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Men's Health

Male Enhancement: Is It Worth a Try?

Nonpresciption methods of male enhancement and male enlargement range from the possibly effective to the downright dangerous.
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The Quest for a Bigger Penis continued...

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 has also been supportive. "I see a more confident man in front of me from using this product," she says. She also says the lengthening has enhanced their sex life, though she had no complaints 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 afflicted with Peyronie's disease, which can cause bending and shrinkage of the penis. At the end of the six-month study, which was funded by the maker of the FastSize Extender, Levine found increased penile length and reduced curvature in every man and increased girth in seven of the men. Calling the results "remarkable," Levine now prescribes the device to many of his Peyronie's patients and reports no significant complications. (Levine has also worked as a paid consultant to FastSize Extender.)

Could FastSize work on men of normal penile length? Levine says it might. "If a woman can have a breast enlargement and it makes them psychologically feel better," he reasons, "then perhaps we should have the same thing for men."

Penis-lengthening surgery is also an option for men, but it is a highly controversial procedure. The American Urological Association says 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 endorse surgeries that inject fat cells in the penis with the goal of increasing penile girth.

Many doctors question whether 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 added only half an inch, on average, to length. Men who are overly preoccupied with penis length tend to have unrealistic expectations of surgery and should seek counseling instead, the authors wrote.

Herbs and Male Enhancement

Thousands of years before Viagra, men were consuming everything from horny goat weed to powdered rhino horn in hopes of boosting sexual performance. The remedies persist for men who can't get their hands on prescription drugs like Viagra or who prefer "natural" cures.

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