How is Penis Size Determined?
Throughout history, the male penis has been a common topic of discussion, with men wondering what the average male penis length is and if they measure up to others. Many men are also concerned that their penis isn’t large enough to satisfy their partner. This can cause anxiety and poor body image which may lead to erectile dysfunction in some men.1
Penis growth happens during puberty, which for most males begins between the ages of 9 to 14. Growth stops at the end of puberty, around the age of 18 or 19 years of age for most males. Growth rate is different for each individual, with research indicating that race may be a factor in size but shows only a slight variation in length. 2
Penis size refers to the length and width of male genitalia. The penis length is measured along the dorsal side, from the base of the penile skin junction up to the tip of the glans. The length is measured when the penis is flaccid, before it’s in a state of erection. Penile width is measured at the middle of the penis. 3
If you’re concerned about penis size, you’re not alone. Men who are unhappy with their penile size regularly visit urologists about the possibility of enlarging their penis. But is penis enlargement even possible? Keep reading to find out just what is the average male penis size, if penis size can change when you’re an adult, and what if anything you can do if your penile size is less than average.
What is the Average Penis Size?
At birth, flaccid penile length in infants is just under 4 cm. Size stays relatively the same until puberty, when there is significant growth. Research shows that race may likely determine size, with a small difference in penis length and width. 3
At the end of puberty, the average stretched penile length for adult men is from 12 to 13 cm. When fully erect, the average length is 14 to 16 cm. 4
Is the Average Penis Size In the US Different Than That Around the World?
There have been several studies done comparing penis size in men from different countries and cultures, with WorldData providing a worldwide comparison of penis size by country. Based on erect penis length, at the top of the list is the Republic of Congo, with a measurement of 17.93 cm followed by Ecuador in second place with 17.61 cm. 5
Where does the US fall into the ranking? With an average erect penile measurement of 13.21 cm, the US is in the 65th worldwide position.
How was this information measured? Numerous studies were evaluated and compiled into a list of erect penile size by country. Length was measured from the top of the stem root of the penis up to the top of the glans. 6
Can Penis Size Change as An Adult?
Once men reach adulthood, the penis stops growing. There have yet to be any study results showing that vitamins, exercise, or a special diet can increase penile length or width.
As men age, they often gain weight in the abdomen area – this may make it appear as though penis length is shorter. Although the penis size is the same, the reduction in length is due to the belly fat expanding and pulling the penis to shorten it. In addition to having less belly fat, maintaining a diet (with lots of fruits and vegetables), supplement (like multivitamins and HF Delta Prime), and exercise regimen is important for overall health. Weight loss can reverse this change in penis size. 7
Less Than Average Penis Size? Here’s What You Can Do
Some men base their virility on penis size, however it’s important to note that masculinity and sexuality have nothing to do with size. Still, with so much emphasis placed on penis size, some men feel less than adequate about their sexuality if they have a below average penile length and width.
If you have a less than average penis size, you may be wondering what you can do. You’ve likely seen many methods advertised that guarantee penis enlargement. This includes devices to enlarge the penis, such as the Jes Extender, as well as penis enlargement pills, lotions, and vacuum pumps. There is little to no scientific evidence that any of these products will increase the length or width of your penis. 8,9
Exercises known as “jelqing” are also recommended for penile enlargement. Jelqing is an ancient form of Arabic treatment that involves penile massage to achieve an erection. There is no evidence that jelqing can increase penis size. 10
Surgery is the only proven method for penile enlargement however it comes with risks and complications. Known as suspensory ligament release, the penile ligament is released and anchored to the penis in the pubic area using weights. This surgery may increase flaccid penis length by 1 to 3 cm, however as there is no longer full support during an erection, penetration can be difficult. 11
Another method used for penile enlargement is augmentation, where fat cells from other parts of the body are grafted onto the penis. Less evasive than surgery, penis length can be increased from 2 to 2.5 cm. This procedure comes with multiple risks and may require several surgeries to produce results. Side effects include swelling, infection, and distorted penis shape. 12
Men concerned about their penis might consider discussing their worry with their doctor. Your doctor can talk to you about any sexual misconceptions you may have about your masculinity and sexuality based on penis size. 13
- 1 Yafi, FA. & Jenkins, L. (2016). Erectile dysfunction. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2: 16003. Retrieved on May 26, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5027992/
- 2 Beccuti, G. & Ghizzoni, L. (2015). Normal and Abnormal Puberty. Retrieved on May 26, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279024/
- 3 Wylie, KR. & Eardley, I. (2007). Penile size and the ‘small penis syndrome’. Retrieved on May 26, 2019 from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2007.06806.x
- 4 Mondaini, N. & Gontero, P. (2004). Idiopathic short penis: myth or reality? Retrieved on May 26, 2019 from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2005.05238.x
- 5 WorldData. (n.d.). Average penis size by country: worldwide comparison. Retrieved on May 26, 2019 from View Reference
- 6 Veale, D. & Miles, S. (2014). Am I normal? A systematic review and construction of nomograms for flaccid and erect penis length and circumference in up to 15 521 men. Retrieved on May 26, 2019 from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bju.13010
- 7 Mautz, BS. & Wong, BBM. (2013). Penis size interacts with body shape and height to influence male attractiveness. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 110(17): 6925-6930. Retrieved on May 26, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3637716/
- 8 Jes Extender. (n.d.). Jes Extender. Retrieved on May 26, 2019 from
- 9 Nikoobakht, M. & Shahnazari, A. (2011). Effect of penile-extender device in increasing penile size in men with shortened penis: preliminary results. J Sex Med. 8(11): 3188-92. Retrieved on May 26, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20102448
- 10 Lee, JKC. & Tan, RBW. (2017). Erectile dysfunction treatment and traditional medicine—can East and West medicine coexist? Transl Androl Urol. 6(1): 91-100. Retrieved on May 26, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5313309/
- 11 Alter. GJ. (1998). Penile enlargement surgery. Tech Urol. 4(2): 70-6. Retrieved on May 26, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9623619
- 12 Oates, J. & Sharp, G. (2017). Nonsurgical Medical Penile Girth Augmentation: Experience-Based Recommendations. Aesthet Surg. 37(9): 1032-1038. Retrieved on May 26, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28498879
- 13 Shamloul, R. (2005). Treatment of men complaining of short penis. Urology. 65(6): 1183-5. Retrieved on May 26, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15922413