Girls experience growth spurts at the start of puberty and many parents may wonder when do girls stop growing. The rate of growth up until a girl reaches puberty at the age of 8 to 13 happens very gradually. However, with the onset of puberty, the body starts to release hormones which cause a growth spurt as well as many changes in a girl’s body. Generally, girls stop growing between the ages of 15 and 17.
When Do Girls Stop Growing?
Girls generally grow fast in height around the ages of 9-12. Girls experience their fastest growth spurts around the ages of 11 and 12. During this time a girl grows in height on average around 3 inches (7 – 8cm) per year. When a girl has her first period, around the age of 12, growth slows down a little and a girl will grow a few more inches. So, the majority of girls will stop growing and reach their final height when they are around the age of 17 years old.
During this growth phase, breasts, hands, feet, and legs start to grow. A girl’s hips will also grow wider and rounder and her waist will become narrower. A girl will also grow more body fat on the thighs, upper back, and upper arm. According to Dr. Mellisa Homes who co-authored the book Girolology, this isn’t bad fat and is needed for a healthy reproductive system and menstrual cycle. So, you shouldn’t try to lose this fat by going on a diet.1
Girls actually stop growing earlier than boys because they start puberty at an earlier age. The age at which men stop growing is usually between 17-20. At the end of puberty, both men and women stop growing.
The chart below gives a better understanding of girls’ growth pattern and the age at which women stop growing. You’ll notice that by the age of 15, girls have grown to almost their full adult height and growth happens only gradually until the age of 20.
In the rest of the article, you can read about the factors that affect growth in women and what girls can do to maximize their full growth potential.
Growth chart of stature with percentiles of U.S. females aged 2-20 (NCHS 2000).
First of all, let’s look at the various growing phases during puberty and what factors affect how tall a woman will grow.
Growth in Women – Everything You Wanted to Know
When many girls start noticing the first signs of puberty, they may wonder how high they will eventually grow. Women are generally shorter in stature than men because they don’t grow as tall during puberty. Boys average 5 inches per year during their growth spurts whereas girls only average 3 inches.
There are various factors that influence how tall a woman will be. Dr. Vaneeta Bamba, a pediatric endocrinologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, says that there are 4 important factors influencing a woman’s height:
- environmental factors
From these factors, genetics play the greatest role.
One of the first physical changes girls notice at the start of puberty are changes in their breasts. According to the Office on Women’s Health, breasts may feel itchy and sore while they are growing during puberty.2 Dr. Brunilda Nazario on WebMD says that many women worry about their breast development. Dr. Nazario says that breasts continue to grow until a woman is 17 or 18 and it’s common for one breast to grow faster, but the slower one usually catches up.1
Growth of genitalia and pubic hair in girls
Another change that happens early in puberty is that pubic hair starts to grow. According to the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom, throughout the course of puberty, pubic hair becomes coarser and thicker. It takes about 4 years for the genitals to become fully developed.3
Height growth in girls
Dr. Mitchell E. Geffner, a pediatrics professor at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, says that girls usually start their growth spurt around age 9 to 10. Girls have their fastest growth spurt between the ages of 11 and 12. After the age of 15, a girl won’t grow much more.4
Growth of body hair
Apart from pubic hair growing around the genitals, hair will also start to grow on other parts of the body. According to the Office on Women’s Health, hair will start growing in the armpits and on legs even before a girl has her first period.5
Menstruation happens to all women. Dr. Brunilda Nazario says that a girl will have her first period about two years after her breasts started to develop.6 Doctors from the NHS recommend talking to girls from an early age about what happens during menstruation using clear and age-appropriate language.7
Other changes while a woman is growing
Another change that takes place during the growing phase in puberty is an increase in hormones which can lead to acne. The Palo Alto Medical Foundation says that sweat and oil produced by the skin can clog glands resulting in acne breakouts.8
If you are concerned about outbreaks of acne, please read my article on natural ways to get rid of acne. There you will find what causes pimples and how to get rid of them fast.
Dr. Amita Shroff on WebMD says that hormonal changes around menstruation can also cause stomach cramping, mood swings, and increased anxiety. Usually, the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) disappear when the period starts.9 You can find advice on relieving menstrual cramps in my article on this subject.
Factors Affecting a Girl’s Height
If you are interested to know how tall you will be and when you will stop growing, there are some ways to predict the height a woman will grow to.
Dr. Hansa Bhargava on WebMD says that the height of both a person’s parents mostly determines how tall a girl will be. You can use this calculation to work out the approximate height a girl will grow by using this formula:10
- Take the father’s height and subtract 5 inches.
- Add this sum to the mother’s height.
- Divide the figure by two.
There are other factors apart from your genes that will determine what height a woman will be when she stops growing.
Apart from genetics, there are different environmental factors that influences how much girls grow during puberty. The journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) found that having access to healthy food, good health care, and proper sanitation affect growth before and during puberty.11
The EHP suggested that this is one factor why over the last century people in developed countries are taller in stature and mature more rapidly than in developing countries. As urbanization comes into developing countries, there is a growing trend that people are becoming taller.
Proper nutrition is essential for the health of any person, but it is even more important for children before and during puberty. So, eating the right food and having a healthy diet can help women grow taller.
