All You Need To Know About Penile Pumps

A penis pump is an external device that uses a vacuum to draw blood into the penis and obtain a strong erection. This device is so popular that it amounts to roughly 200,000 online searches monthly.

penis-pump-ahcafr-overviewWith vacuum as the driving force behind a penis pump’s operation, it is also referred to as Vacuum Constriction Device (VCD) or Vacuum Erection Device (VED).


Penis pumps are not entirely a new thing, with the first penis vacuum tube created in 1874 by Dr. John King. In the 1960s, during the sex industry boom, these devices started to gain popularity as sex toys.

At the turn of the 21st century, penis pumps gained further acceptance in the health field as a means to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). Pumps for medical applications have been equipped with safety features to limit maximum air pressure and prevent injury to the user.

Later on, more modern pumps which rely on water for pressure generation came out. This development has expanded the application of these vacuum devices into the area of penis enlargement.


Penis pumps are mainly classified based on how the vacuum is generated.

  • Manual pumps are basic air pumps. They have squeezable components that can control air pressure and pace of pumping.
  • Electric pumps are battery-powered air pumps. They are more expensive and complicated, but they’re good for people with physical limitations to operate the manual ones. They build pressure more slowly, so users are less likely to get an injury.
  • Water-based pumps or hydro-pumps use water to create a vacuum. While they can help increase a man’s erection, water-based pumps are more prominent as penis enlargers. Water generates limited pressure levels, so these pumps are safer, more comfortable, and more versatile than their air-based counterparts.

How does a penis pump work?

To understand how a penis pump works, know first that the device consists of these parts:

  • A cylinder – usually made from transparent plastic.
  • A pump (silicone/rubber cylinder, hand grip, squeeze ball, plunger, or electric) attached at one end of the cylinder;
  • A pressure-release valve at the other end of the cylinder or together with the pump.

The fundamental principle is that a pump creates a vacuum inside a cylinder where a flaccid penis has been inserted. When the pump is on, pressure decreases inside the cylinder, and the resulting vacuum forces blood to fill the penis.

An optional constriction ring at the base of the penis can help maintain a firm erection, especially during sexual intercourse.

How to use a penis pump

The following are general steps on using a penis pump and vary greatly on the type of pump used.

  1. Insert your penis into the cylinder. The cylinder’s base must be held firmly against your pubic bone to have a good seal. A lubricant can be applied to prevent irritation.
  2. Attach and operate the pump. Depending on the type of device, this action will draw out air or water to create the vacuum.
  3. Once the penis becomes erect, hold the pressure for a 10 to 15 minutes. You may re-pump if the vacuum is getting weaker.
  4. Optional: slide down the ring into the lower end of the penis. It will keep blood inside the penis and maintain the erection.
  5. Release the vacuum, then remove the pump.

Do penis pumps work?

Improve erection

Penis pumps do enhance blood flow to the penis and improve erection quality. They are proven as a traditional solution against ED and other forms of impotence. In fact, 50-80% of users are satisfied with the results.

The American Urological Association stated that vacuum constriction devices might be useful in situations where Viagra and similar drugs are ineffective. However, most users dislike penis pumps, which limits the device’s application as an ED therapy.

Increase penis length

Over time, men started using pumps not only for improving erection but also for increasing penis length. With the right pump size, a penis can get longer by 1 to 2 inches within months of use. Most of the vacuum is applied along the length of the penis, so a user would immediately notice gains in length.

Increase penis girth

While an increase in length is the obvious target of penis enlargement, penis pumps can increase penis girth as well. But girth gains are not as prominent as the length gains, with typical increases ranging from 0.5 to 1 inch only.

Is the increase in penis size permanent?

A man’s sex organ is made up of spongy tissues, so filling it with blood and stretching it will cause expansion. But unlike surgery that could give permanent gains, the length and girth effects from penis pumps are usually temporary with short-term use.

The expansion process is like going to the gym for a work-out. Lifting weights makes your muscles bigger, but they return to normal size after a few hours. If you exercise more often, the muscles in your body will grow and maintain their size.

