Penis Pump Review: How It Helped My Erectile Dysfunction

photo of a penis pump
In the last few years, I’ve had erectile dysfunction on many frustrating occasions during sex.

I’ve tested various treatments, from viagra to herbal remedies. And although several of them have worked well, I’m not so keen on the side effects.

So I decided to try a penis pump in the hope it would be a more tolerable treatment option. I did find it worked well, but that you also need to be careful using it.

In this review, I’ll explain how it was an effective way to ensure strong enough erections for sex, and what I’ve discovered about using it properly.

Choosing the penis pump

I decided to start with the basic textured penis pump from www.lovehoney.com. It has plenty of positive reviews and was reasonably priced.

Some websites recommend using a medical grade pump or the best one you can afford. These can be expensive though – I’ve seen up to $199 in the U.S. and £220 in the U.K.

So I wanted to see if you can still get good results from a basic pump if you use it carefully, and save some money in case it doesn’t work right for you.

Packaging, discretion and what you get

the basic penis pump tested in the review

For me, it’s important that products like these are sent in an unmarked and discreet package. Love Honey is good for that, always using sealed, thick brown boxes, with no clue as to the contents.

The pump itself was sealed in a plastic packaging, which is an important hygiene point. It was already assembled and good to go out of the box. And there’s an enclosed leaflet with clear instructions and safety advice.

It didn’t come with a constriction ring to help keep your erection, or with a lubricant which is necessary to form a seal.

Personally, I chose not to use a constriction ring anyway and already had lubricant of my own. But these are two extras to bear in mind if you buy a pump.

My experience

I’m going to explain exactly what it’s like to use the penis pump, as I think it’s useful to know what it feels like, and how to use it safely. Skip to the next section if you’d prefer not to read these details.

After reading the instructions carefully, I applied some lubricant to the opening of the pump, and inserted my penis into the cylindrical chamber.

I pushed the pump to my body to make sure the seal was airtight, and then gave the hand pump a very slow first squeeze.

Interestingly, nothing happens when you squeeze the pump; it’s when you release it that you feel some movement. And as I slowly released my grip on the pump, I both felt and saw my penis start to enlarge inside the tube.

It’s a strange sensation, and you definitely feel the pressure from the vacuum even on that first squeeze. I was surprised that it had such a visible effect on the first pump.

I decided to take a minute to check the quick release air valve worked properly, just in case. It does work well, releasing the feeling of pressure quickly, which was reassuring.

I then continued with a second and third squeeze, making sure I was very slow with every squeeze and release.

After just 5 pumps I was fully erect, which was sooner than I’d expected. So even though it’s advisable to pump slowly, it gets you erect quickly because just a few pumps do the trick.

Removal

I then turned the release air valve a little and twisted the cylinder to remove it, which was easy enough.

I checked for discoloration but didn’t find anything unusual. My feeling is that discoloration is more likely if you pump too quickly, too much or too often.

The important thing is that I had a full erection, which stayed even after I stopped pumping. I was then able to make love to my partner in the same way as I would when getting an erection naturally, so I was happy about that.

My ongoing tests

I decided to use the penis pump almost daily for a month to see what effect it would have.

I was interested to see if it’s reliable or sometimes doesn’t work. And if the risk of pain or other problems increases with usage, and if it can increase your size or not.

Here are the main points arising (forgive the pun…) from my month-long test:

  • It worked every time, regardless of my libido, physical or mental state.
  • If you pump too fast, it’s definitely uncomfortable.
  • My erection only had a slightly purplish color on a couple of occasions when I pumped more than necessary.
  • I personally found my erection stayed for long enough to have sex. But I also tried a constriction ring, and it does seem to help keep your erection harder for longer.
  • It’s possible to give yourself a very engorged erection, making your penis appear bigger temporarily.
  • I didn’t notice any permanent flaccid size increase after a month.

So on the whole, I I found the penis pump to be an effective and reliable way to get a good erection when you need one.

Criticisms

The main issue is that you do need to be very careful when using a penis pump. It’s uncomfortable, and a little worrying, if you go pump too fast or too much in one session.

You do get used to the odd feeling of the blood quickly filling your penis, but to avoid pain or discoloration, you really can’t overdo it.

I found the pump can temporarily give you bigger erections by engorging it more. But I remain very skeptical of claims that it can add inches to your size. That’s more of a criticism of exaggerated advertising than the pump itself though.

Another key issue is how and when you’re actually going to use the pump.

Do you involve your partner in helping you cope with erectile dysfunction? Or do you sneak off to the bathroom, reappearing 5 minutes later with a ‘spontaneous’ erection?

I think it’s fine to use it in your own time, and if you have an understanding partner. My partner thinks it’s quite funny and finds it fascinating to watch!

