TikTok penis enlarging trend may backfire, experts say

An alarming TikTok trend known as “jelqing” could have several unintended consequences, doctors are warning.

“The supposedly ‘ancient’ technique involves repeatedly stretching a semi-erect penis over time in the hopes that it will enlarge the organ,” Daily Mail reported. “In theory, each tug gradually rips the penile tissue, allowing space for scar tissue to fill it out, making it look bigger.”

But the efforts could backfire and men hoping for the outcome could be left facing Peyronie’s Disease which, according to the Mayo Clinic, is “a condition in which fibrous scar tissue forms in the deeper tissues under the skin of the penis. This causes curved, painful erections. It also can make the penis shorter while erect.”

The bizarre trend has led to thousands of videos posted on TikTok sharing the how-to’s of the technique and claims of “an inch and a half” increase in length.

“Those repeated, traumatic movements can translate into scarring, but that can then translate into Peyronie’s Disease, where you form a plaque, that can be associated with erectile dysfunction and pain as well,” Dr Jamin Brahmbhatt told Daily Mail.

The board-certified urologist at Orlando Health stressed the risk is not worth it.

“It’s a complete waste of guys’ time,” he said.

“It can be very painful, and sometimes the scarring can take three to six months or even a year to build up for you to even notice the change. So you may think you haven’t seen any negative side effects, but it may just take some time,” Brahmbhatt added.

Though the videos and blogs have increased on spaces such as TikTok and Reddit, the ‘technique’ is not new and was the topic of headlines in 2019 in publications including Men’s Health, and Rolling Stone as well as Cosmopolitan magazine in 2016 which offered a “how-to.”

“Doing these sort of exercises can create permanent damage to your penis,” warned Dr. Rena Malik in a 2021 video.

“You can create penile numbness by damaging the nerves to the penis,” she added, saying it does “more harm than good,” while potentially causing painful bruising.

Dr Justin Dubin, a urologist from Florida, has reportedly seen an increase in patients because of the “jelqing” trend.

“I’m seeing it mostly in young white dudes now, both in the office and in the questions I get asked online and from people in my personal life,” Dubin told PsychologyToday.

“I have men come to me, in my office, and elsewhere, with bruising, pain, and damage to their penises. I’ve not seen men break their penis with jelqing,” he added. “Still, jelqing may increase the risk of developing Peyronie’s in the future, which can shrink their penis, ultimately making their genital insecurity even worse.”

“If I had a way to increase men’s penis, I’d be a billionaire,” said Dubin. “They don’t work. It’s not a conspiracy to suppress these methods because they’re forms of traditional medicine rejected by modern science, as some men claim. They just don’t work.”

Frieda Powers


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