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So, do penis pumps work?  If you're looking for a quick answer, then yes, penis pumps work, at least for what they were designed to do. Now, what they are intended to do might not match your expectations. There is plenty of medical data and information from research institutions available to confirm just how effective they are. 

What is a penis pump and what do they do?

A penis pump is a non-surgical over the counter device that is used to improve erection health, treat erectile dysfunction symptoms, and temporarily increase the size and firmness of your erection.

Also known as vacuum erection devices, or vacuum pumps, these devices are easy to use and considered safe for anybody with a penis.

When properly using a vacuum erection device it will increase blood flow to your penis. This blood flow will help you achieve an erection if you are unable to do so naturally. If you can produce a natural erection, a pump will help you maintain or even give you additional firmness.

As a secondary benefit to additional blood flow in your penis, you may experience a temporary size increase in your natural length and girth. Unfortunately, this size increase is only temporary and once the blood leaves your penis, you will return back to your natural size.

If you suffer from erectile dysfunction, penis pumps can be a safe and effective alternative to other ED treatments. Generally speaking, penis pumps are more cost-effective and easier to obtain than other treatments. While it won't cure erectile dysfunction, it will give you temporary benefits.

If you use Viagra, Cialis, or other ED medications to treat erectile dysfunction, a penis pump is a great solution to use in conjunction. Many men also find that using a penis pump after undergoing radiation and other cancer treatments is a great solution to achieving and maintaining erections. Doctors often prescribe a penis pump post-cancer surgery.

The penis pump is designed to benefit those with moderate ED. It may not, however, be effective in those with severe ED.

You should seek a medical diagnosis to determine the extent of your ED before seeking any serious intervention

What are the benefits of a penis pump?

  • Increasing blood flow to the penis
  • Achieving an erection if you are unable to naturally
  • Maintaining and increasing the firmness of your natural erection
  • Temporarily increasing the size of your penis
  • Post cancer radiation treatment for erection health
  • Treatment for Peyronie's Disease

A penis pump is simple device consisting of

  • A round tube that fits over your penis
  • A pump seal that sits snug around the base of the penis and creates an airtight seal
  • An electric or hand powered vacuum pumping device that removes the air out of the tube


    A crystal clear penis pump for beginners

    How does a penis pump work?

    Penis pumps work by pulling blood into your penis through a negative vacuum chamber. When you use the pump, you are removing the air from the pump cylinder which draws the blood into your penis. This causes your penis to get larger and harder, temporarily.

    Some penis pumps are electric battery-powered - with a small air pump motor that sucks the air from the tube.

    Others are hand-powered; meaning the user must pump the air out of the tube manually with some sort of suction device.

    Interested in buying a penis pump?

    Whether you're looking to buy your first penis pump or you're a seasoned user, we can help you find your next penis pump. Find below our collection and buying guides:

    As more blood is drawn in, your penis gets fuller and harder - and you get an erection.

    When the penis pump is removed, you can slide or roll a constriction band down to the bottom of your shaft (near your pelvis) to make sure the blood stays where it's needed, in your penis.

    How to use a penis pump

    Although some of the features are slightly different from model to model, the basic way of working is generally the same between different products.

    1. Apply lubricant to the sleeve at the base of the pump (Only use water-based lubricants with your pump. Never use oil or petroleum-based lubricants such as Vaseline)
    2. Place the tube over your penis - making sure there's a snug, airtight fit around the base
    3. Pump the air out of the cylinder with the handpump (or electric pump) - creating a vacuum in the tube
    4. When your penis is erect, remove the tube
    5. Place a constriction ring around the base of the penis to maintain your erection

    How long does it take?

    Typically, it takes 2-4 minutes to get fully erect using a pump.

    It may take a little longer though - the speed of results varies between different people. Always follow the manufacturer's recommended usage though.

    How often and how long should I use a penis pump?

    This is where you need to listen to your body and see how it responds. As long as you have no bruising or pain you can use it as often as you would like.

    Even multiple times per day.

    Never use a penis pump for longer than 30 minutes at a time. 

