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 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 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, VirilX.
VirilX 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.
VirilX is made with a mix of 21 ingredients:
- American ginseng
- avena sativa
- barrenwort (also known as horny goat weed) leaves
- boron citrate
- catuaba bark
- eleuthero root
- kola nut seed
- Korean ginseng
- L-arginine HCL
- maca leaves
- muira pauma
- nettle leaves
- orchic substance
- pumpkin seeds
- tribulus terrestris
VirilX is a proprietary blend, which means the company doesn’t have to release the amount of each ingredient they use in the product. Because the amount of each ingredient isn’t always known, it’s worth talking with your doctor before using to see if any of the listed ingredients could cause a negative reaction after use.
- sold over the counter and doesn’t require a prescription
- no risk guarantee and 90-day refund policy
- appears to be no long-term side effects — but without a clinical study, it’s still possible that long-term side effects could occur
- some users reported seeing improvements after a few weeks
- some users reported increased energy and stamina during exercise
- free shipping to the United States and Canada
- combination supplement of 21 different ingredients
- while VirilX hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is manufactured at an FDA-registered facility
- unlikely to be recommended by your doctor
- 15% restocking fee may apply to refund
- no clinical studies or trials on effectiveness
- some ingredients might interact negatively with certain medications you may already be taking
- other erectile dysfunction (ED) medications are available that have been clinically proven and are covered by insurance
- not accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- some complaints on the BBB website discuss side effects like swollen feet and blurry vision, while other complaints just discuss shipping or refund issues
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 VirilX, 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
- heart disease
- 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 VirilX are natural remedies speculated to:
- boost blood flow and energy
- decrease inflammation
- increase testosterone levels (which decline with age)
- keep the penis and attending organs functioning well
However, scientific research on these claims is hit or miss at best.
VirilX 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 VirilX 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 VirilX 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 VirilX 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 VirilX. One reviewer says VirilX caused stomach cramps.
Bottles of VirilX come with a 30-day supply. The company recommends taking two pills every day with 8 ounces of water.
Pricing for VirilX can depend on how much you buy at one time since there are discounts for buying multiple bottles in one order. The prices listed below are accurate as of October 2022 from the VirilX website. VirilX may also be available at a lower price from a large retail store like Walmart.
- One bottle: $54.95
- Three bottles pack: $48.95 per bottle
- Six bottles pack: $42.95 per bottle
VirilX is available directly from the manufacturer, Dignity Bio-Labs. The recommended daily usage is two capsules, and each bottle contains a full month’s supply of 60 capsules. Each bottle can be purchased individually or in a bulk pack of six or more at a discount. Shipping is free in the United States and Canada.
VirilX is also available through Amazon.com and potentially at a larger discounted price. However, it is worth noting that the supplier is not Dignity Bio-Labs, so the product you receive may be very different from Dignity Bio-Labs’ product.
Customers are sold the product with the promise of a 100% no-risk guarantee. If you’re unhappy with VirilX, the company says you can get a refund up to 90 days after purchase.
The company offers free shipping to the United States and Canada.
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 by the Better Business Bureau. As of October 2022, there have been 19 listed complaints on the site in the last three years, most of which involve people seeking refunds.
Reviews on VirilX’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% restocking fee deducted from their refunds. Others say they didn’t receive the product.
One reviewer rates the product 4 stars, noting, “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 VirilX.
|Avanafil (Stendra)||PDE-5 inhibitor — tablet||required||very effective for most people; comparable to Viagra|
|Sildenafil (Viagra)||PDE-5 inhibitor — tablet||required||very effective for most people|
|Tadalafil (Cialis)||PDE-5 inhibitor — daily tablet||required||very effective for most people, may be taken daily|
|Vardenafil (Levitra)||PDE-5 inhibitor — tablet||required||very effective for most people|
|Vacuum pumps||manual or battery-operated pump||not required||effective, but comes with risks if used incorrectly|
|Penile injections||injectable with syringe||required||very effective, but risks if injected incorrectly|
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.
Common medications for ED include:
- avanafil (Stendra)
- sildenafil (Viagra)
- tadalafil (Cialis)
- vardenafil (Levitra)
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.
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 VirilX to see a difference?
Some online reviewers say it takes a few weeks of taking the supplements regularly to see a difference. Others say VirilX has never worked.
Natural supplements respond differently from person to person.
Are there any negative long-term effects of taking VirilX?
It’s hard to say, since there aren’t any clinical trials on VirilX. We just don’t know enough about the product from clinical research 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?
A manufacturer’s recommended dosage should always be followed, as negative side effects could occur from overuse.
VirilX 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 VirilX.
It might be tempting to try VirilX or a similar supplement if you’re experiencing 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 first consulting with 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.