Lots of men are worried their penises are too short. Consequently, they seek out ways to make their penises naturally thicker and longer.

However, most men who think their penises aren’t long enough are actually overestimating how long normal—aka average—should be. 

If you ask a lot of men to name the average penis size in terms of length they’ll say six inches. In reality, it’s more like 5.1 inches when erect.

In addition, studies have shown that people don’t care about their partner’s penis size. One internet survey of 52,031 heterosexual men and women found that 85% of the women were perfectly happy with their partners’ size.1 In that same survey, only 55% of the men were satisfied with their own size and 45% wished they had a larger penis. 

This means many men suffer needlessly as most women don’t care about the size. Your penis is probably plenty long enough without taking any penis-lengthening action at all.

Do You Really Need Penis Enlargement Surgery?

After measuring as many as 15,000 penises, scientists believe that only men whose penises are less than 1.6 to 2 inches long when flaccid or less than 3 inches when erect are candidates to increase penis size, either through penis surgery or other methods.2,3 Only about 2.5% of men fall into that category.

It’s important to measure your penis correctly. Take measurements along its upper side from where it connects to the body to the tip of the glans. If you’re measuring your penile girth—i.e. its thickness—do this in the middle of the shaft.

Causes of a Smaller Penis

If you’ve had certain medical conditions or surgical procedures, your short penis is definitely not all in your head. Men who have had a radical prostatectomy—removal of their prostate glands—may find their penis shorter. In one study of 124 men who had undergone that operation, many of the participants had a significant decrease in length after surgery. Twelve of the men had a 15% or more decrease in their stretched penis length (penis stretching is a way to mirror an erection to ascertain a measurement).

Men undergoing androgen suppression and radiation treatment for prostate cancer also can experience reduced penis length.

Peyronie’s disease is another reason your penis might be shorter. Both the disease itself and scarring after surgery can cause a decrease in the length of a man’s member.

Another cause of short penis includes congenital consequences—in other words, you may have been born with the genetic cues for a shorter male member. 

There is also what’s called hidden penis, sometimes called buried penis. In obese or aging men, an abdominal fat pad and overhanging skin or even too little penile skin from aggressive circumcision or inflammation can make you seem smaller than you really are.

How to Make the Penis Bigger

If you’re still curious about penile lengthening, talk to your doctor about the penis enlargement possibilities outlined below. 

While there are no downsides to losing weight, shaving your pubic area, or using a penile sleeve, the other methods to increase length and girth have pros and cons worth considering. Some of these penile augmentation options pose serious risks and can be expensive.

Nonsurgical Methods for Penis Enlargement 

Lose Weight

Sometimes, lifestyle changes are the simplest way to solve a problem. Shedding excess fat won’t make your penis larger. However, in the case of a hidden penis, weight loss can help it emerge from under the fat in the pubic bone area. The result? It will look larger. 

Weight loss also can lead to other sexual health benefits, more sexual stamina, and a reduced risk of erectile dysfunction.

Shave Your Pubic Area

Another way to make your penis look bigger is to shave your pubic hair. If it’s hidden in a mass of hair it simply won’t look as large as when it’s out in the open. Shaving can really make it look larger.

Use a Penis Sleeve

Sleeves won’t permanently change your size. However, when you slide them on (just like a condom) they will temporarily increase penile length and it will have more girth. 

These bulky, silicone sleeves were originally created for men with erectile dysfunction, but they often do double duty as sex toys, even for men without ED. The nubs or ribs on their external or internal walls can make sex more pleasurable for you and your partner.

Penis Extender to Increase Penis Length

According to a few studies, this method may actually work for increasing length. Extenders, also called penile traction devices, are a means of penis stretching to increase penis length. 

For discretion throughout the day, this penile augmentation device can be worn under clothing.

One study found that the use of a penile extender device for at least six hours per day for four months resulted in an increased penile stretched length, averaging .71 inches and in some cases up to 1.2 inches.

In another study, six hours of use of an extender stretching device for four or more hours a day led to a significant increase in length. In the flaccid state, penis length increased by .91 inches and .67 inches in the stretched position.

