Just about every guy wonders how he measures up in the "down-there" department at one time or another. Here's the lowdown for any guy who's ever worried about whether his penis is a normal size.
There's a fairly wide range of normal penis sizes — just as there is for every other body part. And just like other parts of the body, how a penis appears at different stages of a guy's life varies quite a bit. You wouldn't expect someone who is 11 years old to look the same as someone who's 19.
Guys normally develop at different times. Some may start developing as early as 9. Others may not start developing until 15 or even later. The age at which a guy starts to grow varies from person to person. It all depends on when he enters puberty and his hormones start doing their thing.
Growth in penis size is just one part of puberty, which also includes such changes as pubic hair development, testicular growth, muscle development, and a growth spurt. Late starters almost always catch up fine — they just reach full maturity a little later.
Penises come in different sizes, shapes, and colors. These traits are hereditary, like eye color or foot size, and there's nothing you can do to change them. Despite what you may hear or read, no special exercises, supplements, or diets will speed up the development process or change a guy's size. Also, like his feet, a guy's penis may appear smaller to him just because the perspective is different when he's looking down. And there's a lot less difference in penis size between guys when they get an erection than when their penises are relaxed.
In addition to size, guys also wonder about other aspects of how their penises look, such as whether the skin covering the penis is normal or if it's OK for a guy's penis to hang to the left or right (it is!). If you're concerned about how your penis looks, ask your doctor. Guys who are reaching puberty should have regular testicular exams, so that's a good time to ask your doctor any questions.
Taking a ride on the hormonal roller-coaster means lots of changes — and a lot of common worries — for both guys and girls. Just as guys may wonder about how their penises develop, lots of girls ask the same thing about their breasts.
If you're wondering about your development, don't try to compare yourself to your older brother or your best friend — they're probably at a different stage of development than you are anyway. The important thing to remember is that it's OK to not be a mirror image of the guy at the next urinal.
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: August 2008