The same principle applies to penis pumps, as penile tissues are similar to other muscle tissues in the body. Consistent and long-term use will make the size effects stick and be permanent.

Can I use it for sexual intercourse?

Penis pumps are beneficial during actual sex. As blood fills all those veins in your penis, you’ll achieve your maximum erection, and there will be short-term gains in your penis size. You will impress your partner, and both of you will enjoy your sexual encounters.

Just follow the instructions in “Steps on using a penis pump” section. Once your penis becomes hard after pumping, you can leave the constriction ring on your penis to maintain a firm erection during sexual intercourse.


  • Penis pumps provide a drug-free and non-invasive way of treating ED. Without drugs, injections or surgeries, vacuum erection devices have a lower risk for complications.
  • Penile pumps can be used in combination with other ED therapies, like oral medications and supplements. The device will not interfere with the effects of Viagra, Cialis or any other ED treatments.
  • For users who undergone prostate surgery, penis pumps will help restore erectile function and penis size to their pre-surgery states.
  • As a penis enlargement method, a penis pump offers an alternative approach for users who dislike taking penis growth supplements, doing jelqing or other penile exercises, or using penile extenders.
  • After a penis pump is purchased, there are no additional costs attached to using the equipment. It is unlike supplements that require replenishment of supplies or surgeries that need medical follow-ups.
  • Medicare and many insurance policies offer coverage of certain expenses, especially for documented ED cases.

Erection devices, ED therapy, or penis enlargers

We previously mentioned that a penis pump could be used as a penis enlarger, as an ED treatment, or just a simple erection device. As such, similar devices have been grouped by their applications.

We recently ranked the Top 3 Penis Pumps on the market in 2020.

Regular air-based pumps

Air-based pumps are better at generating high pressure. While this quality would automatically make them candidates for ED therapy, they are primarily used as a device to enhance erection quality and maintain a firm erection during sexual intercourse.

Here are some examples of regular air-based pumps:

  • The Vibrating Big Man’s Pump is a manual pump that can be safely used not only by ordinary users but also by ED patients too. It has vibrating capabilities that stimulate nerve endings to promotes blood flow into the penis. You can find stocks online with a price as low as $40.
  • Sinclair Endow is another air pump that can be used by ED patients as well. Unlike the Vibrating Big Man’s Pump, this pump is battery-operated and has a higher price of $100.
  • X4 Labs offer a variety of manual and electric vacuum erection devices, with prices ranging from $40 to $100. X4 Labs seems to be discontinued according to some reviews.
  • There are cheap air-based pumps in eBay and Amazon. Some of the affordable ones at the $10 price are Pipedream, Realistic Sleeve, and Nautime.

ED pumps

Among air-based pumps, few have been marketed as erectile dysfunction pumps. These devices are specifically designed to be used as medical tools against ED. They can be purchased over the counter and without a prescription.

Some ED pumps you’ll find online are:

  • The Soma Therapy is a battery-operated air-based pump from Augusta Medical, which costs $300.
  • Vacurect Model 1002 is a manual air-based pump from Bonro Medical. The standard version costs $175 while the deluxe version costs $275.

Penis Enlargers

For a complete list, see this page.

Water-based pumps function better as penis enlargers. They give growth in penis length and especially in girth. All of these pumps are very safe. As they rely on water, there is no risk of over-pumping as the generated pressure is limited.

Some water-based pumps on the market are:penomet pump

  • Penomet is a water-based pump and penis enlarger. Depending on the number of attachable gaiters, Penomet’s price will range from $127 to $297. Read our Penomet review.
  • The Bathmate and Hydromax brands belong to the Bathmate pumpsame family of water-based pumps. They are available in different sizes. The basic Bathmate Hercules costs $110 while the most sophisticated HydroXtreme X50 costs $399. Read our complete Bathmate review.