A third study also found that using an extender for four to six hours per day during the first two weeks, and then nine hours per day until the end of the third month significantly increased both the flaccid and stretched length. 

In all of these studies, penis stretching using the devices was not able to make the shaft of the penis thicker. However, in the third study, using a penile extender led to an increase in the circumference of the penis head, otherwise known as the glans.

So, what are the disadvantages of penile extenders? You have to wear them for a long time and they can be uncomfortable. Overstretching can also cause bruising, scarring, or blood clots in the veins of your penis.

Penile Extenders in Men with Peyronie’s Disease

Some penile extenders are designed especially for men with Peyronie’s disease. In one pilot study, using a penile traction device two to eight hours per day for six months resulted in a 10 to 45-degree reduction in curvature. 

Stretched flaccid penis length also increased, anywhere from .20 inches to .79 inches. Erect girth increased anywhere from .20 to .39 inches. Erectile function was also improved by using these penis stretching devices.

Another study of men with a curved penis detected an improvement in curvature after using a penile traction device at least five hours per day for five months. 

Compared to the other study, there was a smaller reduction in curvature. It decreased from an average of 31 degrees to only 27 degrees, but this may have been because the men participating in this study had smaller curvatures to begin with—less than 50 degrees—and no severe erectile dysfunction. 

The men did experience an average increase in stretched length of about half an inch, and flaccid length of .33 inches.

Dermal Fillers

This is an effective treatment, although it’s not permanent. The urologist injects dermal fillers into the penis. If this method is repeated over time, it might make you an inch or so thicker. 

The effects could last up to a year depending on how much sex you have. Moving the penis more often actually leads to faster metabolism of the fillers.

Side effects can include bruising, swelling, and bumps under the skin. In addition, having sex too soon after the fillers are injected can change the shape of your penis. Your urologist can often remedy this change in shape with additional injections.

Platelet Rich Plasma Injections

This is a new method to increase penis size that doesn’t have a lot of research behind it, but some urologists have noticed improvements in patients using it. To perform this procedure, the doctor injects your platelet-rich plasma into your penis. This may increase blood flow, which in turn makes your male member look bigger. 

Before starting the penis injections, the patient performs mechanical pumping for a few weeks. This lengthens the suspensory ligament, which enhances length and improves blood flow.

Penoscrotal Rings

A limited number of case reports indicate penoscrotal rings may work. Penoscrotal rings—otherwise known as cock rings or constriction bands—are most effective in increasing penis size and maintaining erections in men with anxiety who use phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor drugs, like Viagra.

These rings are placed around the base of the penis and testicles. By applying pressure, the rings keep blood in the penis for longer. This may lead to harder and longer-lasting erections. 

Unlike the cock rings used as sex toys, you can place penoscrotal rings on a non-erect penis.

Botulinum Toxin

In some men, erect penis size is normal. However, when they become flaccid, their penises retract and become excessively small, especially when it’s cold, under conditions of emotional stress, or when exercising.

In scientific terms, this is known as hyperactive retraction reflex.11 Men who suffer from this find it embarrassing when their partners see them in this state, or when they use public showers or dressing rooms. 

One small study of ten men with this condition investigated the use of Botox injections into the dartos muscle, which controls penis retraction. Seven out of the 10 men reported reduced penile retractions as well as an increase in flaccid length. There were no side effects, but this solution only lasted six months.

Surgical Penis Enlargement Solutions

Liposuction for Increased Length

To make your manhood longer, wider, and heavier, surgeons liposuction your own fat and move it into the shaft of the penis with a syringe. The result is usually less than an inch in length, a little over an inch in girth, and a heavier penis. 

Unfortunately, this procedure isn’t permanent. Over time, it’s possible your penis will return to its original size. The surgery is not risk-free. One man died after this type of surgery because the fat traveled to his lungs, leading to death by suffocation.

Penis Enlargement Surgery

A surgeon cuts a ligament, which causes the penis to extend outward farther, increasing penis length. That’s the good news. The bad news is there are a lot of risks, which include scarring, painful erections, infection, reduced sensation and/or function. 

