Expert Advice

Penis Size at Age 14

Pediatrics Expert Advice from Shari Nethersole, M.D.

Q
I am 14 years old and my penis is 4 1/2 inches long and 1 inch wide. Is this the correct size for my age? All the other boys in my class have hair under their arms and I have only got a little bit. Am I developing late for my age?
A
It may seem hard to understand, but there really is not a correct size for the penis solely based on your age. As you have noted, some of the boys in your class are very far along in their development. This does not necessarily mean that there is something wrong with you. Boys can begin their pubertal changes as young as 9, but some boys don't start until 14, and all of that is considered normal.

The first change that is usually seen in puberty is an increase in the size of the testes. After the testes begin to enlarge, the penis will start to grow in size and length. Testosterone is the hormone that contributes to the growth of the penis, and it is produced by the growing testes. In adult men, the average penis length is about 5 inches (stretched out), but can range from 3 + to 6 + inches.

Hair under the arms and in the pubic area starts at about the same time as the testes start to grow, but the whole process isn't complete for years. The fact that you have some hair under your arms indicates that some pubertal changes have started, which is reassuring. You should also notice that your testes have gotten larger. If they have not, then it would be a good idea for you to ask your parents to take you to see your doctor. Your doctor can examine you and talk with you further about whether your puberty is proceeding normally.

Shari Nethersole is a physician at Children's Hospital, Boston, and an instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She graduated from Yale University and Harvard Medical School, and did her internship and residency at Children's Hospital, Boston. As a pediatrician, she tries to work with parents to identify and address their concerns.

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