Last updated on April 14, 2023
Hi there! I hope you are well.
Starting info: I’m concerned about my height growth. I’m 18 years and a half. My height is 6’0″, my father’s height is 6’0″, and my mother’s height is 5’10”.
I have always had poor physical health; I won’t go into specific details, but I barely slept as a child, couldn’t do physical activity, barely could go outside and I was pumped with toxic experimental drugs to try to fix my issues. Despite the bad environment, the doctors told my parents that it wouldn’t impact my height because I was still managing to stay in the same percentile. Anyway, fast forward to 13 years old, I’m so slim that my weight isn’t on the percentile chart anymore and my height starts to drop. Surely my bad health over all these years has started to stunt my height, right? I certainly thought so, but apparently not. I was sent to an endocrinologist to do a bone scan and I learn that my bone age is 2 years delayed compared to my actual age. Because of this, I am told that I will reach an adult height somewhere between 6’1.5″ and 6’3″ as an adult. Looking back, a delayed bone age does make sense because I was either in very late Tanner Stage 2 or in extremely early Tanner Stage 3 at 15 years of age (very minimal pubic hair, a voice that wasn’t deep, etc.).
Anyway, sure enough, at 15.5 years old I began to shoot up. I went from 5’5″ to 5’11” by my 17th birthday. Notably, most of the spurt was between 15.5 to 16.5 years old, giving me massive stretchmarks all over my back. Furthermore, my voice broke, I got armpit hair, acne, more dense hair around my genitals, Adam’s apple, a higher sex drive, etc. I still had a boyish-looking frame and did not develop facial hair yet.
I thought I was definitely set for growing to 6’2″ given the past year and a half, but unexpectedly between the ages of 17 and 18, I only grew an inch. To make matters worse, the height gain was in the first 7 months after turning 17, so I haven’t grown in the last 10 months. I’m quite worried, particularly considering my Tanner Stage is now at 4.7 and I am starting to shave more frequently (only growing sideburns and hair on my chin though). I also have all my pubic hair now (up to the belly button and the medial thigh). I’ve started to develop thicker leg hair, slight hair around my nipples, and more muscle. It is worth noting that I’ve always had more hair than a normal person, my dad is the same. I still look like I have a boy’s frame though and I do find peace knowing that I still look young compared to all the men my age.
Here is what I believe my puberty timeline looked like:
Stage 1: Until 14.5
Stage 2: 14.5-15
Stage 3: 15-17
Stage 4: 17 – ?
Stage 5: ?
I guess what I’m trying to find out is: When do you think I started each Tanner Stage? Do you think I have stopped growing? If not, how much taller do you think I will grow? Additionally, how long do you suspect the growing window to be?
I cannot thank you enough for your help, it means a lot to me. Seriously, trying to determine if I’m going to grow anymore has consumed my thoughts for many months. Your opinion, even if it’s not what I want to hear, will help me significantly. Also, sorry for this being a super depressing email. I have actually managed to get back on the weight chart and I’m the healthiest I’ve been.
I want you to step back for a moment and objectively look at your concern. What difference will it make if you happen to remain 6’0″ instead of reaching 6’2″? I understand a person being curious, but to be consumed by a top that really doesn’t change who you are is more concerning to me.
Based on your description, you were in stage 3 from age 15 to 16. You appear to be close to the end of stage 4, at age 18 and a half, which would be about right for a typical boy (two years in each stage). Given that, you might gain a small amount more height before everything completely stops, but the odds are against this happening.
I assume that what you mean by a boyish frame is that your shoulders are not very broad. This is something that is fairly common for a late bloomer. Since your growth started late, you end up running up against another clock that decides when growth stops. Since the broadening of the shoulders is one of the last things to happen in your bones, the growth plates may close before your shoulders get wide.
Thus, it looks like you will be a tall, slim man in your adulthood. You still are able to develop muscles, so you will have the strength you need. Therefore, focus on where you are going with your life. You are who you are physically and you can’t change that. But you can develop your mind and your skills, and that is what you need for the next phase of your life.
Thanks for your response.
You are completely right that it doesn’t really change anything. My sister just somehow managed to end up 6’1. It hit me when I hit 18 that my odds were slimming so I’ve been stuck on the topic for a while.
I appreciate your response. Truly, it means a lot.