Penile extenders, also known as penile stretching devices, are mechanical traction devices that stretch the penis in its flaccid state and are meant to make it longer, with unconfirmed evidence of benefits in treating Peyronie’s Disease. It has been in use since as early as 1996.
It uses the science of traction and has been shown to increase the size of the flaccid penis by about 2 inches in some.
About The Devices
Penis extenders have two plastic rings; one sits at the base of the flaccid penis and the other just before the glans. There is a traction device containing springs that run along the sides of your penis. Adjusting the springs in the traction device pulls and stretches the flaccid penis to stretch the penis literally.
A recent study concluded that penile extenders could be a viable alternative to penile enhancement surgeries. The report showed that men who used penile extenders every day for six months saw an increase in their erect and flaccid penis length by over 30%. The recording of these measurements was done after a period of six months after discontinuation of use of the device. In addition to increasing erectile function and length, the men in whom this study was carried on showed satisfaction with the technique.
Reports of the study suggest that penile extenders could be a viable alternative for men seeking penis enlargement who do not fulfill the criteria to undergo surgery for enlargement. It produces an effective and durable lengthening of a flaccid penis.
Detractors of the study cite selection bias issues and inadequate sample size before jumping to conclusions about its efficacy. However, further research must be done, which shows similar results of the device’s efficacy to confirm its efficacy in increasing penis size as it has many detractors. If confirmed, it could be the desired method in penile enlargement as it does not carry risks a surgery would pose.
The device made with the sole intention of increasing the size of the penis has shown evidence of effectiveness in the treatment of Peyronie’s Disease.
What is Peyronie’s Disease?
Peyronie’s Disease is a medical condition of the connective tissues in which scar tissues form in the Tunica albuginea layer of the penis, causing pain, abnormal curvature, erectile dysfunction, loss of girth, and length. It also makes sexual intercourse difficult and painful.
Use of Penile Extenders In Peyronie’s Disease
Penile extenders may help improve penile length, girth, curvature, and deformity associated with Peyronie’s Disease, especially in the early and late stages of the disease. Still, there are at most moderate evidence suggesting its efficacy in treatment. Its role also has been implicated as an alternative to penis enlarging surgery in patients with dysmorphophobia (A condition in which the patient thinks the size of his penis is small when it actually is of normal length.)
The perceived benefit of penile extenders in treating Peyronie’s disease is by the phenomenon of Mechano-transduction.
Mechano-transduction is the process of gradual expansion of tissue by the process of traction. The plaque in Peyronie’s disease undergoes continuous extension in the traction device’s presence, leading to increased circulation of the enzymes collagenase and metalloproteinases, which leads to the plaques being softened and extending of the penis length.
Various experimental studies have backed the theoretical concept of Mechano-induction. Studies have also shown the benefits of Penile extender devices in abnormal curvature and length of the flaccid penis associated with Peyronie’s.
However, with these studies, the issues regarding selection bias and small sample size have been raised. Properly structured studies with large sample size and longer follow-up periods are required to establish the true benefits of Penile Extenders.
Penile extenders can be used as an excellent non-invasive physical method of treatment of the condition, but there is a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the exact duration of stretching per day and stretching per course of treatment required for correction of the condition; which complicates the situation showing the necessity of a detailed study in the field.
The use of penile extenders comes with few known risks, most of which are self-limiting in nature. As of now, the known risks include pain, redness, and pruritus around the penis. Aggressive use of the device has been linked to cases of pubic bone edema and fractured penises.
As for the research on the efficacy, those related to the device’s safety and complications are also inadequate.
Alternatives To A Penile Extender
The efficacy and safety of devices considered as alternatives to penile extenders are also less documented.
The use of vacuum pumps has shown results in swelling of the penis and its erection. There are also claims that regular use of vacuum pump devices increases the penis size, but there is little to no evidence to back up the claims.
The use of penoscrotal rings and phosphodiesterase inhibitors like Sildenafil has also been implied to increase the size of the penis in anxious men. However, there is not much evidence supporting the efficacy of these rings too.
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In addition to these physical devices, the patients may try manual stretching exercises of the penis to enlarge the penis. These methods are totally natural, non-invasive, easy to do at home, and associated with very few risks. However, scientific studies do not show any benefits of these exercises in the actual lengthening of the penis.
Commonly used methods of exercise are “Jelqing” and penis stretching exercises. These methods are more helpful in patients with penis dysmorphophobia syndrome, making them more comfortable in the shape and size of their penis.
If we are to go by the results of limited conducted studies so far, penile extenders seem to be the best non-surgical method of penis enlargement. However, more studies are required regarding their efficacy and safety before embracing them as a first-line treatment method to enlarge the penis.
A well-structured study involving a large sample size to weigh the efficacy of penis extenders in enlarging the penis and treating Peyronie’s disease is the need of the hour.