How Does Penis Enlargement Work? A Definitive Guide

penis enlargement articleThe topic of “penis enlargement” often brings up thoughts email spam, late night infomercials, and advertisements in men’s magazines. But behind all the advertising lies some truth, and with some effort you can actually enlarge your penis size.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about penis enlargement. Can I really enlarge my penis? If so, what methods work best? And, much more.

Penis Enlargement - Does it Work
(Shutterstock Images)

Written by Rob Michaels
Updated 01/17/2019

The Essentials of Penis Enlargement

  • Penis Enlargement – Yes, if you really want to enlarge your penis size, it’s possible. However, like all body modifications, such as bodybuilding or losing weight, it’ll take work and time to see the results you want.
  • Most Common Types of Penis Enlargement – The main ways you can enlarge your penis are through:
    1. Penis exercises and penis exercise equipment,
    2. Penis pills, supplements and herbal lotions that have vasodilators and testosterone boosting effects, and
    3. Penis enlargement surgery.
  • Penis Exercises – Penis exercises are often recommended due to the inadequacy of pills and supplements, and the common side effects of surgery. Many times, all of the methods are combined for greater effects, such as taking supplements while doing manual penis exercises.
  • Penis Size and Enlargement – A study of 15,000 men in the British Journal of Urology International (BJUI) showed that the average erect penis length was just over 13 cm or approximately 5 inches, and the average erect girth was found to be 11.66 cm or 4.59 inches.[1] Interestingly, the researchers also found that only 5% of men have an erect penis length greater than 16 cm or 6.3 inches.

Is Penis Enlargement Possible?

Penis Enlargement - Like Weight Training
Just like weight training, penis enlargement takes time. (Shutterstock Images)

Yes, penis enlargement is possible. 
It is real.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy, automatic or without risk. However, it IS possible.

Scholarly research has gotten more abundant, in recent years, but still is quite lacking in the diversity of penis enlargement methods used and their effectiveness. However, anecdotal evidence abounds, and there are thousands of men right here on who have experienced real, permanent penile enlargement.

Just like with bodybuilding, to achieve real, measurable, permanent results, you need:

  • Time,
  • Dedication,
  • A proper workout plan,
  • Proper technique, and
  • Consistent effort.

Again, just like bodybuilding or weight loss, each person’s time frame for reaching their goals is unique. Just like two similar sized people can eat the exact same diet, and experience different effects, the same is true for men pursuing penis enlargement exercises. You can read more about why this happens here:

Why Haven’t I Seen the Penis Enlargement Results Everyone Else Has?

How Does Penis Enlargement Work?

penis enlargement amazingPenis enlargement works based on the same principle as muscle building for other parts of your body. When the tissues of the corpus spongiosum and corpus cavernosa in the penis (see the Interior Structure of the Penis image below) are subjected to stretching, micro-tears occur. The tissues appear engorged as they heal, making your penis look larger.[2] This facilitates new cell growth to repair those tears. The same thing happens when you build muscle tissue in other places in your body.

Think of the penis like a brick wall. If you  pulled apart the courses of bricks and then filled the space between with new bricks, your wall would increase in size. New cell growth works the same way in your body, filling in the spaces with new cells.

There are many examples of the body’s amazing ability to stretch and grow. From native customs involving the insertion of lip plates by Mursi women of Africa[3], to neck rings worn by women of the Paduang tribe in Burma[4], all the way to the popular practice of gauging or stretching ear lobes.[5]

In fact, a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that using a particular penis stretcher could increase men’s average flaccid length by 8.8 to 10.5 cm, or about 3/4 inches.[6] This research shows the penis can indeed stretch. increasing penile length and girth.

penis enlargement structure

How Do I Enlarge My Penis? The Different Penis Enlargement Methods

When it comes to enlargement, you have options. Some are considered more effective than others, while other methods are seem drastic than others. Which method you choose depends on how much time you want to commit to your goals, how much money (if any) you’d like to spend, and how comfortable you are with with each particular technique

Manual Penis Enlargement Exercises

penis enlargement survey
Survey by

Manual penis enlargement exercises are an effective and natural form of penis enlargement. Though not many studies have been done to confirm its effectiveness, there’s evidence it works as shown by the Chartham Study. It was done by Dr. Brian Richards and was published in the British Journal of Sexual Medicine.[7]

Due to the disadvantages and sometimes poor results seen with penile surgery and supplements, many men prefer penile exercises along with exercise equipment to achieve their male enhancement goals. This is supported by the men who report success in our PEGym forums, as shown in our survey of 547 men.