In some men, it’s difficult to hold an erection and penetrate their partners after this type of surgery. At $9,000 or more, it’s also a very expensive procedure. The kicker? It only adds about half an inch in length.

Strategies That Do Not Increase Penis Size

Penis Implants

Penile implants are devices surgically inserted into the penis. They’re designed to produce an immediate erection. However, they won’t increase penis size. Even worse, your penis size may shrink after you’ve had one of these devices implanted.

Penis Pump

Otherwise known as a vacuum device or a vacuum pump, a penis pump can boost circulation to the penis and enhance erections. 

Unfortunately, research has concluded that using vacuum pumps repeatedly over six months has no effect on actual length of penis. However, because they have other beneficial effects on sexual intercourse, men found them to be psychologically satisfying.

Male Enhancement Pills

One of the most advertised penis enlargement methods are dietary supplements. Vitamins, herbs, and dietary supplements do not make your penis physically larger or thicker—no matter how they’re advertised. However, some can boost blood flow to the penis. This can enhance erections and make you seem larger during sexual intercourse, especially if you’ve been suffering from erectile dysfunction. 

Some of the most effective supplements to support healthy blood circulation are those that increase levels of nitric oxide, which widens your blood vessels and push blood into the penis. These include the amino acid L-arginine, L-citrulline (also an amino acid), and beetroot.

Be sure to buy your supplements from a reputable company. Some performance-enhancing supplements have been found to contain Viagra, along with other unlisted ingredients. Ingesting medications or ingredients without realizing it, especially in large quantities, can be dangerous.


Jelqing is a penis-lengthening exercise. This type of exercise is performed when you’re lubed up and on your nearly erect penis. Apply pressure and slide your hand from the base down the penis shaft using your thumb and index finger. This rolling motion transports blood to the penis head and stretches the member. Some people call it milking the penis. 

The one flaw? Doctors and scientists say this stretching exercise doesn’t work. Even worse, it might cause a curvature. This and other side effects like pain, irritation, or scarring are more likely to occur if you perform this exercise too often or apply too much pressure.

Options To Consider Instead

Rather than trying to increase length or thickness—which is probably unnecessary—consider taking steps to maintain and improve the strength of your erections. This is really the key to having a more satisfying experience in bed.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Make Penis Longer

If you’re worried about the size of your member, here are answers to your most common questions and concerns:

What Is The Average Penis Size?

Smaller than you would think. Research shows the average length of a penis is 5.1 inches when erect. However, most men think theirs is too small. Chances are good you have nothing to worry about as surveys show that most women are happy with their partners’ size.

Does Penis Stretching Work?

It depends on the method you use. According to doctors and scientists, a type of penis-lengthening exercise known as jelqing won’t increase your size. In fact, it might lead to a curved penis. If you perform jelqing exercises too often, or use too much pressure, this can lead to pain, irritation, or scarring.

A better option? Use a penis extender, which stretches penile tissues to increase penile length. Some studies have found these penile traction devices work, although you probably won’t gain more than an inch. Plus, they do not increase penile thickness.

These penile traction devices are uncomfortable, you have to wear them for a long time, and they can sometimes cause bruising, scarring, or blood clots in the penile veins.

What Is The Best Way To Get a Bigger Penis?

The safest, most non-invasive ways to increase your penis size—or at least make it look bigger—include losing weight, shaving your pubic hair, and using a penile sleeve.
Some research shows penile extenders might also work, including in men with Peyronie’s disease, but you have to wear them a lot, they’re uncomfortable, and overstretching can lead to bruising, scarring, or blood clots in the veins of your penis.
You can also try dermal fillers, platelet-rich plasma injections, and surgical solutions like liposuction and plastic surgery, but some of these have serious side effects. Always talk to your doctor about which method is best for you.

If I Lose Weight Will My Penis Look Bigger?

Yes, losing weight can make the penis look larger. This is because fat in the abdominal and pubic area can hide part of your member. Getting rid of that fat can eliminate obstructions and allow for the entire length to be more visible.

Categorized in:

Sexual Health,

Last Update: 15 April 2024