But if you’re with someone new, it’s perhaps not as convenient or subtle as a quick pill like viagra.

How to use a penis pump safely

The specific pump you buy should have detailed instructions for correct usage and safety advice. If it doesn’t, I recommend sending it back.

Based on my own experience, medical websites, and research (see below), here are some key safety points to keep in mind:

  • If you’re using the pump following cancer treatment/surgery, make sure you get guidance from your doctor on correct usage for you personally.
  • If you use a constriction ring, apply it after you gain an erection. Don’t keep the ring on for longer than 30 minutes.
  • Only use a penis pump that has a quick pressure release valve.
  • Shaving pubic hair can help create a better seal.
  • Make sure you apply lubricant to your penis and the opening of the tube.
  • Push the tube against your body to create a tight seal.
  • Make sure you only put your penis inside the tube, and not your testicles.
  • Pump slowly, and wait until your penis stops growing after each squeeze before continuing.
  • Only pump until you have an erection. As soon as you do, release the tube.

Research and medical opinion of penis pumps


How effective are penis pumps?

A review of erectile dysfunction treatments in the U.S. looked at different research studies, finding:

  • A penis pump produced a good enough erection for sex in over 90% of men.
  • 69% of men continued using it for at least 2 years, with only 31% stopping.
  • In a group of 100 men, 68% said they were satisfied with the pump.

According to the British National Health Service website, a penis pump will work for most men with erectile dysfunction. They say:

Vacuum pumps encourage blood to flow to the penis, causing an erection. They work for most men and can be used if medicine isn’t suitable.

The British Society for Sexual Medicine also suggests that the cause doesn’t matter:

VCDs are highly effective in inducing erections regardless of the cause of the ED.

And researchers in 2013 found strong evidence that a penis pump helps after radical prostatectomy surgery, saying:

There is convincing evidence that vacuum erection devices are successful in the treatment of ED following RP, especially when used in combination with phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors,

Risk of side effects

As long as they are used safely, penis pumps are generally regarded as having a low risk of side effects, especially compared to some drug treatments.

According to the British Society of Sexual Medicine:

As compared to drug treatments for ED, a major advantage of the VCD is that it has a low risk of systemic side-effects and therefore the potential to be used in a greater number of patients…The VCD can be used to ensure multiple erections on a daily basis.

However, studies have shown that some men do experience some side effects during pumping. The U.S. study (above) found the following statistics:

  • 20% to 40% of men experienced some pain during the suction process.
  • 25% to 39% experienced petechiae (small purple spots caused by minor bleeding).
  • 6% to 20% experienced some bruising.

Despite, those concerning statistics, it was the same study that reported the 90% satisfaction rate!

Safety warnings

Organisations such as the FDA recommend not using a penis pump if any of the following conditions or situations apply to you:

  • If you have a bleeding disorder, sickle cell disease or severe Peyronie’s disease
  • If you take aspirin or blood thinners
  • Impaired pain perception
  • Reduced hand strength (and are unable to easily remove the pump or use the safety valve).
  • A history of prolonged or painful erections.

Can it improve penis size?

Some men say on forums and blogs that pumping increased their penis size, and manufacturers often claim they can too. However, there isn’t much scientific evidence to back this up.

The Mayo Clinic believe that a penis pump can only make it look bigger in the short-term, and remind users to be careful:

A vacuum pump can make a penis look larger temporarily. But using one too often or too long can damage elastic tissue in the penis, leading to less firm erections.

And an Italian review of multiple penis enlargement studies found that 6 months of pumping gave no significant improvement. However, men did report psychological satisfaction due to the temporary increases.


Summary


Pros

  • Effective and reliable way to get an erection for sex
  • Cheaper than ongoing drug treatments like viagra or cialis.
  • Avoids taking any medication
  • No systemic side effects (affecting the rest of the body)
  • Non-invasive treatment
  • Easy and quick to use

Cons

  • Both you and your partner have to accept using the pump
  • It can feel like a mechanical process to go through before sex
  • It’s less subtle than drug treatments
  • It can be uncomfortable to use when pumping
  • Risk of minor discoloration or bruising
  • Only causes temporary penis enlargement

Verdict

There’s no denying that the penis pump did its job during the month I used it. And research showed it helped over 90% of men get a good enough erection during sex.

Although it can give you a bigger erection when you use it, there’s no evidence that it leads to permanent size increase though.

It’s important to remember that a penis pump can cause discomfort and discoloration in some cases, especially if used incorrectly. So I highly recommend using it slowly and making sure there’s a quick pressure release valve.

