The ultrasound machine is the medium through which many of us were first introduced to the world. With a probe and thick layer of cool gel, a technician sent sound waves through our mother’s bellies, and our little, partially developed hearts beat back. In the medical world, ultrasound technology is most famously used for that purpose, though it’s also a diagnostic tool for things like cysts, cancers and thyroid issues. It even helps doctors guide needles during a biopsy.
But despite professional-grade ultrasound machines selling for tens of thousands of dollars each, it’s possible to purchase “at-home” versions for just a few hundred dollars a pop. However, not everyone who’s buying them does so to witness early life or keep tabs on their internal health. Instead, they’re doing it to make their dicks bigger.
On male-enhancement fora like Thunder’s Place and Reddit’s a r/AJelqForYou, the use of ultrasound equipment is touted by some men as a means of helping stretch their dicks. Specifically, some claim that at-home ultrasound devices help heat their penis, which supposedly allows it to be stretched further. They also swear it helps with erectile dysfunction and heals the buildup of scar tissue.
“Read about a lot of benefits with heat, and after some tryouts, I was convinced there simply is no other way to really be sure of getting your unit to be heated enough inside,” wrote one user on Thunder’s Place. “There are other reasons as well. In many studies, low-intensity ultrasound has positive effects on arranging collagen orientation and angiogenesis [formation of new blood vessels], as well.”
There is actually some research on the effects of ultrasound therapy on collagen production and cell proliferation, but unfortunately, there’s none to suggest anyone should be applying it to their dicks at home. There are doctors who offer services that utilize sound-wave/shock-wave therapies for erectile dysfunction and blood flow, but as one representative from a clinic that offers them tells me, there’s no way you can reproduce professional-grade results with a home device.
“I can say with confidence that the ultrasound machines that those guys seem to be buying off AliExpress aren’t doing anything for their penises,” says James Kelley, a representative for ED Clinics, a U.K.-based organization that offers shock-wave therapy for erectile dysfunction. “The machines that they’re trying to buy are similar to professional shock-wave machines in that ultrasound is performed at a similar hertz, but they’re 100 percent guaranteed to bring no results. They will also be very unsafe.”
Namely, Kelley says, home devices utilize radial waves, whereas professional devices use focused, low-intensity waves. The latter has been proven effective, while the former has not.
Per Kelley, ED Clinics has encountered clients who’ve attempted to purchase shock-wave therapy devices for home use — as well as ultrasound devices — with the former causing blisters and skin lesions. On Reddit, some men have also reportedly burned themselves using at-home ultrasound machines.
“What I’d suggest is not to put any devices you’ve bought online near your testicles, and to speak to a doctor about options out there, such as penile implants or possibly shock-wave therapy delivered by a professional,” he says.
As my former colleague C. Brian Smith has explained, studies on professional shock-wave therapy for men with ED have had promising results, leading to improvement in four out of five cases. Smith even reported a boner boost himself. The catch is that it’s rather expensive — $3,000 gets you six treatments at the clinic he visited, a service not covered by insurance.
It’s understandable, then, why some men would attempt to recreate these results at home with a machine that costs just a few hundred bucks. But as Kelley and those who have attempted it warn, the risk of scarring your dick with burns outweighs the cost. Plus, even if professional-grade shock-wave therapy does improve ED and enhance blood flow, there’s no evidence that shock-wave or ultrasound machines will make your penis larger.
In the case of ED, that few hundred dollars would surely be better spent on a visit to an actual doctor. Or, for those so desperate to make their dicks bigger that they’d burn their dicks, perhaps a visit to a therapist.