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Any Possibility I Could Still Grow

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,


I'm seventeen and a half and about 5'3.5". Both of my parents are taller than me (mom is 5'6", dad is 6'), and I'm biologically female. I have never had a growth spurt, and have only grown an inch or two since the beginning of puberty. I think I may have grown some so far this year, and am curious if there's any possibility that I could still grow?

Signed: Any Possibility I Could Still Grow

Dear Any Possibility I Could Still Grow,


Sure there is a possibility that you could still grow. It is very difficult to predict how tall you will be by looking at the heights of your parents. The genes from both parents influence your growth potential to various degrees and it is not easy to predict which genes will have the most influence. Your ethnic background and health status also factor into the equation


Many young people compare their progress with the progress of their peers, which does not take into account that each individual is different. Some young people enter puberty earlier and will finish their growth at an earlier age. Others enter puberty later and will continue to grow until a later age. Neither early nor late puberty has any influence on what your eventual growth will be. This has been predetermined by your genetic makeup.


It is hard to tell from your question whether you are interested in seeing if you will grow taller or if you feel like your development is delayed somehow. If you have regular checkups with your doctor, then it would be likely that he/she would have addressed this issue with you if it was a concern. If it is really bothering you, call or make an appointment and speak with your doctor. Physicians who work with adolescents know that these questions are important to their patients and are skilled at educating patients on the roller coaster ride of puberty. If you haven’t seen a doctor in awhile then it would be a good idea to go in for an overall health check. While there, talk to him/her about this concern or any others you have. The doctor will not be able to give you an exact answer about your growth but he/she would let you know if there was anything to be concerned about.


If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health in Morristown 973-971-6475 or the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health in Summit at 908-522-5757 for an appointment. Outside this area contact a local Adolescent Medicine Specialist, your local teen health center.




Signed: TeenHealthFX