Male enhancement

Scams, Herbs, Surgery – Do They Work?

Our email inboxes fill up daily with advertisements for pills, ointments, supplements, and gear aimed at improving penis size, sexual stamina, or libido. It is a testament to the permanent insecurity of men about sexual performance. The question is, do any of these “male enhancement” techniques really work?

Richard, a mechanic from upstate New York, is a muscular, athletic guy. He has a loving wife who has always enjoyed their sex life. But since he was a young boy, Richard couldn’t get over the feeling that his penis was too small. In the public toilets, he used the disabled cabin. He felt awkward in gym locker rooms and when standing naked in front of his wife. “I didn’t feel manly enough,” he told WebMD.

Then, at the end of a weightlifting magazine, he saw an advertisement for the FastSize Extender, a device that claims to make the penis longer and bigger through traction. Richard began to wear the device almost eight hours a day, every day. He was shocked to notice a difference within days. After four months of wearing the device, he says his flaccid penis has stretched from 3 inches to over 5 inches; erect, it grew from less than 6 inches to over 7 inches. The device cost $ 298, but Richard says the effect on his confidence was invaluable: “It made a huge difference to me.

The FastSize Extender, while not thoroughly tested, has received some validation from mainstream medical sources. But that makes it a real rarity among the nonprescription male enhancement methods. Most are a waste of money, and some are downright dangerous, doctors say.

Instead of stealthily turning to untested methods, men with lingering concerns should consider speaking with their doctor. This is because performance issues sometimes act as an early warning signal for serious health issues. Your doctor may be able to prescribe something that can really help you, or at least give you a valuable dose of perspective on what constitutes “normal” sexual performance.

Links between sexual and overall health

Sexual performance naturally declines as men age, doctors say. But a rapid or severe decrease in performance or libido can be a red flag. More importantly, erectile dysfunction can be an early predictor of heart disease.

Atherosclerosis, a disease in which fatty deposits build up inside the arteries, can restrict blood flow to the penis and cause erection difficulties. “The small blood vessels that go to the penis can become sick much sooner than the [larger] vessels that go to the heart, ”Karen Boyle, MD, urologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, told WebMD.“ In younger or younger middle-aged men, erectile dysfunction is often the first sign of atherosclerosis . “

For men with erectile dysfunction who are at risk for heart disease, just prescribing Viagra or its cousins ​​isn’t enough, Boyle says. These men should also control their weight and cholesterol, limit their alcohol intake, and quit smoking. Evidence shows that these changes in themselves can have a positive effect on sexual function, Boyle says.

Sometimes men with erection problems or decreased sex drive have low testosterone levels, Boyle says. Testosterone deficiencies can also affect mood and energy levels. Boyle tests for testosterone levels and prescribes it as a topical gel, although she cautions that it is only safe if prescribed and monitored by a doctor. Over-the-counter testosterone, like that used by some bodybuilders, is dangerous, she cautions.

For men with performance issues who are in good physical health, Boyle often prescribes counseling, such as marriage counseling for men with relationship issues or psychiatric help for men concerned about a penile appearance issue. For young men with problems with sexual performance and no signs of physical problems, Boyle may prescribe counseling and a low dose of Viagra to address insecurity issues. “They need to be reassured by a doctor that everything is fine,” she said.

The quest for a bigger penis

The FastSize Extender device promises results, but it’s far from quick and easy. Just ask Bob, a retail manager from New Jersey. He says he’s gained over 2 inches in erect length. All it took was 25 months and over 2,600 hours of wearing the device, typically five hours a day, seven days a week. “I was afraid my girlfriend would think I was a freak, but she supported me because she felt a difference in her satisfaction and I had more confidence in myself,” Bob told WebMD.

Richard, the mechanic from New York, got results faster than Bob, but still wore the device under his clothes for about eight hours a day. Richard’s wife also lent her support. “I see a more confident man in front of me using this product,” she says. She also says that lengthening improved their sex life, although she had never complained before.

Chicago urologist Laurence A. Levine, MD, director of the male fertility program at Rush University Medical Center, tested the FastSize Extender on 10 men with Peyronie’s disease, which can cause the penis to flex and shrink. . At the end of the six-month study, funded by the maker of the FastSize Extender, Levine found an increase in penis length and reduced curvature in each man and an increase in girth in seven of the men. Calling the results “remarkable,” Levine is now prescribing the device for many Peyronie patients and not reporting any significant complications. (Levine also worked as a paid consultant for FastSize Extender.)

Could FastSize work on men of normal penile length? Levine says it’s possible. “If a woman can have breast augmentation and it makes her feel better psychologically,” he explains, “then maybe we should have the same for men.”

Penis lengthening surgery is also an option for men, but it is a very controversial procedure. The American Urological Association says that a common form of lengthening surgery (involving cutting the suspensory ligament of the penis) has not been shown to be safe or effective. The group also refuses to approve surgeries that inject fat cells into the penis in an attempt to increase penile girth.

Many doctors wonder if the benefits of lengthening surgery outweigh the risks. A 2006 study found that only 35% of men were satisfied with the outcome of surgery, which on average only added half an inch to length. Men who are overly concerned about penile length tend to have unrealistic expectations of surgery and should seek advice instead, the authors wrote.

Herbs and male enhancement

Thousands of years before Viagra, men consumed everything from horny goat weed to powdered rhino horn in the hopes of improving sexual performance. The remedies persist for men who cannot get hold of prescription drugs like Viagra or who prefer “natural” remedies.

But many doctors are wary of traditional medicines. When Boyle’s patients come to her with bottles of herbal supplements, she tells them that she cannot guarantee their safety or effectiveness unless the FDA has reviewed the claims on the label.

No herbal remedy can restore erections like Viagra and its prescription counterparts, says Steven Lamm, MD, assistant professor of medicine at New York University and author of The hardness factor. But Lamm says these remedies may be appropriate for men who have experienced a decline in their sexual performance but who don’t have a diagnosable sexual problem. Lamm has approved an herbal remedy, marketed under the Roaring Tiger label, which combines horny goat weed and other plant extracts with the amino acid L-arginine. (The supplements are made by the same company that makes the FastSize Extender.)

The way to happiness in bed

The internet is full of crooks who seek to exploit men’s insecurities, Levine says. “All the pills, topical creams and gels are worthless. A lot of men would clearly rather spend $ 20, $ 50, $ 100 on the Internet than go to the doctor and get real information.”

In some cases, men go out of their way in search of a bigger penis. Levine cites “jelqing,” a technique involving hours and hours of intense caressing. He says he has patients who have developed Peyronie’s disease due to a violent stretching of the penis by jelqing.

It is ironic that the male concern for improvement appears to be independent of the needs of women, the supposed benefactors of improved sexual performance. A recent study found that 85% of women are happy with the proportions of their partner’s penis, but 45% of men say they want a bigger penis. Since the vast majority of men are within a certain penis size – around 5.5-6.2 inches long when erect – most men are within the normal range.

And there is a lot of debate about the importance of size. The most sensitive nerves in the vagina are found near the surface, Lamm notes, and the clitoris is found outside the vagina. So there should be plenty of ways to satisfy your partner that have nothing to do with pills, creams, surgery, or devices.

(Have you tried or considered trying a male enhancement product? Discuss it on the Men’s Health: Man to Man bulletin board.)


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