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Health Myth: Can You Really Increase the Size of Your Manhood?


"I want a small penis," said no man ever.

It turns out about 50 percent of men admit that they'd trade up for bigger equipment, according to research published in BJU International. If you ask us, the rest are lying. There has to be someone who's actually clicking on all those spam emails.

More important, will any "grow it bigger" system actually give you the kind of length or girth that even Ron Jeremy can appreciate? Or are these all just snake-oil cures? To find out, we asked Darius A. Paduch, M.D., Ph.D., Director of Sexual Health & Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Here's his take on the main manhood-maxing methods out there.

PUMPS
Austin Powers was on to something. Penis pumps can, in fact, increase your length and girth, according to Paduch. By creating negative pressure, they cause the penis to swell, stretching the penises tissues. An equipment-free modification of pumping called Jelqing involves rolling the fingers from the base of the penis toward the head, pushing blood against the side of the penis "like a balloon," he says.

Here's the Rub: For the love of your penis, see a doctor. Use of FDA-approved penis pump models requires both a prescription and medical supervision. The pumps sold in novelty stores are not regulated and can cause the vessels in the penis to burst, leaving your limb necrotic, he says. No one wants a necrotic noodle.

STRETCHERS
Try not to cringe, but you can actually stretch your schlong like Silly Putty. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that one penis stretcher (appropriately dubbed Golden Erect) increased men's average flaccid length from 8.8 to 10.5 cm (about ¾ inch). Stretchers work by attaching to both ends of the penis and delivering tension between the two ends to cause microtears similar to a strength workout.
Bonus: If you curve to one side, the stretchers can help, according to Paduch. Unfortunately, the results are anything but quick. The men in the study stretched their penises for three months—and up to nine hours a day.

Here's the Rub: Too much of this good thing may require a trip to the doctor; you put yourself at risk for bruising, vein thrombosis, and damage to nerves, he says.

PILLS
"You can't give someone a pill to grow a limb," Paduch says. But the right medication can help you keep it up. "Men who are concerned with penis size tend to have problems with erectile dysfunction because they have so much worry," he says. Horny Goat Weed, for example, can increase sensation, while daily use of Cialis triggers more baseline blood flow, making erections easier and the penis look bigger—no matter if it's hard or soft.

Here's the Rub: Only five percent of men in the U.S. fall outside of the normal range for size, Paduch says. So try not to let your worries get the best of you in bed.

LIPOSUCTION
Even if your belly fat doesn't sag over your junk, it could be to blame for a short stack, says Paduch. In some men (overweight and fit alike), deposits of fatty tissue in the pubic region can camouflage the base of the penis, making it look shorter—and, for your bed buddy, feel shorter. "Receiving liposuction on the area can make the penis more visible and accessible," Paduch says. It's the same reason a little man-scaping can go a long way.

Here's the Rub: Before you go under the knife, try losing some weight. But since spot reduction doesn't work (sorry), if you're slim, your only option may be lipo.

INJECTIONS
Fat injection, fat flaps, and silicon injections have all been tried to increase penis girth. And while some surgical augmentation procedures can be necessary in the case of reconstructive surgery, they aren't a solid option for most men. Most adipose (fat) cells dissolve, making the injections only temporary. And even worse than a futile knife to the penis, injection of silicone has often resulted in lumpy penises, erosion through the skin, and serious scaring, according to Paduch.

Here's the Rub: If a physician offers up this procedure, seek a second opinion.

• • •

Also on Details.com:
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5 Low-Fat Foods That Are Making You Fat
Ask Dr. Jake: How Can I Prevent Baldness?

Photo Courtesy of Gourmet
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