Last updated on October 6, 2020
This may be an unusual question, especially from someone my age. But this issue has been bothering me lately and since your site helped me when I first started puberty, I thought I might give it a try again.
How is it possible that I am still growing at my age? I started puberty fairly late, around 15 or so and it followed a fairly regular course. By the time I graduated high school and started college I thought that I was finished. But all through college I continued to develop. I now have a very hairy chest that spreads over my shoulders and connects with my almost equally hairy back. My voice has been fairly steady for a while and everything genital wise is fine. My hairline has even been receding for a year now. The only weird thing is that, even at 22, I am still growing in height! I never experienced a true “growth spurt” and have instead grown taller painfully slowly for years.
Is it possible to be fully developed in every other way but still growing in height? I have reached an average height of 5’10” but it shows no sign of stopping yet. Is this terribly unusual enough to be checked out by a medical professional?
Growth and development is a set of changes that take place loosely in conjunction with each other. There is a series of changes for the pubic hair, another for the body hair, another for the facial hair. There are changes for the genitals, facial shape, and voice. Each series within itself goes in a particular order, but between the series, there is only a loose connection.
The Tanner Stage scale is an attempt to guess a person’s height growth based on the observation of two external characteristics. Generally, it is fairly accurate, but it can be off because the pubic hair series and the genital development series are not firmly tied to the bone growth series. It appears that for you, your secondary characteristics began late, but for some reason, your bone growth series decided to plod along at a slower, steadier rate.
There is nothing wrong with this. Understand that most boys take about eight years to mature and you have only been at it for seven years so far. Most of your development raced ahead, but your bones are still going.
It is unusual but not unheard of. If you want to mention it to your doctor to find out how much further you might grow, it would make an interesting discussion, but it doesn’t sound like something you need to rush down to the doctor to get checked out.
Thank you for your response. It has reassured me that I am at least relatively normal.
I may talk to my doctor during my next check-up, I also asked my father when he stopped growing and he said he stopped around 17 or so at 5’5″. It doesn’t surprise me that I don’t take after him in height growth since we share few physical characteristics. He is shorter, has essentially no body hair whereas I am completely covered, and is of a much darker hair color and complexion. He also doesn’t show any signs of balding as I already do. Genetics sure can be interesting.