The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hello,

I just finished the Tanner survey and my result was 4.1 (just started the 4th stage of puberty), which is odd because last time I got my check up, my doctor said I just started stage 5.

I almost don't believe my doctor now because according to the survey, people that had started stage 5 have noticeable amounts of stomach, chest, and armpit hair and have a fully developed penis and testicles. On the other hand, I do have pubic hair, but I'm still growing little hair above the pubic area, which is not very noticeable and will eventually be my happy trail. I have peach hairs growing on my chest, but it's also not noticeable. I do have armpit hair, but it's not bushy and one could tell that I'm still growing armpit hair. I have leg hair that is pretty noticeable and my arm hair is beginning to be more noticeable as well.

One reason how I know I'm not on stage 5 is how my penis looks. To be honest, I've never seen my penis 100% fully erect. However, when it's almost fully erect lengthwise it's above average (7.3 to 7.5 inches when fully erect. When it's flaccid, the smallest I've seen it is a little below 4 inches. I bet you're thinking, "Why should he be worried about his length, that's long?" I'm worried about the girth of my penis. Like I said I've never seen my penis solid rock hard, but when it's almost fully erect my girth is below average 4.6 to 4.8 inches when fully erect.

I'm very confused as to how I measure my testicles. I don't know if I was doing the measurement properly, but I measured the width around, the length around, and the height bottom to top. I added it all together and the measurement of my testicles is approx 12 ml, which is considered stage 4 according to Tanner's Stages.

This concerns me because I'm not 100% accurate on what stage of puberty I'm on. I know I started late in puberty. I developed my first pubic hair in 8th grade and my first ejaculation was at age 15 (around 9th grade), so I'm aware that I'm considered a late bloomer. I just need to know when my penis will stop growing completely and what stage of puberty I'm on based on the fact that I'm a late bloomer and everything I told you regarding my puberty status.


Answer

The question is whether the doctor based his conclusion from an x-ray of your hand or from visual observation. The later is more error prone.

Stage 5 starts when you stop growing vertically in height. It doesn't mean that you've stopped changing. Almost all young men continue to develop body and facial hair after they have reached stage 5. The questions in the calculator are there because if a guy has a full set of, say, chest hair, then that is a strong indicator that he is beyond the start of stage 5.

Testicles are measured by volume (how much the shape could hold). The problem is that is a three-dimensional measurement, but I can only show a two-dimensional image. One way to get an approximation is after making sure the image scale is actually one inch long, is to feel a testicle with one hand while pretending to pick up the same size object from the screen with the other hand.

The best guide, beyond a bone age test, would be to see if you've grown any in height in the last several months. If you have, then you are definitely in stage 4. If it has been a year since you seen a change in your height, then you are in stage 5.

As I've tried to tell many young men in the past, the size of your penis -- length or width -- has nothing to do with your ability to have sex or how much pleasure you will give your wife. Technique is far more important.