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Last updated: Jun 30, 2022
5 min read

Penis growth hormone: does it work, and is it a good idea? 

 

Disclaimer

If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Even if you’re satisfied with your penis size, the media and pop culture make it hard to avoid comparing yourself to others and wondering if there’s a way to boost what you’ve got. Ads for penis enlargement tools and pills are everywhere. You may have even come across ads mentioning a penis growth hormone. But does it actually work? The research doesn’t back it up. 

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What is penis growth hormone?  

Penis growth hormone is a synthetic version of a chemical called growth hormone (human growth hormone, or hGH). It stands to reason that something called growth hormone should make things larger. And it’s true in general—this hormone is responsible for much of our growth during childhood, and it maintains bone and muscle mass in adults. People who don’t have enough natural hGH in their bodies are at risk for growth problems.  

Because it stimulates growth, some people take synthetic hGH supplements to try to build muscle, increase stamina, and even increase penis size. But there isn’t much evidence that hGH works as a penis growth hormone. 

hGH injections are useful for children and adolescents with growth hormone deficiency (GHD) or micropenis, a penis length that’s significantly below average (Levy, 1996; Laron, 1983). But if your growth hormone levels are normal, there’s no evidence that supplementation will increase penis size

Do penis enlargement pills work? 

Penis enlargement pills, or male enhancement pills, can easily be found online. Different brands contain different ingredients, such as growth hormone, herbs like horny goat weed and Ginkgo Biloba, and other vitamins and nutrients (Corazza, 2014).  

But just because they’re widely available, that doesn’t mean they work. Supplements like penis enlargement pills are not regulated by organizations like the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) and often don’t go through rigorous clinical trials like other medications. There’s no solid scientific evidence that these pills will enlarge your penis. 

Side effects and risks of male enhancement pills

Since supplements are not well regulated, they’re prone to inconsistencies. For example, some  may contain unlisted ingredients. Others don’t properly list the quantities of each ingredient. This increases the risk of side effects, especially if you take other medications. Some side effects reported include (Nishijima, 2019; Corazza, 2014):   

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Rashes
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations

How to make your penis bigger

Even though many people are concerned about their penile length, there’s often no need to be. A large 2015 study found that the average length of an erect penis was between 5.1–5.2 cm—a far cry from what the manufacturers of penis enlargement gadgets would have you believe (Veale, 2015). Chances are, you’re within the normal range. 

Plus, your penis grows the most during puberty and young adulthood, especially between 12 and 16 (Tomova, 2010). Once these changes have occurred, there’s not much you can do to increase your penis size.

There’s not much data about penile traction devices (penile extenders), devices worn for hours a day to stretch the penis. Some studies found that they may give you a small increase in penis length, but it can take up to three months to see results (Nikoobakht, 2011). 

Penis enlargement surgery will increase the length of your penis. However, any surgical procedure is invasive and comes with a risk of side effects (Campbell, 2017). 

Though many people want to increase their penis size, penis growth hormone likely isn’t the answer. If you’re unhappy with the size of your penis, it’s a good idea to discuss your concerns with a healthcare provider who can advise you on the right next steps for you.

References

  1. Aghamir, M. K., Hosseini, R., & Alizadeh, F. (2006). A vacuum device for penile elongation: fact or fiction? BJU International, 97(4), 777–778. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2006.05992.x. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16536772
  2. Ahmed, M., Kumari, S., Manali, P., et al. (2016). Safety and quality concerns regarding over-the-counter sexual enhancement products sold in the USA market pose a major health risk. Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy, 7(5), 299. doi:10.4172/2155-6105.1000299. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5713482/
  3. American Urological Association (AUA). (n.d.). The foundation’s recommendation on penile augmentation. Retrieved Jun. 7, 2022 from http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/penile-augmentation  
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  6. Chiang, J., Yafi, F. A., Dorsey, P. J., Jr., et al. (2017). The dangers of sexual enhancement supplements and counterfeit drugs to “treat” erectile dysfunction. Translational Andrology and Urology, 6(1), 12–19. doi:10.21037/tau.2016.10.04. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5313300/
  7. Corazza, O., Martinotti, G., Santacroce, R., et al. (2014). Sexual enhancement products for sale online: raising awareness of the psychoactive effects of yohimbine, maca, horny goat weed, and Ginkgo biloba. BioMed Research International, 2014, 841798. doi:10.1155/2014/841798. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4082836/
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  10. Laron, Z., Mimouni, F., & Pertzelan, A. (1983). Effect of human growth hormone therapy on penile and testicular size in boys with isolated growth hormone deficiency: first year of treatment. Israel Journal of Medical Sciences, 19(4), 338–344. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6406387/
  11. Levy, J. B. & Husmann, D. A. (1996). Micropenis secondary to growth hormone deficiency: does treatment with growth hormone alone result in adequate penile growth?. The Journal of Urology, 156(1), 214–216. doi:10.1016/s0022-5347(01)66003-8. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8648808/
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