Oftentimes, the other penis enlargement methods are combined with a manual exercise routines, such as taking supplements and doing penis enlargement exercises, to maximize your enlargement results.

Penile exercises, when done properly, are certainly a safe, effective, and permanent way to gain growth. For more information on how jelqing and other manual penile exercises work, read our article on Penis Exercises.

The Pros and Cons of Manual Penis Enlargement Exercises

The Pros 

  • According to Healthline, jelqing and other penile exercises can actually help you feel comfortable about your body, and helps you better understand your erections.[2]
  • It’s free. You don’t need to purchase equipment or supplements, and you can find lots of helpful information on how to do manual penis enlargement exercises right here on PEGym.
  • There’s no equipment needed, which means you can do them almost anywhere you have a little privacy.
  • It’s easy to control exercise intensity with your hands – which means you’re less likely to injure yourself compared to using devices.

The Cons 

  • You must learn multiple manual penis exercises.
  • You must learn multiple manual penis exercises.
  • You must determine an effective routine of penis exercises.
  • You need uninterrupted, private time to do manual penis exercises.

If done incorrectly, penile exercises can be ineffective or may lead to injury. A study in Translational Andrology and Urology noted reports of bruising, pain and fibrosis after improper jelqing or exercise techniques.[8] Fibrosis is the thickening and scarring of connective tissue of the penis due to injury.

How Manual Penis Enlargement Exercises Work

Penis Enlargement - Horse Squeeze Exercise
The Horse Squeeze Exercise

Manual penis enlargement exercises work by either contracting to strengthen the muscles (Kegels), applying traction (penis stretches), or forcing nutrient-rich blood into the penis (jelqs), to stimulate growth. The good news?


As noted, manual penis enlargement exercises do not require any special equipment other than your dedication, time, and a suitable place to exercise. 

Common Types of Penis Enlargement Exercises

Penis exercises come in many forms. The most common ones are:

  1. Jelqing
  2. Kegels
  3. Compression
  4. Stretching

For additional information, you can read about penis exercises in our article, Penis Exercising 101 – How Penis Exercises Work, and How it Can Work for You. An instructional book, such as Penis Exercises, will have detailed instructions and photos of the individual exercises, as well as the routines you should use, to safely get the penis enlargement results you want.


Jelqing is a basic exercise  with ancient Arabic origins where the hands pull on the penis, causing it to stretch.[9] It uses a milking-like motion to massage  nutrient-rich blood into the penis helping increase size.[10] This is a simple, but effective, four-step exercise, performed while the penis is at 50-75% erection level.Take note: Beginners are not recommended to jelq with a higher erection level. It can lead to injury. Jelqing at higher erection levels can be done by more advanced exercisers.. The four-steps include:
Jelqing OK-grip

  1. Form an OK-grip with your index finger and thumb, around the base of your penis.
  2. With a light pressure, slowly move your grip up the shaft of the penis.
  3. Stop just before the glans.
  4. Repeat.

Read the What is Jelqing? page for full details on jelqing, and the variations to maximize growth.


Kegel Exercises for Men - Squats with Kegels
Squats with Kegels (Shutterstock Images)

Penis Enlargement - How to Do Kegel Exercises for MenOriginally developed for women, Kegels are a great way for men to strengthen their pubococcygeus (PC) muscles.[11] These are the skeletal muscles needed to support your erection angle and control orgasm.

Moreover, Kegeling increases blood flow to the penis which helps indirectly enlarge it.

Healthier pelvic floor muscles also improves your erection quality and function.[12] Kegel Exercises can be performed nearly anywhere. In fact,  men and women can do them anytime they have a little downtime, like waiting in line at the store or waiting on hold for a phone call. People won’t know you’re Kegeling.

How to Kegel:

  1. Locate your pelvic floor muscles.
  2. Contract your muscles.
  3. Hold the contraction.
  4. Release and repeat.

Learn more about how to Kegel and the benefits in our Kegels for Men article.


These exercises use compression to stress the tissues of the penis, encouraging new cellular growth and enlargement. Compression exercises are particularly good for girth expansion.

penis enlargement compressorThe Compressor is one of the more common advanced compression exercises and is excellent for girth enhancement. This is a two-handed exercise. Here are the steps for doing the Compressor exercise:

  1. Use an overhand OK-grip tightly around the base of your penis.
  2. Place your other hand in an overhand OK-grip, tightly over the area where the glans of your penis meets the shaft. Do not put direct pressure on the glans.
  3. Slowly bring both hands slightly toward each other, compressing the shaft of the penis.
  4. While the shaft is compressed, bend the shaft back and forth, to put tension along those areas to increase growth.


