Bigger penis promises: True claims or false advertising?

Originally Published: January 18, 2002 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: August 9, 2013
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(1) Dear Alice,

I know you've covered this question several times over, but here is a new twist for you.

I've noticed several sites on the Internet that promote a larger penis through "ancient" techniques of strengthening (and yes, lengthening) the penis through exercises. These sites claim that since the penis is a muscle, it can be conditioned and exercised for greater and permanent length and girth.

Is this possible?

Thanks,
Ancient Wonders

(2) Dear Alice,

I've been reading about a penis enlargement program that is based on hypnosis tapes. Does it work? Or is it just some kind of rip off?

Penis size worried

Dear Ancient Wonders and Penis size worried,

A quick review of how a penis is put together may clear up much of the confusion regarding penis enlargement. Enclosed in a case of skin, the penis is composed of nerves, blood vessels, fibrous tissue, smooth muscle, and three cylindrical bodies of spongy tissue that fill with blood when the penis is erect. There is no bone in the penis, but skeletal muscle can be found at the base of the penis. Books and web sites advocate exercises practiced "since ancient times" to lengthen or strengthen the penis, including hypnosis. However, medical research indicates that without surgical work, penis lengthening is not considered possible, even with the use of ancient enlargement and hypnosis treatments.

As any quick internet search will tell you, there are many purported “ancient” penis enlargement techniques out there. However, most of these techniques consist of simple masturbation techniques that have no effect on penis size. For example, "jelq" is portrayed as an "Arabian" technique involving either wrapping the index finger and thumb around the base of the penis and pulling up, or pinching the penis with the index finger and thumb and pulling up. This exercise operates on the premise that the penis is a muscle that can be toned and buffed similar to your biceps. But, for better or worse, the smooth muscle of the penis cannot be exercised. So, work out all you please, but don't expect a longer or thicker penis.

The surgical techniques used for enlargement are not well researched or defined at this point. Surgical techniques used to enlarge the penis include fat injections, implants, and tissue grafts. These procedures, however, are still experimental and can leave large scars from where the skin is grafted, which has the potential to necessitate additional corrective surgery. Furthermore, injecting fat can result in a lumpy penis, since fat is reabsorbed into the body unevenly. There are also techniques involving cutting the ligaments that attaches the penis to the pubic bone. This often results in an erection that points downward, due to the loss of the penis's anchor to the pubic bone, and has no true effect on the size of the penis; it simply allows the penis to hang lower when flaccid. Nerves can be cut and damaged during surgery as well.

If you are seriously considering surgery, be sure to discuss the surgical procedures, possible adverse effects and complications, your concerns, and expected results and cost (since this procedure would not be covered by insurance) with a  qualified, trained, board-certified surgeon who specializes in surgical penile enlargement. If you’re a Columbia student, you can start by meeting with a health care provider through Medical Services on the Morningside campus or Student Health on the Medical Center campus. If you feel like you need additional support considering your options, consider contacting Counseling and Psychological Services (Morningside) or Mental Health Services (Medical Center) for more information.

Perhaps the state of penile enlargement options will change in the future. In the meantime, perhaps you can learn to “love the one you’re with”?

Alice