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When Does Your Penis Stop Growing and Can You Still Make It Bigger? 

Like 99.9% of men out there in the modern world, at some point you’ve probably wondered how your penis compares to the average. Exposure to jokes about length, girth, and sexual prowess, unrealistic expectations stemming from internet viewing habits, and heightened societal expectations that equate penis size with manliness or virility can really mess with a guy’s head.

Some stats about the penis

  • Puberty in boys begins around age 11 or 12, on average, when the penis and testicles begin to grow.
  • A 2018 study from Denmark found that, on average, the penis and testicles reach their full size when a boy is 15.6 years of age.
  • The same study found that the average age for the first ejaculation is 13.4 while voice break happened at 13.1 years.
  • When you stop growing in height, your sexual organs also stop growing.

If you’re unhappy with the length of your dick, you might be wondering if it’s really done growing. Is there an extra inch or two waiting for a second puberty? Below we’ll answer all your questions about your penis size and growth. What’s really the average penis size? Does penis size impact sexual performance? And how can you make your penis bigger?

What’s the timeline for male penis growth?

Ah, puberty. A hazy, horny, hormone-y mess of a time. If you remember your early teen years, you may be slammed with undignified recollections of your voice dropping, hair sprouting, and zits popping up without mercy. 

Puberty tends to begin between the ages of 10-14, according to Irvin H. Hirsch, MD, of Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. Along with the testosterone-fueled emergence of your secondary male sex characteristics and an increase in height and muscle mass, the male penis and testicles also begin to grow to their full adult size and girth during this period.

banana wrapped in a tape measure

On average, the penis starts to elongate between ages 11-14, and can continue to grow until ages 16-21. After this, testosterone levels begin to stabilize, and by 21 you’ve most likely settled into your full adult penis size. 

What determines how big your penis gets?

Like height, eye color, and distaste for cilantro, penis size is primarily dependent on genetics. 

And let’s get this out of the way: there’s no evidence that penis size correlates at all with race or ethnicity. Despite flattering and less-than-flattering stereotypes across the board, there’s no proof that anybody is automatically playing with a stacked deck based on their skin color.

The only other science-backed influence on penis size is environmental factors. In 2010, Bulgarian researchers noticed, “significant differences between urban and rural populations regarding penile length.”

Then in 2018, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Padua in Italy found that young males exposed to high amounts of PFC’s (perfluoroalkyl compounds, found in non-stick frying pan coatings and other household products) had 12.5% shorter penises than those who were not exposed to the chemicals. 

So the stereotype of a well-hung farmhand may be slightly true… but only because he was exposed to fewer environmental pollutants growing up.

Is your penis length normal?

To answer this one up front: most likely, yes.

Despite toxic expectations and exaggerated bragging in locker rooms across the world, most guys have a penis that’s within one inch of the average. 

And what’s average?

zucchini and a tape measure

A 2014 study of self-reported penis length from 1,661 men found that the average erect penis measured 5.5 inches. A different 2015 survey of 20 previous penile length studies covering 15,521 men across the world (and notably measured by doctors, not self-reported) found that the average penis length for men was 3.61 inches flaccid, and 5.16 inches erect. The average girth came out to 4.59 inches. 

Turns out, 9 out of 10 men are between four and six inches when erect. Yes,  one can have a clinically designated “micropenis,” which is defined as under 3.67 inches.  A micro penis only affects a very small portion of the male population. And the top 5% of penises measure over 6.3 inches. But remember, that means only one in twenty men will be that large.

Does a bigger penis mean better sex?

Not. Even. Remotely. 

First off, if you’ve ever been with a partner who genital-shamed you in any way… kick them to the curb. You don’t need that kind of negative energy in the bedroom.

In fact, men tend to be the harshest on themselves. In a massive 2006 study published by Psychology of Men and Masculinity, researchers in southern California surveyed over 52,000 people and found that 45% of men wanted their penis to be larger. But how many of their female partners wished for the same? Only 14%. And 84% of women were perfectly happy with their partner’s penis size, as compared to 55% of men.

Plus, a 2010 study of gay males showed no association between penis size and number of sexual partners. 

The fact is, better sex equals better sex. 

Open communication with your partner about their desires and preferences, developing trust and intimacy, showing affection and support inside and outside the bedroom — all of these are much higher on the list than penis size. Length of sexual encounters, attention to your partner’s pleasure, and communication throughout foreplay and intercourse are much more indicative of sexual satisfaction than penis length.  We should also mention the best sex positions for men with a smaller penis will keep things spicy and fresh for both you and your partner.