    Precautions and Preparation for pumping

    While penis pumps are effective and safe, there are a few precautions your should take when using.

    • Shave your pubic hair. It's important to shave and remove as much of the hair around your penis before using a pump. If you do not do this, you risk snagging and ripping your pubes out. This can be quite painful and a mood killer.
    • Use lubricant. Using a quality water-based lubricant with your pump will help you slide into the pump easier. Many pumps come with a tight silicone sleeve that helps create the airtight seal needed to pump effectively. The lubricant will help you slide in pain-free and snugly.
    • Follow directions. Always read and follow the instructions included with your pump. While pumps all act the same, each may have its own best practices.
    • Limit your time. You don't want to have the penis pump on your penis for an extended period of time. Limit your actual pump time as well as the time you have the cock ring on your penis to no more than 30 minutes.
    • Listen to your body. Nobody knows you better than you do so listen and do not push your body past what it is telling you. If you start feeling pain or noticing bruising or lacerations on your skin, stop pumping and allow your body to heal.

    Should I use a constriction ring when pumping?

    Yes, using an erection ring or constriction ring along with your pump is a helpful idea.

    Constriction rings or cock rings are designed to firmly squeeze all the way around the base of your shaft – making sure the blood stays where you need it after you’ve pumped. Constriction rings are the safest method to stay hard after pumping.

    How do I use a cock ring with my penis pump?

    It's important to note that you only want to wear the erection ring once you have already pumped. If you place it on your penis prior to pumping you will limit the blood flow caused by the vacuum.

    To use a cock ring with a pump, simply slide the ring over your shaft and down to the base where your penis meets your pelvis.

    Warning: Never use a constriction ring for longer than 30 minutes. A cock ring that has been on for too long or is too tight can cause tissue damage, bruising, and numbness.

    Expert tip

    You need to make sure you only use a constriction ring after pumping. If you put one on beforehand, the pump and the ring will effectively work against each other.

    Learn how to use a cock ring in our dedicated guide:

    Can penis pumps increase your penis size? Permanently?

    Temporarily yes, a penis pump can increase your penis size. Permanently, no.  Long term, you will not grow your penis like many websites may claim.

    A pump is designed to help you create and maintain an erection in the short term only. Be wary of any claims otherwise.

    A customer review of the High Power 5-speed electric penis pump

    How long do the effects of vacuum devices last?

    While everybody is different, generally, you can expect your results to last 30 minutes. There are external factors such as mental state and arousal that will contribute to the effects.

    Are penis pumps medical devices?

    A penis pump is considered a medical device when an FDA-approved pump is prescribed by a doctor. You can also purchase an OTC vacuum pump that is not FDA approved, therefore, not a medical device.

    Do I need a prescription to purchase a pump?

    No, you do not need a prescription from a doctor to purchase a penis pump. These devices are readily available over the counter (OTC) for purchase.

    Are penis pumps safe?

    Yes, penis pumps are safe for general use. To maintain safety always use a penis pump correctly. If you have concerns or underlying medical conditions, it is always recommended to speak with your doctor first.

    Penis pumps are not safe if you have any of the following conditions

    • If you have an underlying blood disorder
    • If you experience or have experienced bleeding or blood clots
    • If you take blood-thinning medication

    Who should consider using a penis pump?

    Vacuum devices can be used by anybody with a penis, with the exception of those suffering from certain medical conditions. No matter if you suffer from erectile dysfunction or just looking to improve your experience in the bedroom, you can benefit from one.

    Penis pumps are one of the few devices out there that really can be used by all men.

    While they do not cure erectile dysfunction they can help tremendously with it.

    You should use a penis pump if:

    • You are looking to enjoy stronger erections that last longer
    • You just are looking for new types of fun in the bedroom
    • You are not getting as hard as you once were
    • You want to increase the sensitivity of your penis
    • You suffer from erectile dysfunction
    • (Note: Pumps are not a cure for all erectile dysfunction symptoms, if you suffer from ED, please contact your physician)

    I had prostate surgery can I pump?

