What Does A Penis Pump Do

What Does A Penis Pump Do
Young practitioner doctor working at the clinic reception desk, she is answering phone calls and scheduling appointments

Many readers are interested in the following topic: What Is a Penis Pump. We are happy to note, that our authors have already studied the modern research about the topic you are interested in. Based on the information provided in the latest medical digests, modern research and surveys, we provide extensive answer. Keep reading to find out more.

Although penis pumps are generally safe and effective, there are other treatments for ED that a man may wish to consider.

Penis pumps and how to use them

Penis pumps are a nonmedicated treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED). Using a penis pump involves inserting the penis into a tube, which, when pumped, creates a vacuum, stimulating blood flow.

ED is common, and the risk of developing the condition increases with age.

According to a review article in the International Journal of Endocrinology, ED affects around 5% of men over the age of 40 and around 15% of men over the age of 70.

However, ED can occur at any age, and sometimes as a result of another condition.

A penis pump consists of a plastic tube, a hand- or battery-operated pump, and a constriction ring for the base of the penis. The device is a safe and effective alternative to medications and more invasive procedures.

Keep reading to learn more about penis pumps, including safety considerations and how to use them.

Share on Pinterest A penis pump is a device that may help with ED.

Using a penis pump can help a man get and maintain an erection.

The device achieves this by creating a vacuum around the penis, which encourages blood to flow into it.

Once erect, a man can place a constriction ring over the base of their penis. This helps keep the blood inside.

Most people consider penis pumps easy to use. The following steps outline how to use one:

  • Step 1: Though this is not required, some men may want to shave the pubic hair around the base of their penis. This helps prevent the ring from getting caught in the hair.
  • Step 2:Apply a water-based lubricant to the shaft and base of the penis to create a good seal and to simplify device removal after use.
  • Step 3: Insert the penis into the plastic tube.
  • Step 4: Use the pump to create a vacuum inside the tube. Depending on the device, the pump may be manual or motorized. The vacuum brings blood into the penis.
  • Step 5: Once erect, place the constriction ring around the base of the penis. This helps maintain the erection by keeping blood inside the penis.
  • Step 6: Remove the penis from the tube.

This should result in an erection that lasts long enough for the man to have sex. They and their partner can decide whether they want to use the pump prior to foreplay or just before penetration.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence to suggest that using a penis pump can enlarge the size of the penis. Any such claims are purely anecdotal.

In fact, those who try to use a penis pump for this purpose may injure their penis.

Most healthcare professionals consider penis pumps a safe and effective treatment for ED. Men can use a penis pump as often as they are able to tolerate it throughout the day.

For some, this may be once per day, whereas for others, this might be several times per day.

However, there are some risks and drawbacks to consider. These include:

  • Pain or bruising: Incorrect use of a penis pump can result in bruising and other painful injuries to the penis.
  • Burst blood vessels: Small red dots, or petechiae, may appear under the skin of the penis.
  • Skin numbness, tingling, or discoloration: These symptoms may indicate that the constriction ring is too tight. Using a larger ring should help alleviate the pressure.
  • Unnatural feeling erections: Some users report that their erections do not feel natural or spontaneous when using a penis pump.
  • Lack of firmness: This is often most noticeable at the base of the penis.
  • Feeling of trapped semen or painful ejaculation: A small cutout in the constriction ring can help reduce these symptoms.
  • Psychological effects: Having to stop to use a penis pump before sexual activity may ruin the mood for some couples. Some people may also feel awkward or embarrassed about using a penis pump before sexual activity.

Men with blood clotting disorders and those who take blood thinners should speak to their doctor before using a penis pump, as these conditions and medications can increase the risk of internal bleeding when using the device.

Penis pumps are available over the counter, online, and in many specialist stores. However, it is important to note that many of these pumps do not have Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. For this reason, the risk of injury or ineffectiveness due to incorrect use may be higher.

One safety feature to look for in a penis pump is a vacuum limiter. This stops the vacuum pressure from becoming too strong and injuring the penis.

The constriction ring is another consideration. Using a ring that is too tight can be uncomfortable, and using a ring that is too loose will be ineffective. It is important to determine what size works best.

One of the best ways to obtain a penis pump is by getting a prescription from a doctor. Having a prescription will ensure that a man receives an FDA approved ED treatment.

Additionally, most insurance companies will pay out for a prescribed penis pump. The amount someone pays toward the device will depend on their insurance plan coverage.

Share on Pinterest A doctor may suggest oral ED medication to help stimulate an erection.

Although penis pumps are generally safe and effective, there are other treatments for ED that a man may wish to consider.

In fact, one advantage of penis pumps is that men can use them in combination with medications.

