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Penis Growth Hormone: Is it Safe & Does it Work?

Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Reviewed by Kelly Brown, MD

Written by Geoffrey Whittaker

Updated 03/11/2024

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 sex hormone that occurs in increased concentrations 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.

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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.

A problem withthe sex hormone testosterone is frequently the cause of a micropenis. As a child matures, increased 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. 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 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 testosterone, penis growth hormone.

The results of these treatments 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 more likely 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 testosterone therapy works to correct micropenis in many children with insufficient testosterone. Other approaches include 5-a Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Luteinizing Hormone (LH) Treatments, or in rare cases Human Growth Hormone, depending on the underlying cause.

Studies have proven that appropriate treatment, over time, can 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 testosterone, human growth hormone, or other treatments are effective in increasing penis size in adults, 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.

  • So can people who are concerned about their penis size, even if it is within normal

  • 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 hormone or other treatments — 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.

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If we’re being honest, there are very specific conditions where testosterone supplements are indicated, but increasing penis size in adults is not one of them.

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 the testicles to shrink, limit your sperm production, worsen sleep apnea, or result in too much red blood cell production, which contributes to the increased risk of forming a blood clot.

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 — with varying results and risk for complications.

Even the Penuma implant (which is basically a breast implant but for your penis) is only FDA approved for penile girth.

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.

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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.

11 Sources

  1. Micropenis: Causes, symptoms, diagnosis & treatment. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved October 17, 2022, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17955-micropenis.
  2. Nassar GN, Leslie SW. Physiology, Testosterone. [Updated 2022 Jan 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526128/.
  3. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, April 20). Testosterone therapy: POTENTIAL benefits and risks as you age. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved October 19, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/sexual-health/in-depth/testosterone-therapy/art-20045728.
  4. Nerli RB, Guntaka AK, Patne PB, Hiremath MB. Penile growth in response to hormone treatment in children with micropenis. Indian J Urol. 2013 Oct;29(4):288-91. doi: 10.4103/0970-1591.120107. PMID: 24235789; PMCID: PMC3822343. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3822343/.
  5. Levy JB, Husmann DA. Micropenis secondary to growth hormone deficiency: does treatment with growth hormone alone result in adequate penile growth? J Urol. 1996 Jul;156(1):214-6. doi: 10.1016/s0022-5347(01)66003-8. PMID: 8648808. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8648808/.
  6. Brinkman JE, Tariq MA, Leavitt L, et al. Physiology, Growth Hormone. [Updated 2022 May 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482141/.
  7. Aghamir MK, Hosseini R, Alizadeh F. A vacuum device for penile elongation: fact or fiction? BJU Int. 2006 Apr;97(4):777-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2006.05992.x. PMID: 16536772. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16536772/.
  8. Kotta, S., Ansari, S. H., & Ali, J. (2013). Exploring scientifically proven herbal aphrodisiacs. Pharmacognosy reviews, 7(13), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-7847.112832. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3731873/.
  9. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (n.d.). Public Notification: Herb Viagra contains hidden drug ingredient. Retrieved January 29, 2021, from https://www.fda.gov/drugs/medication-health-fraud/public-notification-herb-viagra-contains-hidden-drug-ingredient.
  10. Learn more about The Penuma® Implant. (2021, March 19). Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://penuma.com/about/.
  11. Campbell, J., & Gillis, J. (2017). A review of penile elongation surgery. Translational andrology and urology, 6(1), 69–78. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5313298/.
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Kelly Brown MD, MBA
Kelly Brown, MD

Dr. Kelly Brown is a board certified Urologist and fellowship trained in Andrology. She is an accomplished men’s health expert with a robust background in healthcare innovation, clinical medicine, and academic research. Dr. Brown is a founding member of Posterity Health where she is Medical Director and leads strategy and design of their Digital Health Platform, an innovative education and telehealth model for delivering expert male fertility care.

She completed her undergraduate studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (go Heels!) with a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science and a Minor in Chemistry. She took a position at University of California Los Angeles as a radiologic technologist in the department of Interventional Cardiology, further solidifying her passion for medicine. She also pursued the unique opportunity to lead departmental design and operational development at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, sparking her passion for the business of healthcare.

Dr. Brown then went on to obtain her doctorate in medicine from the prestigious Northwestern University - Feinberg School of Medicine and Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, with a concentration in Healthcare Management. During her surgical residency in Urology at University of California San Francisco, she utilized her research year to focus on innovations in telemedicine and then served as chief resident with significant contributions to clinical quality improvement. Dr. Brown then completed her Andrology Fellowship at Medical College of Wisconsin, furthering her expertise in male fertility, microsurgery, and sexual function.

Her dedication to caring for patients with compassion, understanding, as well as a unique ability to make guys instantly comfortable discussing anything from sex to sperm makes her a renowned clinician. In addition, her passion for innovation in healthcare combined with her business acumen makes her a formidable leader in the field of men’s health.

Dr. Brown is an avid adventurer; summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (twice!) and hiking the incredible Torres del Paine Trek in Patagonia, Chile. She deeply appreciates new challenges and diverse cultures on her travels. She lives in Denver with her husband, two children, and beloved Bernese Mountain Dog. You can find Dr. Brown on LinkedIn for more information.

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