December 20, 2010

Q&A: Side Effects From Penis Enlargement Pills

Dr. Debby Herbenick answers a question from a male reader about possible side effects or damage to the penis from penis enlargement pills.

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Question: When I was almost 16 I took pills that were supposed to make my penis get bigger. I took them for one month and my penis never got any bigger. But now I am 20 and my penis hasn’t ever grown since I was about 17. Do you think that taking the pills caused me damage in some way?

I don’t know what kinds of pills you were taking or what was in them, so I have no way of knowing what type of effect – if any – they may or may not have had on your body or your health.

Not Scientifically Tested

As far as I have read, there are still no pills that have been scientifically shown to increase the size of a man’s penis. Some men might think that it can’t hurt to take penis enlargement pills, but because we don’t necessarily know what is in many of these pills, and because most of them have not been scientifically tested for risks or benefits, it is a good idea to always check in with one’s healthcare provider before ordering or taking any sort of pill, whether they are for penis enlargement or other issues.

That said, your penis probably stopped growing for natural reasons. In fact, research suggests that many young men find that their penis stops growing at around age 17 – or a little before or a little after depending on one’s own particular body. Age 17, however, is fairly common for the penis to stop growing.

Measuring Up

Many cultures are perhaps overly obsessed with the size of a man’s penis which puts a lot of pressure on men to feel like they measure up to other men, or even to their own potential. Some men have heard that having a large penis is necessary in order to please or satisfy a sexual partner, but in fact sexual satisfaction is more often related to sexual communication, sexual skills and technique, one’s expectations for sex, and the romantic or sexual relationship between two people.

Other men have heard that having a large penis makes a man more masculine, but penis size doesn’t make a man more or less of a man. Neither, by the way, does the size of one’s elbows, arms, hands or nose. These are all just body parts and they are what they are.

Recommended Reading

The book A Mind of Its Own: A Cultural History of the Penis by David Friedman details how various societies at different points in history of viewed the penis, and how some have prized smaller sizes and others have prized larger sizes and for different reasons.

Next Question: Have I been Desensitized To Sex?

When I was a kid, I masturbated with objects and I watched my brother’s porn. I lost my virginity at 14 and I’ve had a number of partners since. Now, masturbation is difficult for me and sex is mainly only a stress reliever. Have I become too desensitized to sex because of my early experiences?

Read Dr. Debby Herbenick’s response.

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