Other treatment options for ED include:

  • Penile implants: A surgeon will insert tubes into the penis. These tubes inject small amounts of saline into the penis before sexual activity. A button behind the scrotum allows the man to inject the saline when necessary.
  • Oral ED medications: Medications such as sildenafil (Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis) can help stimulate an erection.
  • Penile suppositories or injections: Men can insert these at the base of their penis to stimulate an erection.

Penis pumps are one of a few nonmedicated options for treating ED. Many people consider them safe to use. However, certain conditions and medications may predispose a man to internal bleeding when using a penis pump.

Men should talk to their doctor about their situation to determine whether or not a penis pump is right for them.

When selecting a penis pump, it is important to look for FDA approved pumps and ones that are designed to treat ED.

Never use pumps to try to increase the size of the penis. This will be ineffective and could result in injury to the penis.

Last medically reviewed on September 20, 2019

  • Men’s Health
  • Mental Health
  • Blood / Hematology
  • Sexual Health / STDs

How we reviewed this article:

Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations. We avoid using tertiary references. We link primary sources — including studies, scientific references, and statistics — within each article and also list them in the resources section at the bottom of our articles. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  • Gareri, P., et al. (2014). Erectile dysfunction in the elderly: An old widespread issue with novel treatment perspectives.
  • Hoyland, K., et al. (2013). The use of vacuum erection devices in erectile dysfunction after radical prostatectomy.
  • Lin, H. & Wang, R. (2013). The science of vacuum erectile device in penile rehabilitation after radical prostatectomy.
  • Mulhall, J. P., et al. (2016). Relationship between age and erectile dysfunction diagnosis or treatment using real-world observational data in the United States.

What Is a Penis Pump?

A penis pump is a vacuum device that can help your penis get hard and stay hard for penetrative sex. You might use one if you have erectile dysfunction (ED), or trouble getting or keeping an erection. You can also use it for pleasure. You might hear it called a penis enlarger or vacuum pump.

A penis pump is made up of a plastic tube that fits over your penis, a pump attached to the tube, and a ring that fits around the base of the penis once it’s erect to keep the erection.

If you have ED, your doctor can give you a prescription for a penis pump. They’re also sold in sex toy stores as a novelty item.

Why People Like It

A penis pump can help someone with erectile dysfunction maintain an erection long enough to have sex. Penis pumps can be a help with ED because they:

  • Work well when used properly.
  • Cost less than other ED treatment options.
  • Are noninvasive and may take the place of medication or injections.
  • Can help you regain function after certain medical procedures.

People use them for nonmedical reasons because they make the penis larger. It may temporarily grow up to an inch both in length and girth.

Myths About Penis Pumps

There are some common misconceptions about penis pumps, including:

They make your penis larger permanently

The effects of using a penis pump only last for 10 to 15 minutes. They can last longer if you use a rubber ring to maintain the erection. However, they don’t make your penis larger in the long term.

Penis Pumps are only for people with ED

While people with ED do benefit from using penis pumps, many people use them just for fun. Some partners enjoy watching the growth of the penis in the pump. Others use a penis pump as part of a dominance and submission game. Still others enjoy the larger size the suction creates.

How to Try a Penis Pump Safely

Penis pumps sold in sex toy stores aren’t regulated. They may lead to injury if used incorrectly. A penis pump prescribed by a doctor is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medical device. However, even these can cause injury if you don’t use them properly. If you try one, always pay attention to how your penis feels. If something hurts or doesn’t feel quite right, stop using it.

According to sex educators, using a pump too often can break the blood vessels in your penis and permanently affect the tissue. They suggest using a product that has a pressure gauge so you can check the pressure and keep it at a safe level.

Take these steps to properly use a penis pump:

Step 1: Apply lubrication

Put some lube on the base of your penis. This helps create a seal between your skin and the pump. Some experts suggest shaving your pubic hair in that area to help with the seal.

Step 2: Put on the device

Each pump is different. Follow the directions on the package for how to put the suction device over your penis.

Step 3: Start pumping

There are three main types of pumping mechanisms:

  • Battery-powered pumps do all the work for you
  • Hand-triggered pumps give you a little assist with a comfortable handheld device
  • Hand-powered pumps have a pump you squeeze to create the vacuum effect

Go slowly to make sure the pump stays comfortable. Depending on the device, it will take between 30 seconds and three minutes to finish pumping. If anything hurts, release the pressure.

Step 4: Take it off

Most penis pumps have a release valve to help you remove them. Follow the instructions on the box for how to do it properly.

Step 5: Use a rubber ring

Slip a rubber ring onto the base of your penis to help the effects of the pump last longer.

Show Sources

Cosmopolitan: “A complete beginner’s guide to penis pumps.”

Cosmopolitan: “Want to Make Sex *So* Much Better? Tell Your Man to Try a Penis Pump.”

EDCure.org: “What Are Penis Pumps? Are Penis Pumps Safe for Treating ED?”

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

Mayo Clinic: “Penis pump.”