The Girls' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

When do your hips stop growing?

Sophia (age 14)


Answer

Age-wise it is difficult to say precisely since different girls start and stop their growth at different times. However, we can be more precise if we talk about what developmental stage you are currently in.

Years ago, Dr. Tanner divided growth into five stages. Stage one is your childhood and stage five is when your body has reached its full adult shape. The remaining three stages are the transitional stages between childhood and adulthood. It is during stage four that your hips widen so that your body is able to accommodate bearing children. (Boys in this same stage find their shoulders widening.) Stage four usually lasts about a year. That is not to say that your hips will grow for a whole year, but that your hips will reach their adult size during that year. The average girl enters stage four around the age of fourteen, but the normal range is considered to be any time between age 10 and 16.

One of the reasons becoming pregnant is dangerous for teenage girls is the fact that their hips made not have yet become wide enough for a full-grown baby to move down the birth canal. The odds of having complications from pregnancy before 16 is drastically higher than after age 16.

You can estimate which stage you are in by using the Tanner Stage Calculator for Girls.