First of all, it doesn’t matter how big it is. Parents should broadcast this to teenage boys and check themselves if they’re wondering how well-endowed their toddler will be. A big or small penis does not guarantee happiness or a lack thereof. Besides, when it comes to sex, penis proportions matter far more than size (but, maybe hold off on that fact until they’re in their twenties). That said, many boys (and their parents) still wonder how big their penis will be and find themselves asking “when does a penis stop growing?” or “is there an limit for penis growth?” The answer depends on a child’s personal puberty trajectory, according to Judson Brandeis, M.D., a urologist in San Francisco, California.
When Does Your Penis Stop Growing?
But that doesn’t always mean a kid has hit their peak by that point. Some boys experience puberty and additional penis growth into adulthood. For most, it stops at age 18. But some men, though few in number, report experiencing growth in their penis size into their early 20s.
“The penis begins growing when a boy reaches puberty and his testosterone levels begin to spike. The penis achieves its full length and girth at the end of puberty,” Brandeis says. The testicles start growing much earlier, at around 8 years old, also continuing until the end of puberty, he adds.
Penis growth starts in the early teens, and the age limit for penis growth for most boys, in terms of both length and girth, is around the same time they hit their height peak. So late bloomers can hold hope that the best is yet to come.
One factor that can determine how long a boy’s penis will grow is his weight, according to a new study of 1,130 boys. The researchers found that boys with obesity had lower testosterone than boys of a typical weight, and the former had about 10% less penile length growth.
What’s the Average Penis Size?
Let’s get right to the thick of it: The average penis size is somewhere between 5.1 and 5.5 inches erect, although the real number is probably toward the lower end of that range, according to a review study. The average girth is around 4.59 inches erect, according to another review study.
For years, research has shown that the average penis size was 6.2 inches erect. But it turns out that in much of the research, men had been exaggerating their lengths so often that it led to this common misconception. When researchers began to measure the penis size themselves instead of just asking, the numbers skewed downward. In fact, it’s likely that less than 12% of penises are longer than 6.3 inches erect.
And those old wives’ tales about the link between penis size and the size of hands and feet? Not surprisingly, they’re complete bullshit. The length of your ring finger may be a better measure. Or maybe even your nose size.
For children, the average penis size varies with age as follows:
- Newborn at 30 weeks: 2.5 cm (0.98 in)
- Newborn at 34 weeks: 3.0 cm (1.2 in)
- Newborn at full term: 3.2 cm (1.3 in)
- 0 to 5 months: 3.9 cm (1.5 in)
- 6 to 12 months: 4.3 cm (1.7 in)
- 1 to 2 years: 4.7 cm (1.9 in)
- 2 to 3 years: 5.1 cm (2 in)
- 3 to 4 years: 5.5 cm (2.2 in)
- 4 to 5 years: 5.7 cm (2.2 in)
- 5 to 6 years: 6.0 cm (2.4 in)
- 6 to 7 years: 6.1 cm (2.4 in)
- 7 to 8 years: 6.2 cm (2.4 in)
- 8 to 9 years: 6.3 cm (2.5 in)
- 9 to 10 years: 6.3 cm (2.5 in)
- 10 to 11 years: 6.4 cm (2.5 in)
- Adult: 13.3 cm (5.2 in)
The Ideal Penis Size for Performance
Men often think their penises are smaller than average. And whether or not that’s true, this perception can make them overly self-conscious.
But if you’re worried about how a smaller-than-average penis affects your game in the bedroom, you can relax. In a survey of more than 52,000 men and women, 85% of partners reported being satisfied with their man’s penis size while only 55% of men thought their penis was large enough.
The bottom line: Most men need to be a little more proud of what they’re packing.
Treatments for a Micropenis
Not everyone achieves the penis size they were hoping for. But a small percentage of boys and men have the medically diagnosable condition of a micropenis (which, yes, is the real medical term). Micropenises are usually identified early in a child’s life. During infancy, a micropenis is 0.75 inches or less, and fully grown men have a micropenis if their member is 3.67 inches or less when fully stretched, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Micropenises are very rare, affecting only 0.6% of men globally. In the U.S., prevalence may be lower, with records from 1997 to 2000 putting it at 0.015% of newborns with a penis who have a micropenis. The most common cause is a fetal testosterone deficiency, which often occurs when the young child’s brain doesn’t properly tell the testicles to make testosterone.
The chances of successfully treating a micropenis are greatest when treatment begins in infancy or early childhood. The first line of treatment is testosterone therapy, which it may or may not, depending on the cause of the micropenis. If it doesn’t work, doctors may try other hormone treatments. Most people with a micropenis respond to hormone treatment, even if they still have below average length as an adult.
In some cases, people with a micropenis may opt for surgery to construct a larger penis; this is possible in children but more common in adults.
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