RELATED: The Coital Alignment Technique: What is it and How to Do It? 

What if I’m unhappy with my penis size?

The fact is, none of the above makes any difference on the psycho-social effects of being dissatisfied with your penis size. Being told that you’re probably average is one thing, but years of conditioning and perceptions about length and manliness can have a serious impact on sexual self-esteem and body image.

Men who feel unhappy with their penis size may experience lack of confidence and anxiety-induced erectile dysfunction. Body dysmorphia can mess with your brain, impacting your day-to-day happiness, and even your willingness to get into sexual situations in the first place.

man's hands holding a banana

The fact is, if you’re remaining limp or flaccid because you’re self-conscious about your penis size, you need a solution, and fast. 

There are a few simple places to start. If you’re in a relationship, talking out your insecurities with a supportive partner may help. If you’ve been allowing embarrassment about your perceived lack of length to negatively impact your sex life, it can help to hear a partner’s reassurances, and talk out exactly what they find stimulating about your sexual encounters. With this knowledge under your belt (so to speak), you may find yourself approaching intercourse with more zest and confidence. 

If you’re overweight or out of shape, working out and improving your overall body confidence may help as well. Exercise stimulates testosterone production and feel-good chemicals like endorphins. Plus, losing belly fat will make your dick look bigger. It’s just science.

You can also trim your pubic hair — or “manscape” — for a nice optical illusion of more length. If the pros do it, why not you?

Lastly, there’s no shame in talking with a doctor or psychiatrist about your concerns. If your penis size is having a significant negative impact on your mental health, it’s the least you can do for yourself.

How can I get a longer dick?

Okay, some of you are saying, but I want a longer dick. So how can I make my penis bigger?

The good news is there are safe ways to increase the size of your penis.

Surgery for purely aesthetic purposes, unrelated to any actual medical conditions, can be risky. Certainly penis augmentation (“phalloplasty”) surgery involves more money than most people have, and more scalpels near genitalia than most people want. 

But there are alternatives.  

Vacuum pumps

Vacuum pumps work by using suction to draw blood into the penis, making it swell. They’re safe — often recommended by medical doctors to treat erectile dysfunction. And as a bonus, they can be used by the average man to turn a limp, average dick into a nice, hard, oversized erection.

vacuum pumps


Even the Mayo Clinic agrees that, “a vacuum pump can make a penis look larger.” It’s not going to cause any permanent growth, but it can bring your soldier up to full attention, and be quite a bit of fun in the bedroom.

Like anything involving your penis, you should be careful about using it correctly. Any sign of bruising, or a cutting-off of circulation is a sign to cease and desist. 

Penis Stretchers

The amazing thing about cock extenders and stretchers is: they actually work. These devices exert gentle tension on the penis while flaccid, and result in improved length over time.

penis stretcher

There are several case studies that demonstrate safe additions of half an inch to almost two inches of permanent length to a penis using a stretcher. And as of a few years ago, researchers found that “penile extenders represent the only evidence-based technique of penile elongation.”

So what’s the catch? Well, like anything worthwhile, it takes time. You need to wear them for 3-6 hours a day for months at a time to see permanent results. But for the man looking for a safe, permanent solution? These things are miracle workers.

Curious about penis extenders?

Explore our essential guides to the best penis extenders and how to use them:

Penis sleeves

If you have a nice, average, five-incher, the fact is that even the most rigorous stretching is not going to get you to a girthy nine inches. If you or your partner want to live out that kinky fantasy, consider using penis sleeves.

penis sleeves

These sleeves fit over your erection, adding pleasure and length for both you and your partner. They’re completely safe, and come in all lengths and sizes… even with vibration!

If you’re looking to give your partner a fuller, more stretched-out feeling during sex, penis sleeves can be a fun addition to your playtime.

Curious about the most Frequently Asked questions about Men's Sexuality?

Check out our related blog and see the answers here:

Throw shame out the door.

The average man’s penis will stop growing between the ages of 16-21. And the bottom line is, most men have nothing to be embarrassed about when it comes to penis size.

But for those who want a little help in the bedroom, there are safe, fun alternatives to enhance what nature gave you.


If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on The Enhanced Male are reinforced by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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