I’m in stage 5 at the age of 13. Is this normal development?

Last updated on August 24, 2020


Hello. I’m 13 years and 10 months old, 6’3 in height and weigh 130 pounds. My voice broke at 10 years old and I had a growth spurt around that time as well. Would this be considered early? I had always been taller than my friends but the difference got even greater once I started the spurt, which most of them haven’t even started yet. According to your puberty stage calculator, I’m in stage 5 of puberty, what does this mean? I look like a man as opposed to a child and people mistake my age all the time. People who don’t know me always think I’m a man in his twenties, not a teenage boy. I’ve got broad shoulders and look very masculine but am of a slim build, even though I eat like a horse. I haven’t noticed any growth in height for a good while now, could I have stopped growing? I haven’t been putting on any weight for a good while either, regardless of how much I eat. My body just seems to be frozen in time. Would this be considered normal development? What are the chances that I am still growing? Are a large number of boys my age in the same stage of development as me? Or would I be considered abnormal? What is the typical age for a boy to be in this stage and stop growing? From what I’ve read it appears that most boys enter stage 5 and cease growing completely at 17 years old, is this correct?

Also, people tell me that I am classed as underweight for my height. Is this true? I’ve always been slim and this seems to run in my family. There was even a time when all I ate was McDonald’s for a month and I still did not put on a pound.

Sorry for all the questions but I’m just really curious!


“Normal” is what happens with most boys, say 90% of them or 95% of them. In your case you are definitely outside the normal range. 97% of fourteen-year-old boys are shorter than 5’11”. I’ve known one young man who was in a very similar situation. It sounds as if from the external signs you’ve finished your growth. A doctor can verify this by x-raying your hand to see if the growth plates are closed. If they are, you won’t be growing any more.

Your height to weight ratio is unusual as well. Your BMI (body mass index) is 16.2. Most charts only go down to 19. You are definitely in the under weight category.

I don’t know if you’ve seen a doctor in recent years, but it would be advisable to do so. There are a couple of things that bother me — primarily that you are eating large amounts of food and not gaining weight even though you are physically mature. Typically, I would tell someone “enjoy it while you can,” you might be blessed with a high metabolism. But when combined with maturing unusually early (called “precocious puberty” by doctors), it might point to some problems with your hormones. It could be just the way you are, but it would be better to be safe than sorry later. Just to give you an idea, some hormone disorders can leave you with weaker than normal bones or joint problems because of loose connective tissue. When such things are spotted, doctors can supplement your hormones so that the difficulties become less of a problem.