Male enhancement pills or “penis pills” as they are more commonly called have been around for years. They used to be the sort of product that could only be only be found in the back of magazines or late night Infomercials. However times have changed and male enhancement pills are now advertised everywhere. Penis pills are even found in main stream media such as Daytime TV, Talk Shows, Documentaries and they even go as far as to fully sponsor race car teams in NASCAR. While the majority of the medical community is still hung (pun intended) on the effectiveness of herbal male enhancement pills thousands of our readers have found success when using the right product.
Such breakthroughs call to mind the myriad of alternate products — some legit, many not — that men attempt to use before they take traditional erectile dysfunction medications or undergo erectile dysfunction surgery. So how do you discern the truth from the hype when it comes to non-medical erectile dysfunction treatments? We asked experts to weigh in on what works and what's a waste.
Traction is a nonsurgical method to lengthen the penis by employing devices that pull at the glans of the penis for extended periods of time. As of 2013, the majority of research investigating the use of penile traction focuses on treating the curvature and shrinkage of the penis as a result of Peyronie's disease, although some literature exists on the impact on men with short penises.
Performed on the halfway tumescent penis, jelqing is a manual manipulation of simultaneous squeezing and stroking the shaft from base to corona. Also called "milking", the technique has ancient Arab origins. Despite many anecdotal reports of success, medical evidence is absent. Journalists have dismissed the method as biologically implausible, or even impossible, albeit unlikely to seriously damage the penis. Still, if done excessively or harshly, jelqing could conceivably cause ruptures, scarring, disfigurement, and desensitization.
Chicago urologist Laurence A. Levine, MD, director of the male fertility program at Rush University Medical Center, tested the FastSize Extender on 10 men afflicted with Peyronie's disease, which can cause bending and shrinkage of the penis. At the end of the six-month study, which was funded by the maker of the FastSize Extender, Levine found increased penile length and reduced curvature in every man and increased girth in seven of the men. Calling the results "remarkable," Levine now prescribes the device to many of his Peyronie's patients and reports no significant complications. (Levine has also worked as a paid consultant to FastSize Extender.)
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The side effects of lengthening surgeries are numerous and include infections, nerve damage, reduced sensitivity, and difficulty getting an erection. Perhaps most disturbing, scarring can leave you with a penis that's shorter than what you started with. Widening the penis is even more controversial. Side effects can be unsightly -- a lumpy, bumpy, uneven penis.
Atherosclerosis, a condition in which fatty deposits build up inside arteries, may restrict blood flow to the penis and cause erection difficulties. "The small blood vessels that go to the penis can become diseased much earlier than the [larger] vessels that go to the heart," Karen Boyle, MD, a urologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, tells WebMD. "In younger or younger middle-aged men, ED is often the first sign of atherosclerosis."