To stretch the penis is to stress the tissues creating micro-tears. As new tissues grows, filling in the space created by the tears, the overall size of the penis grows.

However, you do not want to stretch so hard to cause pain.

Be penis enlargement stretchsure to gradually increase your intensity over the course of your exercise regimen. Stretching can be performed in multiple directions:

  • Straight out away from the body – This stretch is perfect as a general length exercise.
  • To the left or right (pictured) – Stretching to the left or right is useful when correcting a penis curve.
  • Downward or upward – Stretching down or up places the tension on the upper or lower part of the shaft (respectively).
  • Or a combination of any of the above – Combine stretch directions to maximize the areas targeted by your stretching workout.

Penis Enlargement Devices

Technology exists to make our lives easier, and penis enlargement is no exception. Mechanical penis enlargement devices can be used in lieu of manual exercises or in conjunction with them.

How Penis Enlargement Devices Work

Instead of manually causing the forces needed to promote penile growth, penis enlargement devices do it for you. The advantage of using a device is the increased intensity level for applied pressure. Similar to the way you utilize gym weights to increase your strength, penile extenders, pumps, and weights can provide a higher intensity workout.

The Pros of Penis Enlargement Devices

  • Very effective when used properly, which can result in reaching your goals faster than manual penis enlargement exercises alone.
  • Some penis enlargement devices, like the Bathmate, are designed for multi-tasking, to help maximize your time.

The Cons of Penis Enlargement Devices

  • The cost. Penis enlargement devices can range in price from less than $100 all the way up to over $500.
  • Traveling. If you travel, you need to take your device with you, to maintain your penis enlargement routine.

Common Penis Enlargement Devices

These devices most commonly fall into three categories:

  1. Extenders mechanically stretch the penis
  2. Weights use gravity to facilitate stretching
  3. Pumps use vacuum for tissue expansion and to force blood into the tissues of the penis

Penis Extenders

phallosan penis extenderExtenders are a simple traction device. Although they come in a variety of designs, the principle behind each is the same. The penis extender places increasing tension on the penis shaft, creating micro-tears in the cells which help build a longer penis.

When it comes to effectiveness, research by Italian urologist Dr. Paolo Gontero showed how penis extenders can be used to treat ‘short penis.’[13]

Published in the British Journal of Urology International, results showed 2.3 cm increase in flaccid length, and 1.7 cm in erect length. Popular extenders include:

Penis Enlargement Hangers & Weights

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Penis hangers and weights also traction-type devices. However, instead of the device itself creating the traction through expansion of the device, the traction is created by weights that are hung from the penis and the effect of gravity. A larger penis is created by the same physiological process as with the extender. When you hang weights on your penis long enough, it can help extend its length.

Popular hangers and weights include:

Penis Enlargement Pumps

Penis pumps use vacuum pressure to promote penis enlargement. As with extenders, there are a plethora of designs on the market for penis pumps. However, they all include some form of cylinder that fits over the penis and a method to create a vacuum in the tube.

Bathmate penis pump
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This forces blood to rush into the penis, engorging it. Penis pumps can also be used with a cock ring, for men with erectile difficulties. According to Dr. Larry Lipschultz, penis pumps are designed to help men achieve and maintain an erection.[14] He also highlighted one of its main benefits, which is supporting penile tissue health, and maintaining length and size after prostate surgery.

One popular pump, the Bathmate, can be used both in and out of the bath or shower. Please read our article, Penis Pumping: Techniques and Routines for more information on penis pumps. Our top-rated penis enlargement pumps include:

Penis Enlargement Pills and Lotions

Herbal remedies for penis enlargement are available in a wide variety on the market today. They can come in the form of a supplement, taken orally, or as a cream or lotion, applied directly to the penis

How Penis Enlargement Supplements Work

Eastern medical professionals have long known the value of herbal remedies, and it’s not surprising there are a various herbs that can be used for penis enlargement. Certain herbs temporarily stimulate blood flow, an important component for penis growth.

The trickiest part is figuring out which herbs have real value. There are plenty of “remedies” on the internet that either don’t work, have undesirable side effects, or cause actual health risks. Finding products with safe ingredients known to effectively aid enlargement is essential.

Common Penis Enlargement Supplements

The most popular herbal remedies typically include one or more of the following:

Penis Enlargement Supplements - Herbal Ingredients

According to Healthline, supplements containing L-arginine have been widely studied as a treatment for erectile dysfunction [ED] and other conditions.[15] However, taking L-arginine alone won’t help improve ED or help enlarge the penis. It must be taken with another supplement like pycnogenol to experience its effects.