    This is something that you should speak directly to your doctor about to get proper medical advice. Vacuum erection devices have been known to help with  improve erectile function and prescribed by doctors to their patients who have erectile issues post radiation therapy and prostate cancer.

    Side Effects of Common ED Treatments

     ED Treatment Type Side Effects
    Testosterone treatment Acne, increased risk of prostate problems, increased risk of blood clots
    Oral drugs Flushing, indigestion, stuffy/running nose, back pains, and priapism (failure of the erection to subside on its own)
    Penile Implants Uncontrollable bleeding following the surgery, scar tissue formation, reservoir displacements
    Bypass Surgery Post-operative infections, mechanical malfunction

    What are the risks or side effects of using a pump?

    There are very few risks associated with using a vacuum device but they are not 100% risk-free. You only want to apply the minimum amount of vacuum necessary to achieve an erection. 

    • Using too much air pressure in the tube can cause over-pumping which may injure your penis. Using an air gauge can help avoid this.
    • You may experience mild bleeding or bruising under the surface of your skin. You might notice small red spots also known as petechiae, on your penis shaft.
    • You may notice that the firmness or hardness of your erection might not feel as stiff at the base as a natural erection.

    Warning Signs

    • If there is any pain or discomfort, you should reduce the vacuum. and STOP if it continues.
    • If flesh goes purple or blue, cold and numb, STOP immediately and massage. You have been pumping too.
    • Never use a damaged pump cylinder.
    • Only use water-based lubricants with your pump. Never use oil or petroleum-based lubricants such as Vaseline.

    Banner showing the beginners vacuum penis pump

    How do I know which is the best penis pump for me?

    When looking to purchase a penis pump you want to make sure that you are purchasing a quality device from a reputable retailer.

    To be safe, always purchase a penis pump with a vacuum limiter or a quick-release safety valve. This feature helps control the pressure in the cylinder avoiding over-pumping injuries. Another important safety feature is an air gauge that will help you monitor the air pressure in the cylinder. Most quality pumps include an air gauge either digital or manual.

    You will need to measure your penis to ensure that you are getting a pump that is the right fit for your body. Once you have measured your penis size and matched it to the proper cylinder size, you will need to determine what type of pump you want with what features you desire.

    Tetimonial from a happy customer

    What else can I do to improve erectile function along with a pump?

    Whether you are using vacuum devices for erectile dysfunction or for other personal reasons, they are only one part of the puzzle. Everyday life has a lot to do with your overall health, stress levels, and libido. You should look at your lifestyle and look for places to improve on.

    Your diet

    Look at what you put into your body on a daily basis. You should aim to have a healthier diet with foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients. You will be amazed at the results this has on your erectile function and libido. Furthermore, improving your diet will help you lose weight which will give you the appearance of a larger penis.

    Remove stress

    It is easier said than done but removing as much stress as you can from your life will help improve your sex life (and health). Stress often plays a role in erectile dysfunction.

    Get a good night's sleep

    We are often overworked and under rested. This type of behavior can negatively impact your mood and libido. If you get a solid night's sleep you can improve all aspects of your life.

    Get rid of your vices

    Another easier said than done but what an improvement you will see. If you consume alcohol, drugs, nicotine, or too much caffeine, you are not helping your body perform at its peak. Removing these vices from your system will improve your mood and libido.

    Review your medications

    Some medications such as antidepressants and blood pressure meds can have an adverse effect on your sex drive and libido. If you notice this, speak to your doctor about potential alternatives.

    Enjoy all aspects of sex

    Arousal is a major part of getting erections. If you are not aroused how can you expect to become hard? Start to explore other parts of sex including foreplay and pleasuring your partner first. Find out what makes you horny and do it. You have a better chance at getting an erection when you have more sex, studies show.

    Final thoughts on penis pumps

    Penis pumps work and are a great solution to improving your sex life. If you are looking to achieve or maintain hard and firm erections, these are devices that can help. If you are looking to grow inches on your penis, unfortunately, penis enlargement surgery is your only option.