Penis Pump: what does it do?

So, what exactly is a penis pump?

It conjures up funny images, which sometimes create more questions than answers. For example, you might wonder, “how to use a penis pump?” or “what does a penis pump do?”

We’d be happy to tell you how a pump works, and we’ll also give you an idea of the penis pump results that users can achieve, specifically when they’re treating erectile dysfunction (ED).

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What Does a Penis Pump Do?

Penis pumps are suction devices, and they can go by different names, including “vacuum pump” or “vacuum erection device.” That’s a good definition for the device because it creates a modest vacuum effect to encourage more blood flow into the penis.

Using a vacuum erection device helps many people with ED to get and keep an erection for satisfactory sexual intercourse, but using a vacuum device on its own won’t cure ED.

Okay. You have a rough idea of what it is, but how is it used? If you imagine a penis pump is like pumping air into your bicycle tires, that’s not it!

How Do You Use a Penis Pump?

A vacuum erection device uses negative air pressure or pumping air out of the device chamber to draw enough blood into the penis to achieve an erection.

To maintain the erection, you place a stretchy silicone constriction ring (also called a cock ring) over the base of the penis to help keep the blood in place. It’s good to trim your pubic hair so it doesn’t snag on the ring and cause discomfort.

Penis pumps are generally safe and easy when you follow the instructions correctly. Here are the steps to take:

Penis Pump Instructions

what does a penis pump do
  • The constriction (cock) ring goes over the penis pump cylinder.
  • As we noted, the best ring to use should be stretchy and made of silicone. If the ring is too tight, it will cause discomfort, and it could be ineffective if it’s too loose.
  • Insert the penis into the device’s chamber to create an airtight seal. It’s also beneficial to use lubrication on the base and shaft of the penis to reinforce the airtight seal.
  • Use the handheld or electric pump that comes with the device to remove the air from the chamber. That’s the vacuum effect.
  • Always use a pump with a vacuum limiter to stop the pressure from being too strong.
  • Slide the cock ring down the chamber onto the base of your penis, where it meets your pelvis.
  • Gently pull your penis from the device chamber.
  • Note the time limit per the manufacturer’s instructions*.

* Reputable manufacturers of good-quality vacuum erection devices advise users to keep a 30-minute time limit on wearing a constriction ring.

There is a risk of circulation damage to the penis when a constriction ring is worn for too long. If you’d like your erection to last longer, always remove the ring for several minutes before trying again.

Benefits and Drawbacks With How Penis Pumps Work

Vacuum erection devices can be a valuable part of your ED treatment program, but pumps also have drawbacks, and some people can’t use a penis pump for medical reasons.

Always get a recommendation from a medical professional before you attempt to use a penis pump.

Let’s check out the benefits of a penis pump and the results a healthy user can expect when they follow the usage instructions:

Penis Pump Results and Benefits

Penis Pump results
  • The most significant benefit of a penis pump is to increase the length and quality of an erection.
  • There are fewer side effects than drugs taken for ED.
  • For people on prescribed ED medication, a penis pump can aid in getting better erections.
  • A pump is more affordable than medications or surgery. If you’re healthy enough to use it and follow the instructions, you can keep using it indefinitely.
  • A pump isn’t invasive like a surgical penis implant.
  • Suppose you have had prostate surgery for clinically localized prostate cancer. In that case, a penis pump can be a safe rehabilitative device to increase blood flow and decrease the risks of penile apoptosis, fibrosis, and anemic hypoxia.

Now on to the drawbacks; most familiar with a penis pump!

Penis Pump Drawbacks

  • If device instructions aren’t followed carefully, it can bruise the groin or cause painful injuries.
  • Overuse may result in burst blood vessels called petechiae appearing under the skin around the penis.
  • Wearing the constriction ring too tightly can cause tingling or numbness in the penis.
  • Some vacuum device users complain that erections feel unnatural and not spontaneous.
  • Users may also notice that their penis remains flaccid around the base.
  • Some report painful ejaculations or the feeling their semen is “trapped.”


The last drawback is the psychological effect of using a penis pump. Some users reported that it ruined the mood with their partner, and there’s sometimes a level of embarrassment in using a penis pump before sex.

Common Penis Pump Myth: Penis Enlargement

penis enlargement pump

Perhaps you’ve noticed magazine ads or digital advertising claiming that penis pumps can increase penis size. If that sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is!

Unfortunately, no evidence exists proving a pump can enlarge the penis. Therefore, we never recommend using a penis pump for enlargement because you could risk serious injury.


It’s generally safe to use a penis pump to help treat ED—as long as you’ve cleared it with your doctor or a medical professional first and no medical issues prevent you from using a vacuum device.

As for treating ED, penis pumps work most effectively as one part of a treatment program that includes other therapies like:

Contact us today to book your free consultation if you’re still unsure about what a penis pump does or you’re interested in penis pump results as part of an ED treatment program.

At Oakwood Health Network, we are medical experts in men’s sexual health who can tailor ED treatments specifically for you. In addition, we have several convenient GTA locations, and we are here to answer all of your questions!

Fletcher, J., 2019. How to use a penis pump: Effects and safety. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 10 April 2022]. 2020. Penis pump – Mayo Clinic. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 10 April 2022].

Myhre, J. and Sifris, D., 2021. How to Use a Penis Pump for Erectile Dysfunction. [online] Verywell Health. Available at: <> [Accessed 10 April 2022].

Felman, A., 2020. The Truth About Penis Pumps: They Help Function, Not Size. [online] Greatist. Available at: <> [Accessed 10 April 2022].

Garrett, D., 2021. Penis Pump FAQs: Do They Work? What Results Can I Expect, Risks. [online] The Enhanced Male. Available at: <> [Accessed 10 April 2022].

Lin H, Wang R. The science of vacuum erectile device in penile rehabilitation after radical prostatectomy. Transl Androl Urol. 2013;2(1):61-66. doi:10.3978/j.issn.2223-4683.2013.01.04

What Our Patients Say

“Best experience of my life. I tried their service, did 6 sessions, and felt a difference the next day after the first session. More to the point, after every session, I felt better than last time. I was shaking in my boots when I went to see them for the first session, however, the staff was super supportive and helped and guided me every step of the way (you guys are rockstars). From a financial aspect, they’re incredibly reasonable as well. I’ll give them 5 out of 5, highly recommended to anybody who’s facing ED-related issues. My message to all those is, please don’t keep it to yourself, there’s a treatment available, so take advantage of it because there’s nothing to lose.”

Mr. Bill