Do I have a development problem?

Last updated on November 27, 2020



I have a question in regards to my overall development. I am wondering if I need to see a physician to determine whether or not I am developing normally, or if I have a problem such as hyperthyroidism affecting my development.

I am 18 (by one month), and I seem to be developing slowly. The Tanner scale said I was at a 3.8. I am 5’11”. I have plenty of pubic hair, yet no hair leading up to the navel or inner thighs. I have little to no hair on my face. I have sparse hair under one arm with more under the other. I have never had much acne. My penis is 4.8 inches in length when erect, but has not grown in girth. I am 145 lbs (the heaviest I’ve ever been). I have gained 10 pounds in the past month, and I consistently exercise. My voice is distinctly higher than the other boys my age. My mood is highly erratic. I still look long-legged. I have never ejaculated or have dripped “clear fluid.”

Should I be concerned?


Your description of yourself is consistent with someone at the end of stage 3. It is during stage 4 that hair below the navel, inner thigh hair, acne, and a lowering of the voice occurs. Ejaculation of semen and dripping of pre-ejaculate fluid can happen anytime between stage 2 and stage 4. You seem to be in the stage 4 group.

Starting stage 4 at age 18 is right at the high end of normal. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, most other boys have developed before you. While you are within the normal range, it would not hurt to talk to your doctor about whether your late development is just due to your genetics or if it is caused by some problem.


Thank you for your response.

I have also thought of the possibility of my prolonged development being caused by an endocrine problem.

I appreciate that you took the time to respond to my email.


There is no way I could tell you if there is a hormone problem. About the only way to determine that would be through blood tests.


Ok, thank you. I appreciate that you took the time to write back to me. God bless.