Do Penis Pumps Work? Tips on How to Safely Use a Penis Pump

Sexual health and wellness are vital parts of most adults’ lives. Unfortunately, your sex life can be impacted by reproductive health disorders or other factors. For example, one way that cis-men and people with penises try to enhance their erectile functioning and sexual satisfaction is through the use of penis pumps. However, do penis pumps actually work, and — how do you use them?

Key takeaways:

What is a penis pump?

Penis pumps, also known as vacuum erection devices, are non-invasive medical devices that use vacuum pressure to create an erection. They are mostly used by cis-men or people with penises who have difficulty achieving or maintaining erections.

How does a penis pump work? The basic design of a penis pump typically consists of a plastic cylinder placed over the penis, creating a vacuum seal around the base of the penis. A manual or battery-powered pump is then used to remove the air from the cylinder, which creates negative pressure and draws blood into the penis, resulting in an erection.

Penis pumps are available in various sizes and styles and may include additional features such as a pressure gauge or a release valve to prevent over-pumping. Some models also come with constriction rings or bands that can be placed at the base of the penis to help maintain the erection.

There are several types of penis pumps:

  • Vacuum pump
  • Hydro pump
  • Air vacuum pump
  • Battery powered pump

How to use a penis pump

Looking for guidance on how to use a penis pump? Before using one, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your situation. They can also provide guidance on how to use the device properly and offer tips on maximizing its effectiveness.

Directions for penis pumps vary by manufacturer, but common guidelines include:

  • Use a small amount of water-soluble lubricant on the penis and around the opening of your device.
  • Place the tube over the penis.
  • Create a vacuum by using the pump to pull air out of the tube. Blood will start to flow to the penis, causing an erection.
  • To maintain erection, slide the band off the tube and onto the base of the penis before removing the tube.
  • You can use more lubricant to help remove the band.

Avoid using too much pressure, as this can lead to injury. Don’t leave the band on for more than 30 minutes, and wait 60 minutes between uses of your device.

Penis pump benefits

One of the key benefits of penis pumps is that they can be used by people dealing with erectile dysfunction (ED) as a non-invasive alternative to medications or surgery. This is because the suction mechanism of a penis pump increases blood flow to the genitals, filling the blood vessels in the penis so that they swell and lead to an erection.

Penis pumps may also benefit people affected by Peyronie’s disease, a condition that causes the penis to curve during an erection. One study found that after 12 weeks, participants had a statistically significant improvement in penile length, angle, and a decrease in pain after using a vacuum pump.

Do penis pumps work for penis enlargement?

Some manufacturers even claim that penis pumps can be used for penis enlargement. However, do penis enlargement pumps work? Another study found that after six months of use, the mean penile length had increased from 7.6 to 7.9 cm, which is not a significant difference. In addition, while the treatment was only about 10% effective, the patient satisfaction rate was 30%, indicating more psychological gratification than actual changes.

Can penis pumps help with ED?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition where someone has difficulty achieving or sustaining an erection. About 1 in 10 males deal with erectile dysfunction that interferes with their sex lives long-term. Erectile dysfunction becomes more common with age and can be caused by vascular disorders that affect blood flow to the penis, neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis, mental health issues, and injuries.

One of the main reasons people use penis pumps is to help treat erectile dysfunction. So, do penis pumps work for ED? Some research suggests they do. For example, one study found that 26 out of 28 men (93%) were satisfied after using a vacuum erection device for erectile dysfunction.

Do penis pumps actually work?

Some things may seem too good to be true, so the question is, “Do penis pumps work?” Well, that depends on several factors. The effectiveness of penis pumps varies depending on the severity of erectile dysfunction, someone’s overall health, the quality of the device, and whether they’re using it correctly.

There is research that backs up the effectiveness of penis pumps for erectile dysfunction and Peyronie's disease — but there are limited studies with small sample sizes. That being said, they’re relatively easy to use, with few risks, especially when compared to the potential risks of other treatments like medication.

While penis pumps may benefit people in the short term, they don’t address the underlying cause of erectile dysfunction or what may be interfering with your sex life. So it’s also important to be aware of their potential risks.

Are there any risks associated with penis pumps?

Is a penis pump safe? While penis pumps are generally considered safe, there are some risks associated with their use.

When using one, the penis can become slightly cool to the touch and blue-purple. You can apply a warm compress to help warm the penis before sex. Some people don’t ejaculate when climaxing after using a penis pump, as wearing a band can stop semen from passing. However, it’s important to note that this is not an effective method of birth control.

Additionally, over-pumping can cause bruising, small red spots on the skin (petechiae), swelling, and pain, and may even damage the blood vessels and tissues in the penis. Prolonged use of a penis pump can also lead to decreased sensitivity or numbness in the penis.

Furthermore, it is important to use the device as directed and talk to a healthcare provider before using a penis pump, especially if you have a history of blood clotting disorders, Peyronie's disease, other medical conditions, or if you're taking blood-thinning medications.

What else can help improve sexual function?

Penis pumps aren’t the only option for treating erectile dysfunction and enhancing sexual wellness. Here are some other ways you can improve sexual function:

  • Oral medications. Sildenafil (Viagra) or tadalafil (Cialis) can help increase blood flow to the penis.
  • Penile injections. Medications are injected directly into the penis to help improve blood flow.
  • Lifestyle changes. That includes maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and getting regular exercise.
  • Mental health support. It's essential to address psychological factors that may be affecting sexual function.
  • Penile implants. It involves implanting an inflatable device to help create an erection.
  • Surgery. Applies for treating Peyronie’s disease.

While penis implants may help some people, there is limited data to support their use. In addition, what works best for each individual may vary depending on the underlying cause of their sexual dysfunction. A healthcare provider can help determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on a patient's individual needs and medical history.

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