When are you considered a late bloomer?


What’s labeled as having late puberty? Is it after 14? Is hitting puberty at 14 still normal?


A late bloomer is when a boy doesn’t show any external signs of changing by age 14. In other words, he hasn’t reached stage 2 on the Tanner scale before age 15. “Male puberty is considered delayed when the first signs occur later than 14 years of age or if it progresses at an unusually slow pace” [Curtis, Vanessa A, and David B Allen. “Boosting the Late Blooming Male: Use of growth-promoting agents in the athlete with constitutional delay of growth and puberty.” Sports Health vol. 3,1 (2011): 32-40].

95% of boys enter puberty somewhere between 9 and 14 years of age. Some of the remaining 5% are early bloomers (starting before age 9) and the rest are late bloomers (starting after age 14). Thus, being a late bloomer isn’t typical, but it is not uncommon. In a group of 100 boys, you will have 2 or 3 who are late bloomers.

Being a late bloomer is still considered normal, but it requires being checked by a doctor to make sure that there isn’t a problem causing your puberty to be delayed. Often nothing is found, which means that it is just your genetic make-up that results in a delayed puberty.