Penis Rings for Better Erections

Dr Nicholas Antonakopoulos

Medically reviewed by

Dr Nicholas Antonakopoulos

Last reviewed: 27 Feb 2019

Can they help with erectile dysfunction?

A penis ring for better erections for men with erectile dysfunction

Key takeaways

  • Penis rings can potentially improve erections by improving blood flow to your penis

  • There is some evidence that penis rings can treat erectile dysfunction

  • It's not clear whether penis rings can help you last longer in bed or not

  • Penis rings come in a few types that are used differently

  • There are some health risks to using penis rings incorrectly

Penis rings are often sold alongside sex toys, lubricants and so on. However, penis rings are actually more of an 'erection device' than just a sex accessory. This is because they have a physical impact on the way your erection functions.

If you are looking to improve your erections, you could try penis rings, or consider some other erection treatments that are available.

What are penis rings?

Penis rings are a sexual device – they are designed to be worn during sexual intercourse to increase pleasure and delay orgasm. However, they may also be effective in the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) and premature ejaculation (PE).

They have different names too such as cock rings, constriction rings/bands, and tension rings. There are other devices such as testicle rings which have similar outcomes but work slightly differently.

Penis rings are a multiple-purpose sexual device – they are used as sex toys, but they can have other beneficial uses too. For example, they can help to improve the symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED) with a major advantage being that they can be used with other ED treatments.

How do they work? – a penis ring fits on the base of the penis or both the penis and testicles where it applies pressure to the area surrounding them. The pressure it applies causes blood to be squeezed from the blood vessels which carry blood from the penis slower than normal. ED can cause blood to escape from the penis making it difficult to maintain an erection.

Can a penis ring improve erectile dysfunction?

Potentially – although there are no scientific studies which state that a penis ring can improve erections for everyone, there are studies which have shown them to be effective in some individuals. Erectile dysfunction means there isn’t enough blood in the penis to maintain an erection. Therefore, the use of a penis ring helps to keep blood in the penis, making an erection last longer. The main benefit of using a penis ring is that it can be used alongside other ED treatments such as:

There are different types of penis ring but 2 have been shown to be more effective for ED:

  • Penis ring – also used alongside medication
  • Penoscrotal ring – used alongside tadalafil or vardenafil

If a penis ring doesn’t work for you there are other alternatives, such as:



  • Stress and anxiety can cause ED
  • Life-changing issues or everyday stresses can be a factor
  • Talking with a counsellor can help with underlying causes


  • Vacuum devices and pumps can improve the firmness of the penis
  • They encourage blood flow to the penis
  • Effective in 80% of cases
  • Surgical implants – once inserted the pump must be used every time to get an erection

Can a penis ring make you last longer?

It’s hard to say for sure – premature ejaculation (PE) is the most common sexual problem affecting males. Vacuum devices have been shown to be effective in some men to treat erectile dysfunction and a study was carried out to see if a constriction ring could relieve premature ejaculation. The study showed that constriction rings were not effective in relieving premature ejaculation as there was no significant change in intravaginal ejaculation latency time (IELT).

You could try a penis ring if you have PE – the individual effects of penis rings for the condition are unknown. If you try a penis ring and it doesn’t work there are other things you could try, including:

Behavioural strategies:

  • Stop-start programme
  • Squeeze technique
  • Masturbation before sex can help


  • Psychosexual counselling
  • Learn to control ejaculation
  • Help to resolve performance anxiety and self-esteem issues
  • Most effective when used in combination with pharmacotherapy


  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Priligy
  • Ejaculation delay can start 1-2 days after taking bur usually within 2 weeks

Topical anaesthetic agents:

  • Emla
  • Applied 20-30 minutes before sex
  • Has been shown to improve IELT
  • Has no significant side effects

How do I use a penis ring?

There are different types of penis ring available:

  • Penis ring – fits on the base of the penis
  • Penoscrotal ring – fits around the base of the penis and testicles
  • Testicle ring – fits around the testicles

The real difference between these rings is where they are fitted with the benefits of each being largely the same. Below is a guide to how to ft each of the above rings.

Penis ring:

  • Before fitting the penis ring you must make sure you have an erection
  • The ring should then be slid over the head of the penis
  • Roll the penis ring down the shaft of the penis to the base
  • It should rest where your penis meets your crotch

Penoscrotal ring:

  • Before fitting your penis should be flaccid – you do not need an erection first
  • Place your testicles in the ring one by one
  • Next place your penis in the ring by folding it back towards it
  • Put the head of your penis through first and then pull the shaft through
  • The ring should rest at the base of your penis and scrotum

Testicle ring:

  • If this is the first time you have used a testicle ring then use a lightweight ring
  • Place your testicles in the ring one by one
  • Rather than sitting at the base of your scrotum, this ring will hang on the top of the testicles

For all types of rings, there are some general points to consider when wearing one, including:

  • There should be no gap between your body and the ring
  • It should feel comfortable to wear – consider re-adjusting if it feels to tight
  • The ring should stay in place even without an erection
  • If you are using a ring for the first time, try it with masturbation first before sex to get used to how it feels etc
  • You may want to consider shaving your pubic hair before using a ring to ensure they don’t get caught and cause any unnecessary pain
  • Having a hot shower or bath before sex can help to increase blood flow

You can use a condom with a penis ring – a condom is the only form of contraception which protects against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However, you will need to put a condom on after a penoscrotal ring because the ring needs to be on when your penis is flaccid and a condom needs to be put on when erect.

Are there any side effects or risks?

The biggest risk associated with using a penis ring is causing permanent damage to the penis – when wearing a penis ring you should remove it if you feel:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Pins and needles

You shouldn’t wear a penis ring for longer than 30 minutes at a time – you should also make sure the ring is well fitted but if at any time it becomes difficult to remove you should go straight to A and E to seek medical attention.

If it takes a long time to remove the penis ring, then you are at risk of gangrene. A condition where the blood supply is cut off and the tissue which makes up the penis are starved of oxygen and dies off.

Medically reviewed by:
Dr Nicholas Antonakopoulos Accreditations: MBBS, BSc

Dr Nicholas Antonakopoulos graduated from the University of London in 2006. He did his postgraduate training in hospitals in the London area, and he trained for four years in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery before completing his training in General practice in 2015.

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Last reviewed: 27 Feb 2019

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