Many men believe that their penises are too small, and it often causes anxiety and lack of self-confidence. There are treatment options available for increasing penis size but most have no science backing them. Penis enlargement surgery can help to increase length and girth but is also associated with possible adverse effects.
- Average Size
- DIY Options
- Lifestyle Changes
- Pros & Cons
- Before & Aftercare
- Side Effects
- List of Sources
Many men experience chronic anxiety because they believe their penises are too small to be attractive or satisfy a lover. The male enhancement industry continues to thrive as more men learn about their options for penis enlargement. Surgical and nonsurgical treatments exist, but none are completely reliable and all have possible adverse side effects.
This article examines the effectiveness and safety of various penis enlargement options. It also reviews average penis size, ideal candidates for penis enlargement surgery, different surgical approaches, before and after care tips, and various lifestyle changes that will likely enhance your sex life without the need for surgery.
Average Penis Size
It is important to know that the size of your penis does not determine whether you are a sensitive and giving lover or not. Many partners do not care about penis size nearly as much as they desire intimacy, romance, and a true bond during sex.
The good news for many men is that the average penis size is smaller than typically assumed. According to the Journal of Sexual Medicine, a study of more than 15,000 men from around the world found that:
- The average flaccid penis is 3.61 inches (9.16 cm) in length
- The average flaccid penis is 3.66 inches (9.31 cm) in diameter
- The average erect penis is 5.16 in (13.12 cm) in length
- The average erect penis is 4.59 in (11.66 cm) in diameter
The authors of the study estimated that only about 5% of men have penises longer than 6.29 inches (16 cm) when fully erect. Roughly another 5% have penises that are shorter than 3.94 inches (10 cm).
When an erect penis is less than 3 inches (7.5 cm), the condition is called “micropenis”. Men who consistently feel that their penises are too small, or that other men’s are much larger, may be diagnosed with a condition called “penile dysmorphophobia disorder” (PDD). A man who feels his partner will think his penis is too small may have “small penis anxiety” (SPA).
Even if your penis is smaller than average, your partner may not be concerned. If you still feel negatively about the size of your penis, then talk with your doctor about the following nonsurgical and surgical penis enlargement options.
DIY (at-home) Penis Enlargement Options
There are numerous pills, lotions, herbs, vitamins, vacuum pumps, traction devices, stretching weights, and other male enhancement products designed and mass-marketed to increase the length of the penis.
However, there is very limited scientific evidence that supports using any of them. Further, some can irreversibly harm the tissues of the penis and cause pain or disfigurement. Do your research before buying, and use these products cautiously.
Lifestyle Changes for Increased Size & Better Sex
If you are considering a penis enlargement procedure to enhance your sex life, then it is good to think about some lifestyle changes that may help first before undergoing invasive surgery:
- Exercising regularly to improve health, build confidence, and visually increase the size of the penis
- Stop smoking, as studies have shown increased risk of ED and impotence in men who smoke
- Have open conversations about sexual preferences with your partner
- Being attentive to your partner’s needs in general
Before going ahead with a plan to have your penis enlarged by any method, it is wise to spend some time considering other ways to enhance your self-confidence, physical attractiveness, and sex life. Take your time and be sure that surgical correction is really what you need.
Goal for Penis Enlargement Surgery
There are no reputable medical organizations that recommend penis enlargement surgery solely for cosmetic reasons. It is recommended only in cases where a medical condition like micropenis interferes with normal penile function or quality of life.
However, surgical procedures to increase the length of the penis continue to gain popularity, even among men with normal-sized penises. In many cases, patients unknowingly suffer from PDD, believing that their penises are too small relative to those of most other men.
Micropenis can be congenital or acquired, and necessitate penile elongation surgery. 2017 research from Western University asserts, “The goal of intervention in these patients is to restore a functional penis size to allow normal standing micturition, enable satisfying sexual intercourse, and improve patient quality of life.”
The Mayo Clinic reports that there is no reliable way to increase the length or girth of the penis. Remember that your partner may not be nearly as concerned about it as you are. Honest communication about sexual preferences and desires often sparks renewed libido and increased satisfaction in both partners without the need for surgically lengthening the penis.
Ideal Candidates for Penis Enlargement Surgery
Penis enlargement surgery may be recommended to improve or restore sexual or urinary penile function in those with congenital or acquired micropenis. This type of procedure may also benefit men with Peyronie’s disease, a condition typically marked by crooked and/or painful erections, and penile tissue damage during intercourse.
A man with a normal-sized penis may also be a good candidate for an enlargement surgery if he:
- Believes that having a larger penis will increase his sexual prowess and confidence
- Feels that his penis is disproportionately small relative to the rest of his body
- Has a medical condition that has caused penile shrinking
All candidates for penis enlargement surgery should be in good health and have a positive attitude about having it performed. It is also important to maintain a realistic expectation about the possible results. Some surgeries do not go as planned and final results after healing cannot be guaranteed. Irreversible penile disfigurement is possible.
