Although penis pumps are safe for most men, there are some potential risks:

  • You're at an increased risk of bleeding if you take blood-thinning medications — Examples include warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix) and some over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), or naproxen.
  • A penis pump may not be safe if you have sickle cell anemia or another blood disorder that makes you susceptible to blood clots or bleeding.

Tell your doctor about all of your health conditions and any medications you take, including herbal supplements. This will help prevent potential problems.

Side effects

Side effects of using a penis pump can include:

  • Pinpoint-sized red dots caused by bleeding under the surface of the skin of the penis (petechiae).
  • Numbness, coldness or bluish-colored skin when the constriction band is in place.
  • Pain or bruising. Knowing how to use the penis pump correctly can help you avoid injury to your penis.
  • Feeling of trapped semen. You may feel like your semen is trapped when you ejaculate, or ejaculation may be painful. Some manufacturers make constriction rings with a small cutout that may help with this.

Penis pumps have some other possible drawbacks:

  • Unnatural-feeling erections. Penis pumps can cause an erection that doesn't feel natural or spontaneous. You may have a lack of firmness at the base of the penis, which can allow the penis to rotate or pivot more than it would with a natural erection.
  • Awkwardness. Use of a penis pump requires patience and understanding from both you and your partner. It may take some time to become comfortable with the device.
  • Manual coordination is required. Penis pumps require use of the hands and fingers to operate, which can be a problem for some men or their partners.
  • You may need to shave. You may have to shave your pubic hair at the base of your penis so that the pump can get a good seal.
Aug. 25, 2011