Research in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy also showed that L-arginine and pycnogenol supplements helped a significant number of men ages 25 to 45 with ED achieve normal erections.[16] It also did not have any unpleasant side effects.

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Our top-rated supplements include:

  • MaleExtra – Enhances penis enlargement, promotes hardness, more intense orgasms, and increased libido, stamina and erection hardness.
  • VigRX Plus – Penis enlargement supplement, with increased hardness, stamina, and more intense orgasms.

NOTE: There is no substitute for verifying research from experienced sources. Make sure you’ve read up on any herbal product before usage — we recommend researching your options and consulting your doctor before taking male enhancement supplements.

Penis Enlargement Surgery

Penis Enlargement Surgery
Getty Images

Surgery is the most drastic method of enlarging your penis. However, this is a permanent and immediate method of enlargement. These increases are typically most noticeable in the flaccid state, so be sure you understand that quoted increases may reflect flaccid growth, not erect.

How Penis Enlargement Surgery Works

Penis enlargement surgery involves invasive medical alterations to the penis. According to London-based plastic surgeon, Dr. Massimiliano Marcellino, the lengthening is achieved by cutting a ligament inside the pubis which holds the penis to a certain angle.[17] For widening or increasing girth, the surgeon inject the penis with the patient’s own fat. This is administered under the skin of the shaft. Other procedures include wrapping a cellular matrix sheet around the penis shaft under the skin, and glanular enhancement, which enlarges the head of the penis and keeps the glans proportional.

Risks of penis enlargement surgery include:

  • Loss of erection angle,
  • Erectile dysfunction,
  • Nerve damage, and
  • Numerous other potential complications, up to and including death.

Common Penis Enlargement Surgery Types

There are three primary surgeries used for penis enlargement:

  1. Ligament severing
  2. Dermal implant
  3. Glanular enhancement

Deciding What’s Right for You

Selecting the penis enlargement method that’s right for you depends on your personal factors – such as the amount of time and dedication you’re willing to spend in your enlargement efforts, the amount of money you are willing to spend, and your balancing of risk, versus reward for methods like surgery.

The following is a chart summarizing the main penis enlargement methods, which types are common to that method, how the method works, and the pros and cons of the method, to help in your decision making process.

Penis Enlargement Exercises Jelqing, Kegels, Compression, & Stretching Manual tension causes micro-tears, and nutrient-rich blood is forced into the penis, to facilitate new cellular growth Lots of anecdotal evidence that it works; no special equipment required; promotes other sexual health benefits like stamina; it’s free Takes time and commitment; can be difficult to stay motivated; not a lot of medical evidence that proves it works, but there are several studies
Enlargement Devices Extenders, Weights & Pumps The device causes tension on the penis and/or forces nutrient-rich blood into the penis, to facilitate new growth Medical studies show it works, even helps treat ED; equipment purchase can be a motivational Can be expensive, takes time and commitment
Penis Enlargement Pills/Lotions Variety of time-tested herbs Circulation is enhanced, causing more nutrient-rich blood to flow into the penis for growth Good when used with exercises or devices, promotes blood flow to the penis, some may have other benefits beyond enlargement such as erection hardness enhancement Not effective when used alone for enlargement
Penis Enlargement Surgery Ligament Severing, Fat Injection, Matrix Wrap, & Glanular Enhancement Severing the ligament allows the inner penis to slip forward, fat injection & matrix wrap is applied to the shaft for more girth. Immediate results Very expensive, possible loss of erection angle, serious risks including: erectile dysfunction, nerve damage, penis shortening, and infection

What are the Benefits of Penis Enlargement?

The need to buy roomier pants. But, seriously, the benefits are more than what you think. There are the obvious physical benefits to a larger penis, but there are psychological benefits as well. Here are both the benefits and the disadvantages of penis enlargement.

The Pros of Penis Enlargement

  • Increased penis size – both length and girth.
  • Improved stamina in the bedroom, for those performing penis exercises.
  • Increased self-confidence correctly.
  • Enhanced penile health, for those using penis exercises..

The Cons of Penis Enlargement

  • Most methods are not instantaneous – they take time to work
  • The use of enlargement exercises and devices require consistent commitment to see results.
  • Some methods can be costly – enlargement devices can cost hundreds of dollars.
  • Serious and significant potential complications, in the case of penis enlargement surgery.