Having taken strong medicines like viagra, cialis, and generic versions, it was great not to have any of the unpleasant side effects like headaches, a stuffed nose, and flushing in the face.

I’m sure I’ll use the penis pump again with my partner; she finds it amusing, and we’ve gotten past the initial awkwardness. But equally, I can see why a subtle pill might be more appealing to some men, especially with a new partner.

Where to buy

You can buy them from most online adult stores, and they usually stock similar pumps.

I recommend Lovehoney.com, as they have a good range of both affordable and more advanced penis pumps.

 

15 comments

Add Comment »
  1. Interesting article, thanks. Was the pump easy to clean after using it with lubricant?

    1. Ethan Green

      Hi Anthony
      Glad you liked the article! Yes, it’s easy enough. You can clean it in a sink or shower quickly with warm water and soap, then stand to dry.
      Ethan

  2. Anonymous

    Would a pump be helpful for my partner who suffers with MS and now seems unable to get a full erection so has knocked his confidence. I have suggested we try it as I explained to him I just want to have that intermacy back and I think it would make him feel better in himself. Viagra didn’t work and the headaches put him off taking plus he’s embarrassed to ask his Dr. For a different kind.

    1. Ethan Green

      Hi there
      To be honest, I don’t know anything about the connection between MS and erectile dysfunction. After reading your comment, I did some reading, and a couple of MS sites do mention it’s a possible treatment if drugs like viagra don’t work. They refer to them as vacuum restriction devices – if you look at the article below, you’ll see they directly refer to it as a possible treatment. It’s also a good article about seeing the issue in a more rounded way, which I agree with from what I know personally about health issues and ED.
      https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/erectile-dysfunction
      Hope that helps
      Ethan

  3. Hello Ethan,

    I decided to put some more info regarding penis pump. I did a lot of research about what is on the market these days.

    I read a lot of experiences from many men around the world. Some of them use vacuum erection device for more than 20 years (successfully of course).

    I will definitely buy one of medical grade FDA approved penis pumps…
    One of those given on the links below. (links removed by editor)

    SOMAtherapy (there are more versions)

    Active erection system (i give two versions)

    urologyhealthstore.com/shop/men-products/medintim-automatic-vacuum-erection-system/

    urologyhealthstore.com/shop/men-products/vacuum-erection-systems-penis-pump/active-medintim-automatic-vacuum-system/

    Rejonmedica Pos-T-vac (very affordable, I read from one men on Franktalk.org that he is using it successfully for almost 14 years…even though he has some organical issues..venous leak I think)

    shopping.rejoynmedical.com/pos-t-vac-easy-pro-1000-manual-pump-for-ed-treatment/

    There is also Encore version, Osbon…but I will choose one of these I posted.
    Concerning constriction rings, I will experiment and mix producers.

    I also read from doctors on imedicare.co.uk that custom fitted vacuum therapy is successful in 92% cases, and when is successful then they can be used in complete safety with 100% consistency as many times per day as needed.

    I am sure that remaining 8% is about men having some physiological issues (organic damage)…

    What is very important is “custom fitted vacuum therapy” that means appropriate cylinder sizing. Therefore some trial and error and maybe some consultation are needed.

    I hope this helps somebody. I am quite positive It is going to be helpful to me for many years ahead.

    P.S.

    I feel free to suggest you something Ethan…

    You might think to analyze some products related to Penile physical therapy, such as some vibrating devices…

    I have recently come across to this device…

    urologyhealthstore.com/shop/men-products/male-vibrators/viberect/

    Reading feedback info I see it is advertised as a device against ED but also against anorgasmia…

    Some reported that is good against ED ( producer states that it helps even psychogenic ED) but almost everybody who used it says that almost guarantees mind blowing orgasms…

    Only complaint is the price…some people suggest that there are effective cheaper solutions…

    You might do research on this type of device??? Maybe you can compare viberect to cheaper alternatives

    Anyway, thank You for Your report on novelty penis pump.

    Regards!

    1. Ethan Green

      Hi Ozzy
      Thanks for your comment and useful information. Unfortunately I had to remove the links as I don’t like top publish comments stuffed with links! But I left the main URL extension if anyone is interested.
      I know there are lots of complex penis pump systems out there, and ones which are probably much better than the ‘novelty’ one as you describe. But they are usually very expensive, so I liked the fact that you can get the job done at a fraction of the price (as long as you’re careful). But I will get round to reviewing others at some point. I’ll also check out the vibrating tool you mentioned.
      Thanks again
      Ethan

  4. formerly RussellTheLoveMuscle

    Great article.
    I have diabetes type 2 had prostate cancer and prostate removed and also have depression (they say it’s all in the head but it effects so much of your life). After the prostate was removed I was told by several medical people that I should get a pump and use it. Normally men get erections 7 times per night while in REM sleep the surgery or diabetes reduce the impact of this and only by exercise using a pump can the Corpus cavernosum be kept healthy.
    Unfortunately for me the erection does not keep solid enough for intercourse and require a cock ring this has the disadvantage of the hinge effect ( its hard at the end but flexible at the base). Just another thing to work out.
    The wife is fine with me having a pump and for the fun of it I got her a pussy pump :).
    Life wasn’t meant to be easy.