  • The erection gained from using penis pump is different from a natural erection. The skin is cold and numb, the veins are swollen, and the circumference is abnormally bigger. Also, the penis may pivot at its base, so it needs adjustment from time to time during sexual intercourse.
  • Men with moderate ED are the ones who could get the most benefit from penis pumps. Penis pumps are not sufficiently effective for men whose ED is either mild or severe (source).
  • Men with obesity will have a hard time using penis pumps. Due to the fatty deposits in the abdomen, a good seal against the skin is difficult to achieve.
  • Use of penis pump can be tiring, that is why there is a high rate of discontinued usage. With the availability of Viagra and other supplements, many users would just prefer to take oral medications than going through a penis pump routine.

Who should use a penis pump?

Penis pumps help patients whose ED are caused by the following conditions:

  • poor blood circulation to the penis;
  • diabetes;
  • prostate surgery;
  • colon cancer surgery;
  • depression, anxiety and other psychological conditions.

Also, penis pumps also help correct mild penis curvature caused by Peyronie’s disease.

Not all men though can readily use pumps. Men with the following conditions should exercise caution before using this device:

  • sickle cell anemia, leukemia and other blood conditions that could lead to priapism (prolonged, sometimes painful erection);
  • bleeding disorders or use of blood-thinning medicines like warfarin;
  • reduced penile sensation;
  • spinal cord injury;
  • severe penis curvature of the penis.

Side effects

While the risks associated with the use of penis pump are low, side effects have been commonly observed among users. Some short-term effects include:

  • Decreased ejaculatory force due to the constriction ring;
  • Small bruises on the penis shaft that are usually painless and disappears after a few days;
  • Skin discoloration (purple skin, black or blue marks, red dots).

Extended usage could cause the following long-term effects:

  • Skin thickening;
  • Ruptured blood vessels.


  • Take breaks. For instance, for air pumps, release air pressure every 10-15 minutes and take breaks for 3-5 minutes. During breaks, stretch or massage your penis to allow blood circulation.
  • If you’re applying the constriction ring (especially during sexual intercourse), use it for up to 30 minutes only. Beyond that time, it is dangerous and could cause injuries to your penis.
  • For new users, use a penis pump twice to thrice per week in the initial weeks. Gradually increase the frequency once your penis has been used to the pump.

Do pumps hurt?

  • As long as you follow manufacturer’s instructions or your doctor’s recommendations on pressure control, penis pumps won’t hurt. However, applying too much pressure could be painful and cause damage to your penile tissues.
  • To enjoy the benefits of pumping, begin slowly and avoid the temptation of over-pumping.

Buying tips

  • Penis pumps may be available at your local store, but your safest bet is to order them online. The product will be discreetly delivered to you.
  • While some penile pumps need a prescription, many models do not require it. If you’re buying one without a prescription, discuss with your doctor first to find the pump that will fit your needs.
  • If you’re buying a penis pump without a prescription, check models with “quick release” function. It will prevent injury caused by pumps that are slow in relieving pressure or does not release the pressure on-time.
  • Buy a pump with a pressure gauge or vacuum limiter. These features allow you to monitor the pressure inside the cylinder.
  • Select a penis pump that has a transparent cylinder. You can readily check if your penis gets irritated or discolored during pumping.
  • Choosing between manual and battery-operated pumps is up to you. Choose a battery-operated model if you got limited use of your hands.
  • If your goal is penis enlargement, choose a penile pump that will help you gain growth. You must take the dimensions (length and girth) of your flaccid and erect penis, and compare those numbers with the manufacturer’s size recommendations. A penis pump won’t be effective if it is too big.


If you find pumping as a tiring or ineffective method, you may opt to use extenders where you can set it up one time daily and leave it on while you do your usual routines. You can also do stretches and manual exercises, or go with drugs and supplements.

Leave a Comment:

1 comment
Abdeali says February 25, 2021

Enlarge penis size – take 10 drops of earth worm oil on hand palm and massage light hand on shaft of penis and cap for 10 to 15 minutes and wrap with warm cloth.

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