What is a normal penis size?
The penis enlargement industry monetises men’s anxiety, which often stems from media depictions of large penises.
It is easy to be fooled by images in films, magazines and on the internet which portray unusually large penises as the norm. Many men overestimate the average size of a penis and wrongly believe that they are below average.
The average size of an erect penis is 14-16 cm (5.5-6.3 inches) in length and 12-13 cm (4-5 inches) in circumference. A penis is not considered small from a medical point of view unless it is under 7.6cm (three inches) when fully erect. Flaccid penis size varies greatly.
Superdrug Online Doctor's own research
into opinions on penis size shows that even though only around 12% of men are unsatisfied with their penis size, over a quarter of young men have looked up how to get a bigger penis online. It also showed that nearly 70% of women don't consider penis size important in a male partner.
Male enhancement products - are they safe to take?
You will probably be familiar with advertisements for pills, creams, ointments, supplements, contraptions, stretching exercises or surgery to increase penis size. Some sellers even offer a "money-back" guarantee.
Unfortunately, these treatments are at best ineffective. Since they are usually sold illegally, they have not been medically approved and they could pose a threat to your health.
Contraptions designed to stretch your penis are misadvertised - although penis pumps can help men with erectile dysfunction they do not increase the size of your penis. There is also no particular exercise which could cause permanent enlargement.
It is possible to increase your penis size with plastic surgery. However, there is a risk of side effects and according to a study conducted in 2006, only 35% of men who underwent penis enlargement surgery were happy with the results.
Do male enhancement pills work?
There are no legitimate medical studies to confirm the claims made by any of the manufacturers of "penis enhancement" pills.
It's important to remember that male enhancement is a big industry which reinforces men's insecurities about the size of their penis. Penis enlargement pills do not work, and neither do creams, lotions, supplements or other male enhancement products. If there was an approved and effective treatment it would be available from pharmacies rather than illegitimate online pharmacies only.
Avoid buying unlicensed and potentially dangerous medicines - they are likely to do more harm than good.
Are there any options for natural male enhancement?
Do vacuum pumps increase size?
The vacuum penis pump is often advertised as a method of quickly and permanently increasing the size of your penis. However, this product is a false claim. The vacuum pump is a treatment for erectile dysfunction. While it can help you achieve and maintain an erection, it has no lasting effect on the size of your penis.
There are also various stretching techniques, such as "jelqing", which involves repeatedly pulling on the flaccid penis in order to increase the size when erect. These techniques do not work and there is no scientific explanation why they could possibly work.
Using penile extenders involves hanging a weight off the penis for hours at a time, which doesn't increase size. To the contrary, this can cause tissue damage and there have been reports of it causing Peyronie's disease (curving of the penis). Rather than resulting in enlargement, using penile extenders could cause injury and have a negative effect on your ability to get an erection.
There are also traction devices which have been observed to cause small increases in length (1-2 cm overall) in some men. However, these devices are highly impractical, as they need to be worn for several hours every day in order to have an effect. You should consult a doctor before experimenting with any device to enlarge your penis, as there is a risk of side effects and injury if you don’t use it correctly. Evidence that using a traction device works is still limited.
How weight loss can help
Often, men who find that their penis looks small to them notice that they perceive their penis as larger when they lose weight. If you are overweight, losing weight around the abdominal area may reveal more of the shaft and cause your penis to appear larger in relation to your body.
Is surgery an option?
There are a number of surgical options available: penis length surgery, penis girth surgery and liposuction.
Penis length surgery
Penis length surgery involves cutting the ligament with which the penis is attached to the pubic bone and grafting added skin to the base to increase length. This will increase the size of the flaccid penis by up to 2cm, but it doesn’t affect the size of the erect penis. The cut ligament may also not provide the support it originally did, which means that you might find your erections less satisfactory as a result. There is also a risk that this type of surgery may cause the side effect of pain during sex.
Penile girth surgery can involve a range of controversial techniques, such as injecting fat taken from other parts of the body. Whilst some studies claim an increase in girth of between 1.4 and 4cm, patients frequently report scarring, disfigurement, lumpiness, even infection. The body usually reabsorbs the injected fat, so the penis soon returns to its original size.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure whereby excess fat is removed from the lower abdomen, revealing up to 2cm of the penis which had previously been buried.
None of these surgeries is guaranteed to produce the desired effect.
What you can do to improve sexual problems
Whilst there may be no reliable and safe way to increase the size of your penis, there are a few things you can do if you are worried about the size of your manhood.
Communicate with your partner. Discussing your worries and your sexual preferences with your partner may help you overcome your worries about the size of your penis and improve your sexual confidence.
Trim your pubic hair. Sounds simple enough, but a lot of hair around the base of the penis will make it look shorter and possibly also reduce sensitivity. A simple trim may help increase your enjoyment and self-confidence.
Lose weight and get fit. Exercise and diet can help you lose weight. If you are overweight, weight loss could help you “gain” up to 2cm of length as a larger part of your penis will be exposed.
If you experience anxiety related to penis size as a serious issue which is affecting your sex life and general happiness, you should talk to your doctor or a counsellor. They will be able to tell you whether your size is average and suggest techniques to improve your sexual experience.
Many men feel anxious about penis size and you will most likely find that getting further information on the subject will reassure you.
Top Penis Enlargement Myths
Myth: The average penis is about 8 inches in length
Truth: The real-life average is between 5-6 inches
Myth: Penis size is linked to shoe size / handspan / height
Truth: There is no scientific link between the size of your penis and any other body part.
Myth: Size matters
Truth: Actually, size is pretty low on the list of requirements for your partner. Affection, foreplay and consideration are much more important. Satisfying sex is about more than just penetration.
Myth: Bigger is better
Truth: Women's vaginas when aroused are only 4.25-4.75 inches long. An oversized penis would cause discomfort rather than pleasure and very well-endowed men can find sex more difficult.
Myth: A bigger penis will make you a better lover
Truth: Having a large penis does not make you better in bed. Paying attention to your partner's needs is far more important than penis size
Myth: Supplements and pills can increase penis size
Truth: Not only will they do nothing for your size, they may actually harm your health