    1. Ethan Green

      Hi Russell
      Thanks for sharing your experience, and for the compliment too. Sorry to hear you’ve been through all this. Have your tried different pumps or ring combinations to see if you can get a better result? And have you tried any other techniques, like meds or kegels?
      Ethan

    2. Hi Russel,

      You might try penile foam sleeve…Vacuum therapy is always effective if there is no severe organic damage but event then there is a possible rehabilitation.

      Many men do not suffer from hinge effect but some do…mostly those with some organic issues but there is a very good solution which helps

  5. Hello,
    Excellent article..

    I will soon turn 47 this year and I do have some erection problems.
    Last year just before summer I thought that I was literally “dead meat” southward.
    No nocturnal, no spontaneous erections…almost nothing.
    Not long before I had a very strong libido( almost whole my life), spontaneous erections throughout a day let alone nocturnal, a lot of sex with my wife and regular masturbation.
    Even though I know I was not as hard as it was during my adolescence or during 30’s I could regularly orgasm (sometimes even in series). In few words…I was never worried about being able to perform :-)

    Then out of nothing, as I already mentioned I collapsed …I did not notice it at first…

    My libido plummeted, maybe testosterone deficiency (I had a very hard time last couple of years), maybe stress, depression etc..etc….
    I will do some checks definitely related to testosterone and some other checks…

    There was no nocturnal, no spontaneous erections…almost nothing for a quite prolonged period of time…over 3 months. I started thinking that my root cause of ED is organic and that I am physically ruined.

    Fortunately, last year after that depression, during summer I got some new excitement in my life (don’t ask me what kind of excitement) …
    I relaxed much more then a little bit, and then again started getting regular nocturnal erections (not throughout a day), started masturbating again etc..etc

    Not as regular and strong as before but I felt alive and kicking again…

    That helped me to realize that I do not have organic problems, but mostly mental…
    Though I would not rule out some physical changes in my body…Definitely there are some changes nearing my 50’s
    I am sure that at 46 years of age there is some natural decline in libido (especially in those who are prone to some depression,especially if go trough troubled times)…

    Why I am telling this and how it is related to this topic?

    I see that Ethan has issues with first sexual encounters. That is also somehow mental issues…
    I hate when somebody says it is all in your head, just relax…
    Everybody knows it is not that easy, and that performance anxiety can be very very serious problem…For some fragile men even in case when they fail one time
    Once freed of any thinking about getting hard, a men of any age relax completely…
    If one is prone to anxiety, and living conditions are stressful this is especially true…
    Whatever helps in guaranteeing erection is extremely helpful..
    It gives enormous boost in self confidence..which increases libido and testosterone
    There are a lot of testimonials from men who implemented penile prosthesis that having guaranteed erection increases libido and sexual desire in men..regardless of age…
    Vacuum therapy I see as another erection guarantee device which works 100%

    It does not work only if one has seriously damaged penis…Even in some cases damages can be therapeutic…Or for those who use it inappropriately…What is especially useful is prevention…

    I am definitely going to buy few pumps (one novelty, but some medical grade) and definitely I am going to use it as a regular exercise just to prevent future degradation over the course of years…
    I also plan to use them for intercourse….if needed
    Fact that you know there is some backup solution it gives you freedom from negative thinking…
    The more I use it, maybe the less I am going to need it..

    1. Ethan Green

      Hi Ozzz
      Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts. I think you make an interesting point towards the end about having the pump as a backup plan. Maybe just knowing you have something that can definitely help, will itself help even without using it – for some men at least. And you’re also right in that feeling more confident about your body and your ability to get an erection could in itself help with libido.
      I’m not sure there’s a need to spend money on more than one pump, but in any case, I hope you find it helps.
      Ethan

  6. Sylvanus from Kenya

    I quite agree with the author. I bought a similar one by the name “HANDSOME UP” and it is doing wonders to my sexual life. I am
    70. The only problem is my partner who is kind of resisting its use !

    1. Ethan Green

      Hi Sylvanus
      Thanks for sharing your experience – it’s great that it works for you! Unfortunately, accepting the pump is something that many people have a problem with. I guess you just have to talk to your partner and agree how to best use it so they don’t find it off-putting.
      Ethan

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.