The Bottom Line

If you want to enjoy the physical and psychological benefits of a larger penis, it will take time and dedication. Much like there’s no magic wand for getting the rest of your body into shape, the same is true for enlarging your penis.

Although surgery is available, the risks associated with this method of enlargement far outweigh the benefits, for most men. Instead, commit yourself to a steady and consistent exercise routine, safely increase the intensity as you progress, and this is the most effective means of results.

How Can I Get Help with Penis Enlargement?

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Many men find there’s simply too much information out there to develop an effective penis enlargement program. Just like hiring a personal trainer, a penis enlargement coach can help you develop your routine and encourage you to stay on track. can give you the expert guidance you need to get the most out of your penis enlargement workouts.


[1] Veale, D., Miles, S., Bramley, S., Muir, G., & Hodsoll, J. “Am I normal? A systematic review and construction of nomograms for flaccid and erect penis length and circumference in up to 15 521 men.” BJU International (2015), 115(6), 978-986. doi:10.1111/bju.13010
[2] Jewell, T., Wilson, D.R. “Does Penis Stretching Work? Penis Stretching: 5 Exercises for Length and Girth.” Healthline. 13 Apr. 2018. Web. 15 Jan. 2019.
[3] “Lip-Plates.” Mursi Online. University of Oxford, Oxford Department of International Development. 16 Apr. 2017. Web. 16 Jan. 2019. Retrieved from
[4] Promchertchoo, P. “Ancient Tradition of Long-Neck Women Fades as Myanmar Develops.” Channel NewsAsia. 10 Mar. 2017. Web. 16 Jan. 2019.
[5] McClatchey, C. “Ear Stretching: Why Is Lobe ‘Gauging’ Growing in Popularity?” BBC News, BBC. 21 Nov. 2011. Web. 16 Jan. 2019. Retrieved from
[6] Nikoobakht, M., et al. “Effect of Penile‐Extender Device in Increasing Penile Size in Men with Shortened Penis: Preliminary Results.” The Journal of Sexual Medicine (2011), 8(11), 3188-3192. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01662
[7] Griffin, G. “Penis Enlargement Methods—Fact & Phallusy.” Palm Springs: Added Dimensions, 1996.
[8]Lee, J. K., Tan, R. B., & Chung, E. “Erectile dysfunction treatment and traditional medicine—can East and West medicine coexist?” Translational Andrology and Urology, 6(1). (2017) pp. 91-100.doi: 10.21037/tau.2016.11.13
[9] Wylie, K. R. & Eardley, I. “Penile size and the ‘small penis syndrome’.” British Journal of Urology International. 99, (2007). pp. 1449–1455. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2007.06806.x
[10] Woods, S. G. “Sex.” Esquire 141.6 (2004): 84. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Jan. 2019.
[11] Rogers, G. “Kegel Exercises for Men: Do They Work?” 5 October 2016. Web. 16 Jan. 2019. Retrieved from
[12] Stuart, C.S., Wilson, D.R. “Do erectile dysfunction exercises help?” 27 July 2018. Web. 16 Jan. 2019. Retrieved from
[13] Gontero, P. et al. A pilot phase-II prospective study to test the ‘efficacy’ and tolerability of a penile-extender device in the treatment of ‘short penis’. British Journal of Urology International. 103, 793–797 (2009). doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2008.08083.x.
[14] Lipshultz, Larry. “Do Penis Pumps Work?” 21 Sept. 2011. Web. 16 Jan. 2019 Retrieved from
[15] Roland, J., Wilson, D.R.”The Facts About L-Arginine Supplements and Erectile Dysfunction.” Healthline. 28 Jun. 2017. Web. 16. Jan. 2019. Retrieved from
[16] Stanislavov, R., and V. Nikolova. “Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction with Pycnogenol and L-Arginine.” Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, vol. 29, no. 3, 2003, pp. 207–213., doi:10.1080/00926230390155104.
[17] Wright, D.B. “This Is What Penis Enlargement Surgery Actually Involves.” Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan, 30, Jan. 2016. Web. 16 Jan. 2019. Retrieved from

About Rob Michaels

Rob Michaels is the founder of and the author of the bestselling book, Penis Exercises: A Healthy Book for Enlargement, Enhancement, Hardness, & Health.

Rob Michaels has been featured in numerous media platforms, including Men’s Health, GQ Magazine, and, among others. As a male enhancement expert, he has spent more than a decade researching different male enhancement techniques and reviewing products that men can use safely. He continually strives to develop effective programs that will help men gain confidence and a healthy sexuality by achieving their male enhancement goals.