Pros & Cons of Penis Enlargement Surgery
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) reports the main benefits of penis enlargement are increased:
- Penis length and width
- Self-esteem and self-confidence
- Sense of sexual potency and overall masculinity
Conversely, some of the cons associated with this type of procedure include results that do not meet the patient’s expectations, scarring, reduced penile sensitivity, less rigid erections, and irreversible disfigurement.
It is important to carefully consider having any type of surgery performed. Completing exhaustive and thorough research is extremely important, and be sure to address all questions and concerns with your surgeon before committing.
Penis Enlargement Surgery Before & Aftercare
For some patients, a penis enlargement surgery can create a new sense of well-being and masculinity by adding length and girth to the penis. Subsequently, this can lead to stronger self-assurance, increased confidence, and a greater quality of life in various areas.
If you are considering this type of penis surgery, then it will be helpful to understand the basics of what to expect before and after the procedure. Here are some key facts to know:
- The surgery typically takes less than 2 hours to perform
- Most patients can return home on the day of the surgery
- You should arrange for someone to take you to and from the surgery clinic
- Expect redness, swelling, and some pain for 2-3 weeks after the surgery
- Sexual activity including masturbation is not recommended for six weeks after surgery
Your surgeon will give you a list of pre- and post-operative instructions to encourage healing and recovery. These may include ensuring adequate hydration and stopping smoking before the surgery, discontinuing the use of blood thinners like aspirin, and making sure that you have realistic expectations about the procedure results.
You may need to take pain medications, anti-inflammatories, or antibiotics to help you heal and manage pain and swelling after the procedure.
Recovery times vary significantly between patients. Heavy lifting or physical work is not recommended for 4 weeks. Most patients can return to non-strenuous work within a few days.
Surgical Penis Enlargement Procedures
Penis enlargement surgery is commonly called penoplasty, phalloplasty, penile enhancement, penis enhancement, penis augmentation, and male enhancement. Like all surgeries, it has dangers and may not work as expected.
There are two primary types of surgeries used for penis enlargement: augmentation with fat tissue or dermal fillers, and ligament transection.
Penis Enlargement Dermal Fillers Hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers that are used to plump the lips and fill in skin wrinkles are also used to increase the penile length and girth. Fillers like Juvederm®, Perlane®, and Restylane® can be injected into the shaft of a penis to make it bigger.
Note that the results of this minimally invasive penis enlargement surgery are temporary and may require multiple treatments to achieve the degree of augmentation desired. This type of dermal filler can be dissolved quickly if the results are unsatisfactory, botched, or simply no longer wanted. This treatment is not effective for improving erectile dysfunction of any type.
Penis Enlargement Fat Transfer This procedure uses fat tissue that is harvested from other parts of the body to increase the size of the patient’s penis. It involves grafting the fat onto the surface of the shaft of the penis, instead of injecting it into the shaft. Most patients require multiple treatments and much of the fat tissue that is grafted gets reabsorbed by the body. Some patients reabsorb up to 80% within one year after the procedure.
Penis Enlargement Ligament Transection A suspensory ligament transection is the most common surgical procedure performed for increasing the length of a penis. It involves severing the ligament that attaches the shaft of the penis to the pubic bone. This alters the penile angle and causes the penis to hang lower than it used to, thereby appearing longer than before.
This technique is reported to increase the length of a flaccid penis by 1-3 centimeters; less than an inch for most patients. It does not increase the length of the penis when erect. Some men report that having the suspensory ligament severed makes it difficult to achieve penetration during intercourse.
Possible Adverse Side Effects
Like all surgeries, penis enlargement surgery has risks for adverse side effects. The use of anesthesia agents can cause nausea, vomiting, confusion, hoarse voice, and fatigue.
The surgery can cause pain, redness, swelling and/or loss of sensation in the penis and surrounding areas. More serious concerns include suture detachment, infection, and penile tissue blood clots.
Some men are not satisfied with the results from penis augmentation or penis enlargement surgery. Outcomes are not completely predictable and can result in a misshapen, bulky, or curved penis.
Discuss any concerns or questions you have with your surgeon and be sure to maintain realistic expectations about all possibilities.
There is no guaranteed method for safely, effectively, and predictably enlarging your penis. However, there are some techniques and surgical procedures that have limited scientific evidence to support their use.
Experts recommend making sure to openly communicate with your partner about your preferences, desires, and concerns before ever considering an invasive surgery like a suspensory ligament transection, or even a less invasive procedure like fat transfer or dermal filler injections.
Many times, people are relieved to find that the size of their penis is not even a concern to their partner. They find that being open about what they want, and directly addressing any concerns (like penis size) to be greatly beneficial. Many couples experience a resurgence in their sex lives simply by talking about it more.
If you are considering a penis enlargement procedure of any type, discuss it with your doctor. The size and shape of your penis were determined before your birth and has no bearing on your person and worth. However, penis enhancement treatments are available if you choose them. Do your research and take your time making this important decision.
List of Sources
- Mayo Clinic - Penis-enlargement products: Do they work?
- Pubmed - A review of penile elongation surgery
- Wiley Online Library - Am I normal? A systematic review and construction of nomograms for flaccid and erect penis length and circumference in up to 15 521 men
- American Society of Plastic Surgeons - Dermal Fillers