There are a number of nonsurgical options for extending your penis, including penile traction gadgets, penoscrotal rings, vacuum devices, and “physical exercises” that have become popular in the media.
Researchers from the University of Turin, Molinette Hospital, out of Italy looked for studies around the topics of short penises and potential treatments to see how and if these devices work. The result of their search was just ten studies.
One study showed that vacuum devices do not work. They don’t show any significant effect on the length of the penis within six months, though the researchers did note that it left some men psychologically satisfied. There was also no science to back up the effectiveness of penis-lengthening exercises.
The few studies that were properly conducted on penile extenders, which elongate the penis using mechanical traction, showed that such devices can in fact lengthen the penis according to the researchers.
One such study was a study from 2002 published in the International Journal
of Impotence Research. This study showed that a particular penis extender
was able to add up to 0.7 inches (1.7 cm) to a penis on average when used for
at least six hours a day across four months. There was another study that backed
up this finding, showing that it produced results if used for four hours a day across
six months. Another brand name Penis pump that has quickly gained noteriety in
was also shown to increase the penis length of participants in a 2010 study published
in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Who Wants These Treatments?
Many men who become concerned about the length of their penis suffer from a condition known as “dysmorphobia”, which is when they see some imaginary flaw in their physical appearance as being real. In this case it means that they perceive their penis as being too small, even if it isn’t.
It’s worth noting that penile shortening is a genuine medical condition and it can be caused by having a radical prostatectomy to treat prostate cancer. A small penis could also be caused by Peyronie’s Disease, which is when the erect penis is deformed, and as birth and development defects. There is also the “hidden penis” condition caused by obesity, aging with too much abdominal fat and skin, and a reduction in penile skin from a circumcision. These make the penis “shorter”.
One study from the International Journal Of Impotence Research from 2002 looked at how prevalent the penile dysmorphobia condition is. It showed that 67 men who were a median of 27 years old went to the Italian university hospital across two years complaining about problems with the length of their penis. None of those 67 men actually had a short penis. All of them were average or larger.
Sixty percent of those men said that they began feeling inadequate about the length of their penis during childhood when they saw how endowed their friends were. 57% of these men felt that the normal length of a penis should be between 3.9 inches and 6.7 inches, or 10 and 17 cm. The rest of them were unsure what the “normal length” of a penis should be. The results of these studies suggest that perhaps penis lengthening is not always the answer.
Perhaps the largest study looking into penis size was one that looked at over 3,000 men. The results of the study were similar to the other one; many men who felt that their penises were too small actually had average sized penises and misguided opinions about what the average size of a penis was. This study also came from the International Journal of Impotence Research and was released in 2002.
So what counts as a normal sized penis? A penis longer than 1.6 inches long (4cm) when flaccid and over 3 inches (7.5cm) when erect. The size of the average penis seems to vary between studies but Mondanni advises that a good average is 3.5 inches (9 cm) flaccid, 4.5 inches (12.5cm) stretched, and 5.9 inches (15cm) erect.