Am I a late bloomer?

Last updated on August 22, 2020


Is this normal? I’ve recently turned 17 and the Tanner Stage Calculator says I’m in stage 3.9 (Stage 4 for rounding since some things from 4 are happening so stage 4).

Am I a late bloomer? It’s weird because I don’t think my brother was a late bloomer since he seemed to have everything done by 18, judging by his body hair.

My penis has been growing in length (or it seems like it to me) and my testicles have been growing as well. My scrotum seems to hang down more often now but at times it is still tight. I don’t have a lot of armpit hair, and I’m starting to get more hair on my arms and legs. My leg hair is quite adult-like, but my arm hair still has a lot of white hair. I don’t have a lot of facial hair as well, mostly just grows around my mustache but no adult facial hair as of yet. My nipples seem the same. I have a lot of pubic hair, but it’s very curly and it does not spread to my thighs. My muscles have begun to develop more. I’m not sure about my height. Two years ago I was 5’7 and I’m currently 5’10.5. So maybe another spurt? I’m not sure.

So is this normal? Are there other 17-year-olds like me?


You are later than average, but certainly not out of the normal range. The normal range for starting stage 4 is between 12 and 18. Age 15 is the typical age. So your brother was closer to average and you are a bit later. Among my own children, two didn’t reach stage four until they were almost 18. So yes, other boys are in the same situation you are.

Most people call someone a late bloomer if they don’t even start puberty until 15 or after. You don’t fall into that category.


Thanks for clarifying. I think my brother was on par with puberty to be honest. But will genetics mean I will probably be close to him in appearance and soon? Also does this mean I should finish puberty in terms of growing and such at 19?


Even in the same family the genes you inherit from your parents can cause a wide variation in appearance as well as development time. The closer your parents and grandparents looked like each other, the less diversity there will be in how people look in your family. But if there is a variation is looks in your ancestry, then you and your brother could end up looking quite different.

Just to prove the point in the extreme, the picture at the right is of the Hodgson fraternal twins. They were born in England in April of 2005. Though having the same mother and father, they look quite different because of the wide variation in genes inherited from both parents (who each were of mixed ancestries).

The typical length of each stage of development is roughly two years. Since you just started stage 4 at age 17, you will likely reach stage 5 around age 19. However, you will not be fully done with your development. Some changes continue to take place after stage five. You won’t be growing taller, but there will still be hair growth, shoulder growth, muscle development, and mental changes for a few more years.


Thanks! I started stage 3 at 15 because I remember all those things happening from 15-17. The only thing I want to clarify is will my testicles hang lower eventually and increase in size along with my penis size? They have increased in the last few months, I think. I don’t think my shoulders are narrow now that I fully understand. My last question I will ever ask is about my glans it hasn’t fully developed and made a distinct corona will that happen soon?

Sorry about the questions, I just want to fully understand.


Don’t worry about the questions. I’m happy to answer them.

Regarding your testicles: Yes, they continue to grow until shortly after you reach stage five. See “How do you measure your testicles?” for more details of the ranges.

Regarding the hang of your scrotum, this is explained in an earlier answer. See, “My testicles don’t hang down often. Will they get bigger?

The development of the corona typically happens in stage 4, along with the widening of the penis. You’ve just reached this stage, so it will develop during the next two years or so.


Will my muscles start to increase more with gym work? I like to keep my fitness intact, but I want to gain a bit of muscle.

Also, about my scrotum, it hangs down more often than it did in stage 3 when it’s warm, so if my testicles increase more in size, which they have done, they should hang down lower shouldn’t they?

The length of my testicles are about 1.75 inches but the circumference of the testicles seem small, will the circumference grow to accommodate the length?

Thanks for the answers.


Yes, you will be seeing your muscles get quite a bit bigger during stage 4. You’ll also begin to find doing heavy work a bit easier to accomplish and that you have a lot more endurance because the increased muscles mean the work can be spread out between the fibers more.

Yes, your scrotum will hang a bit more because it will become a bit larger, not because your testicles are larger because they are not that heavy in the first place. But it isn’t worth the concern you are placing on it. It’s isn’t like you run around with them exposed. Nor does the hang of your testicles indicate your fertility or how sexy you are. What is interesting is that the perception of hang varies with culture. Men in hot climates, such as India, think a large “tight” scrotum is sexier. I suspect that it is because in the heat everyone’s scrotum hangs, but during arousal it draws up. Men in colder climates seem to look at it the opposite way. But what should be important is that the scrotum is working — changing size so that the temperature of the testicles are kept optimal. You should be after function and not looks.

As far as your testicles are concerned, the length is just about what would be expected in stage 4. Each man’s testicles are not precisely the same shape, just as each of us is not precisely the same shape in other parts of our body. Most likely, as they develop, your testicles will fill out as well as continue to increase in length a bit. Once again, this should not be a major concern. Since you are developing and can ejaculate, then you’ll very likely to be able to have children when it is time for you to marry and start a family.