When Do Girls Stop Growing?

The age when girls stop growing has a lot to do with when they start puberty. Here experts explain what to expect, plus a few common height prediction methods doctors use.

The timing of puberty plays a pivotal role in when a girl will reach their full adult height. The age girls stop growing varies, but typically, it is around 14 or 15 years old though it can be earlier or later depending on when they entered puberty. While girls tend to start and end puberty earlier than boys, a biological difference usually isn't noticeable until after the age of 10.

"If you look at the growth chart for both [males] and [females], there's a smooth, steady slope until they reach 11 to 14 years, which is when most kids get into the pubertal stage," says Danton Kono, M.D., a pediatrician with Dignity Health Mercy Medical Group in California.

On the other hand, it can take some boys well into their college years to reach the final adult height. "[Females] can enter pubertal development as early as age 8, whereas [males] might be 9 or 10 years old if they're on the early end," says Dr. Kono.

While this article uses the terms "boy" and "girl," it's important to note that gender is a personal identity that exists on a spectrum, can change over the course of a person's lifetime—and most importantly—is something that a person defines for themselves. Sex, on the other hand, is assigned at birth based on the appearance of a baby's genitalia. While sex assigned at birth often matches a person's gender (called cisgender), sometimes, for transgender, intersex, and gender nonbinary people, it does not.

When Do Girls Stop Growing?

After their first menstrual cycle, it isn't long before girls can reach full adult height. In fact, girls stop growing taller and reach their final adult height just two to two-and-half years after that first menstrual cycle.

The beginning signs of female puberty, including breast development, body hair growth, and discharge, are indicators that your child may soon begin to grow in height faster than they were before. Females who are going through puberty typically experience a growth spurt after their breasts begin to develop, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, followed by their first period two to three years later.

Height Prediction Methods for Girls

While there's no precise way to accurately determine how tall girls will be once they start growing, there are two common methods pediatricians use to predict adult height for girls.

Most doctors use what's known as a "mid-parental height calculator" to predict adult height, though Dr. Kono says he isn't a fan of the method because "it's still very inaccurate." For this calculation, you take your child's biological's father's height and subtract 5 inches, then add that number to the child's biological mother's height and divide that sum by 2. The resulting number, plus or minus 3.35 inches, is the predicted range of height the child should reach.

"For example, if dad is 5'10" and mom is 5'5", you would take 5'10" minus 5 inches, that's 5'5", add it to mom's height and average the two, which is 5'5"—that's a prediction that their [child] should grow to be 5'5", give or take about 3 inches," explains Dr. Kono.

Dr. Zoltan Antal, chief of pediatric endocrinology at NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children's Hospital and Weill Cornell Medicine, uses a different method. For a child who's already going through puberty, he recommends finding their height percentile on a growth chart and following the corresponding curve.

Using the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) growth chart, for example, a 10-year-old female who stands 54 inches tall (4'6") is in the 50th percentile for their age. Following that growth curve out, they should reach a height just over 5'4" no later than age 18.

When to See a Doctor

If your child seems far beyond or behind their peers in physical development, it may be time to talk to a pediatrician. Females who don't show signs of breast development by age 13 and/or don't have their first menses by age 15 or 16 are considered delayed in puberty. On the flip side, a child who's showing signs of puberty at 6 or 7 years old could be experiencing early puberty.

"With either of those extremes, have their pediatrician take a look because there could be medical or endocrine (hormonal) problems causing early or delayed puberty," says Dr. Kono. Pediatricians can do a bone age X-ray in office to determine if your child is on track to reach average adult height.

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