On the long list of medical procedures you should not attempt on yourself, we'd say a DIY penis enlargement is up there with a hip replacement and open heart surgery. It's not an area of your body you should go near with zero years of surgical experience and a scalpel.
Unfortunately, that memo hasn't reached Papua New Guinea, where doctors are dealing with a "nationwide problem" of people attempting to perform penis enlargements on themselves and botching it.
A doctor at the Port Moresby General Hospital told The Guardian that in the last two years his clinic has treated over 500 men with disfigured or dysfunctional penises because they attempted this procedure on themselves.
The doctor believes it might only be the tip of the problem, as these are just the men who have admitted what they've done and sought treatment. Substances people are injecting themselves with include baby oil, silicone, cooking oil, and coconut oil.
How dangerous is it?
“The bulk of them have abnormal, lumpy masses growing over the penis and sometimes involving the scrotum," Akule Danlop, a surgeon at the hospital, told The Guardian.
"A good number are coming in with ulcers; they eventually burst open. Some of them have difficulty urinating because the foreskin is so swollen it cannot contract.”
It's a grim problem, and one fueled by the insecurities of young men being preyed upon by scammers. Glen Mola, professor of reproductive health, obstetrics, and gynecology at the University of Papua New Guinea, told The Guardian that young men are being conned, often by health workers, into getting the treatment. They are told the procedure will increase the size and girth of their penis and improve their sex life, but are often left with penis problems or are unable to have sex altogether. Many of the injections, Mola says, are carried out by health workers themselves.
Injecting yourself with foreign substances without the approval of a medical practitioner is never a good idea. Last month, a woman nearly died after injecting herself with fruit juice as part of a "health kick", which sounds bad until you remember that a few months before that a man tried to fix his bad back by injecting 18 shots of semen into his forearm.