When Does the Penis Stop Growing?

For most, the penis stops growing in the late teen years or early 20s. Once your penis has reached its adult size—which is largely determined by genetics—there is little you can do to change or increase the size of your penis. However, there are some lifestyle changes that can help if you have anxiety about the size of your penis. 

Scientists have established that 95% of people fit into one of the categories of average penis size. The average length of a flaccid penis is 3.4 inches to 3.7 inches, increasing to 5.1 inches to 5.7 inches when erect. The average girth, or circumference, of an erect penis is 3.5 inches to 3.9 inches. Of course, there are normal variations within this, so if your penis is larger or smaller than these ranges, it’s likely perfectly normal. However, if you have concerns, you can speak with a healthcare provider. 

Learn more about penis growth and penis size below. 

man in underwear

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Timeline for Penis Growth

Most young people experience a slow and steady growth of the penis during childhood, beginning at birth. However, the most rapid growth of the penis happens during puberty, with the peak growth between the ages of 12 and 16.

Penises usually increase in length and girth at the same time. For most, the penis stops growing in the late teen years.

The testes follow a different growth curve. They remain the same size throughout childhood, even as the penis grows in length. At about the age of 8 to 9, they begin to grow, with the most rapid growth happening between the ages of 11 and 15.

For a more personalized answer about when your penis will stop growing, consider your puberty timeline. The penis usually stops growing four to six years after you experience enlargement of your testicles. That means that for most, the penis is fully grown between the ages of 18 and 21.

Does Penis Growth Correspond to Height Growth?

If you’ve stopped growing taller, your penis has likely stopped growing longer. 

Factors That Affect Growth

Most of the variations in penis size can be attributed to genetics. Just like your genetics play a role in how tall you are, they affect length and girth of the penis. 

However, as with most physical characteristics, environmental factors also play a role:

  • Hormones, particularly testosterone, affect how much your penis grows during puberty. People with lower levels of testosterone may have smaller penises for that reason. Testosterone can be raised naturally by a healthy diet and exercise, and they are related to erectile function as well.
  • Chemicals that affect hormone levels, known as endocrine disruptors, may affect penis size. In particular, chemicals called perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) have been shown to be associated with smaller penis size because they affect testosterone levels in the body. Females who are exposed to PFCs may have children who have shorter penises. 

Can You Make Your Penis Grow Longer?

Factors that affect the length of your penis—whether genetic or environmental—are largely out of your hands. There is nothing you can do that will cause your penis to grow longer or wider. 

Factors That Affect Appearance

Some lifestyle choices can affect how big your penis looks. People who are overweight or obese might have part of their penis shaft buried or hidden beneath a layer of fat. This can lead to the appearance of a shorter penis. However, weight loss that leads to less fat around the base of the penis can give it the appearance of being longer.

Having abundant pubic hair can also obstruct the base of the penis and make it look shorter. Trimming or removing pubic hair can help the penis appear longer. 

Although there are numerous products and procedures that claim to increase penis size, most are ineffective.

Unless you have a medical condition that requires treatment, it’s likely that your penis size is entirely normal and satisfying to your sexual partner or partners. However, if you continue to have hang-ups about your penis size, you might benefit from speaking with a sex therapist, who can help you address anxiety or dysmorphia (when you can't stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance) around your penis.

Other Body Changes

The most rapid growth of the penis occurs between the ages of 12 and 16, which is when many other changes are happening as the result of puberty. Here’s what people who were assigned male at birth can expect during puberty

For many males, puberty begins at about age 11, with a growth spurt that is noticeable. During this time, you may also notice these changes:

  • An increase in acne and body odor
  • The development of pubic hair and other body hair
  • Vocal changes and the deepening of the voice
  • More frequent erections and nocturnal emissions (wet dreams)
  • Mood swings

It’s also entirely normal for boys to experience breast growth, which can last as long as a year or two. This is part of the normal hormonal process that boys undergo during puberty, and it usually regulates on its own. 

When to See a Doctor

Puberty is a complex time, and it can be hard to know what’s normal and what might require some medical advice. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to speak with a healthcare provider. You should reach out for medical advice if any of the following apply:

  • Initial signs of puberty have not appeared by age 14.
  • You have true concerns about the length of your penis. Most penises are within the variations of normal, but about 0.6% of the male population has a micropenis.
  • Your concerns over penis size are interfering with your quality of life or sexual function.

A Word From Verywell

Penis size is a very sensitive topic. Research shows that nearly half of men are concerned about their penis size, or wish their penis was longer. Men also overestimate how long the average penis length is, which can add to insecurity. 

The vast majority of men have a penis that measures 5.1 inches to 5.7 inches when erect. Your penis will likely reach its full length and girth in your late teen years, with most of the growth wrapping up by the age of 16. After you’ve reached your 20s, your penis is likely the size and shape that it will remain throughout your life. 

There is little you can do to encourage additional penis growth, especially as an adult. If you are concerned about the size of your penis, speaking with a healthcare provider, including a sex therapist, can help you come to terms with this part of your body.

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Article Sources
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