Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 12/18/2022
So you’ve been having bad experiences in the bedroom, you’re feeling self-conscious about your performance and a little voice in your head is suggesting that maybe the issue isn’t technique or talents, but size. Do you need to be bigger? Should you consider options like penis growth hormone?
There are many products on the market for “male enhancement.” Some products say they’ll give you extra inches and others say they’ll give you extra hours. Some products are pills and some are packets of powder.
Some are just collections of herbs sold by a guy who doesn’t look like he sleeps much, but you’re standing in an alleyway behind a tire shop, so what do you expect?
From surgeries to gas station sex pills, there are a seemingly endless buffet of options for a guy who’s unhappy with how he performs in intimate situations. A growth hormone doesn’t really sound all that crazy compared to products that involve weeds and goats, now does it?
If you’re wondering if penis growth hormone is a viable option for your needs, that may be something we can help answer. What is penis growth hormone, and how does it work? Does it work at all? Is it safe?
Let’s start with the basics.
If you’re surprised to hear penis growth hormone is “a thing,” we get it. Technically, this penis-focused hormone is actually just a growth hormone that occurs in your body as a child and later as an adolescent.
While human growth hormone is the real “growth hormone” as far as medicine is concerned, when it comes to your penis, the sex hormone that promotes growth is testosterone.
Testosterone is responsible for the growth and development of the penis and testes.
It’s also generally responsible for sexual development and also has a hand in guiding the intensity of your libido.
In contrast, human growth hormone, or somatotropin, is responsible for things like bone density and other literal “growing up” characteristics in a child’s maturation. It also has some metabolic effects, but we’re only focusing on penis size for now.
To understand penis growth, it helps to look at the concept of a micropenis.
Micropenises are very rare — only about 1.5 in 10,000 newborns in the United States are diagnosed with this condition (which means you probably don’t have it), but it nevertheless is a good way for us to discuss how hormones and your penis size are related.
The growth hormone testosterone is frequently the cause of a micropenis. As a child matures, testosterone is secreted into the body, which makes the penis, testicles and other body parts mature and grow.
Frequently, children with a micropenis (and adults for that matter) had problems with testosterone when they were growing up. In some cases, the penis didn’t respond properly to testosterone. In other cases, there was inadequate testosterone present.
In adults, the criteria for micropenis is anything that reaches a stretched penile length under 3.67 inches, within a few standard deviations. We got those numbers from data that suggests that the average penis size or average stretched penile length in adult males is about 5.25 inches, for context.
When patients with micropenises are discovered early enough, treatments with surgery and testosterone therapy can help that baby or child “catch up” in growth by the time they reach adulthood.
How growth hormones for phallic growth work depend on the age of the patient and the severity of the problem.
Children may receive weekly hormone injections to correct the problem, while babies may receive testosterone just once a month.
In one 2013 trial, 25 children from the age of three to fourteen who were clinically diagnosed with micropenises received penis growth hormone.
The results of these frequencies yielded signs of growth during childhood, and many of the children in the study ended up with normal penis size by the time they reached adulthood.
But that’s the data we have for penis and testicular growth hormones in children.
We’re guessing most of the people reading this are adults with an eye toward correcting an existing micropenis problem, or maybe just adding some length to an otherwise normal-range penis.
So, what are the odds that you can pull that off? Not great.
We do know that growth hormone works to correct micropenis in many children with growth hormone deficiency.
Studies have proven that human growth hormone will, over time, correct early-life micropenis issues and help a patient with micropenis achieve “normal” penis size by adulthood.
However, that’s where the good news ends.
There are no trials showing that human growth hormone treatments are effective in adults, and treatment in adults seems to be relatively ineffective, particularly if they’re already out of puberty.
In these cases, it’s important to understand a couple of things:
People with a micropenis can still have normal sexual function in sexual activity.
A satisfying sex life is still possible.
Finding ways to achieve comfort in intimacy that may be bothering you might be better served with a trip to a therapy professional than a regular series of injections — especially since there’s no proof that later-in-life hormones could ever increase your penis size.
And then there are the side effects to consider.
If we’re being honest, there’s no good reason for an adult to use testosterone supplements unless they’re fighting a very short list of diseases or disorders where testosterone therapy can help with treatment.
Excess testosterone levels can lead to hirsutism (excess hair growth), acne and male pattern baldness, among other issues.
Research shows that taking testosterone can cause you to develop breasts, reduce your libido, limit your sperm production, worsen sleep apnea and even increase your risk of prostate cancer and non-cancerous prostate growths.
As a general rule, it’s best not to take hormones that aren’t prescribed for your use by a healthcare professional, and no healthcare provider is going to prescribe testosterone so you can take five inches to seven.
Bummed by the news? We get it. But even though penis growth hormone likely can’t help you, there are alternatives out there.
Things like stretching surgery and pills all claim to deliver results, but in the big picture, the proverbial juice may not be worth the squeeze.
Let’s start with penile stretching. You use a traction device to, yes, stretch your penis. Sometimes called jelqing, stretching is a medically unproven technique and even when you involve vacuum pumps, stretching techniques are neither effective nor permanent.
Then there are those gas station sex pills we mentioned at the beginning.
Sort of a pre-workout supplement for your penis, these pills have been covered at length, with almost all bad news.
Not only are these treatments lacking in medical proof, but many studies (and some government agencies) have found them to be particularly dangerous because they sometimes (like in the case of so-called “herb Viagra”) illegally contain ingredients they’re not supposed to include.
And last, there’s going under the knife.
There are several types of penile enhancement surgeries on the market that include everything from inserting implants into the shaft of the penis to cutting ligaments and grafting skin.
There are surgeries that can physically lengthen your penis, surgeries that incorporate prosthetics into the mix, surgeries that transfer fat from one area of the body to your penis — you have plenty of options here.
You can read our Guide to Penile Enlargement Surgery to learn more — in detail — about these types of surgeries.
One thing to note here is that these surgeries are usually both pretty serious and expensive — sometimes, too expensive.
Even the Penuma implant (which is basically a breast implant but for your penis) only adds between one and two inches on average.
Any time you try and take a shortcut to make your penis bigger, you’re running a substantial risk of injuring it. Most men wish they were bigger, but chances are, size isn’t your problem — it’s something like confidence, stamina, premature ejaculation or ED.
And all of those are treatable concerns.
Regardless of adult micropenis criteria, if you’re concerned about your penis size, talk to someone.
It may be the partner you’re worried about pleasing, or a healthcare provider who can talk to you about other options for increasing your size (which include surgeries, vacuum pumps and other things).
You might also want to talk to a mental health professional. While size matters to a degree, the evolution of sex toys has sort of evened the playing field for men who just want to please their partner — not win measuring contests.
Sexual health is about the physical and mental confidence and capability to get it on. If you want to get your confidence back, check out our sexual health resources and consider using our online therapy platform to connect with a mental health professional and talk about anything causing you performance fears or performance anxiety.
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