boston area. She writes about culture, lifestyle, health, and family relationships. You can view her work online or find her on Twitter.