The website Scientific American says that proper nutrition is essential for height even before puberty. They recommend that growing children receive the right amount of protein, calcium, vitamins A and D to maximize their growth potential. They concluded that the malnutrition in childhood negatively affects height and adequate nutrition before puberty is crucial for growth and height.12
The journal Economics & Human Biology published a report stating that, in general, nutrition is the most important external factor that impacts the height of European nations.13
In the end, genetics influences about 60 to 80% of your height and nutrition about 20 to 40%.
Other factors affecting growth of girls
The journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) also pointed out other factors that affect a woman’s height. Some of these are:11
- Stress negatively affects the body and results in the body producing less growth hormone. When the stress is removed, the body releases more growth hormone to catch up.
- Climate can affect physical growth. It has been found that people in higher altitudes (where there is less oxygen in the air to feed the body) tend to be shorter. People also grow faster during springtime than in the other seasons.
- Physical activity may have an impact on growth. Some studies show that swimmers tend to mature quicker. However, the EHP reported that usually, only intensive training has an effect on body development.
However, the overall determining factor of your height is your genes and the height of your parents.
How Girls Can Maximize their Full Growth Potential
Maintaining a healthy diet during puberty is one of the best ways to reach optimal height before girls stop growing. Therefore, it’s important if you are a parent to help your children understand the importance of healthy food and nutrition. This can help boost your child’s growth during puberty and maintain good dietary habits in later life.
The Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism reported that having a proper, well-balanced diet during infancy, childhood, and puberty is critical to healthy growth and proper development. The scientists found that girls who are overweight enter puberty earlier than those who have a healthy weight. During puberty, it’s essential to meet the increased nutritional needs of growing girls.15
You can determine if your child is overweight by calculating body fat percentage and measuring body fat. For advice on what to do if you or your child is overweight, please read my article on the best and easiest ways to get rid of excess body fat.
To enjoy a healthy, balanced diet during puberty growth, the Johns Hopkins Medicine Center gives the following practical advice:16
- Have 3 meals a day
- Eat fruit or vegetables for a healthy snack.
- Drink plenty of water to help prevent weight gain.
- Increase fiber intake by eating whole grains.
- Limit the consumption of saturated fats.
- Eat protein-rich foods that are low in fat. Some of the best sources of protein are chicken, fish, peas, and beans.
You may also be interested to read my article about the causes and dangers of early puberty as well as how to lower your children’s risk of early puberty in my article:Early Puberty – Causes, Dangers and Prevention
You can also read my article on When Do Men Stop Growing.
- Teens WebMD. Puberty and your changing body.
- GirlsHealth. Changes to your breasts.
- NHS. Stages of puberty.
- Teens WebMD. How tall will I be?
- GirlsHealth. Body hair
- Teens WebMD. Puberty and your changing body.
- NHS. Starting periods.
- PAMF. Changes for females.
- Teens WebMD. Girls and puberty.
- Teens WebMD. How tall will I be?
- Environ Health Perspect. 1993 Jul; 101(Suppl 2): 39–44.
- ScientificAmerican. How much of human height is due to nutrition?
- Econ Hum Biol. Dec 2014; 15:81-100.
- Environ Health Perspect. 1993 Jul; 101(Suppl 2): 39–44.
- Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Nov; 18(Suppl 1): S39–S47.
- HopkinsMedicine. Healthy eating during adolescence.
Kids can't change the genes that will determine how tall they will be or when puberty starts. But they can make the most of their potential by developing healthy eating habits and being physically active.What helps kids get taller? ›
Taking care of himself — eating well, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of rest — is the best way for your son to help his body reach its natural potential. No pill, formula, or nutritional supplement can increase someone's height. Mostly, our genes determine how tall we will be.How do I get my daughter to grow? ›
- Sleep. In the short term, a lack of sleep will not affect your child's growth. ...
- Exercise. ...
- Nutrition. ...
- Inculcate a regular sleeping time. ...
- Smaller frequent nutritious meals.
- Beans. Beans are incredibly nutritious and an especially good source of protein ( 5 ). ...
- Chicken. ...
- Almonds. ...
- Leafy greens. ...
- Yogurt. ...
- Sweet potatoes. ...
- Quinoa. ...
The genetics of height
If they are tall or short, then your own height is said to end up somewhere based on the average heights between your two parents. Genes aren't the sole predictor of a person's height. In some instances, a child might be much taller than their parents and other relatives.
- Eat a balanced diet. ...
- Use supplements with caution. ...
- Get the right amount of sleep. ...
- Stay active. ...
- Practice good posture. ...
- Use yoga to maximize your height.
Protein-rich foods include lean meat, fish, chicken, eggs, beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu and nuts. These foods are important for your child's growth and muscle development. These foods also contain other useful vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids.What age do girls stop growing? ›
Girls usually stop growing and reach adult height by 14 or 15 years old, or a couple years after menstruation begins. Learn more about growth in girls, what to expect when it happens, and when you may want to call your child's pediatrician.Can food make kids taller? ›
Height is largely due to genetics. Once a person reaches adulthood and stops growing, eating certain foods will not make them any taller. During years of growth and development, however, good nutrition can help a person reach their full height and support their body in growing and developing healthily.Why is my daughter height not increasing? ›
A growth delay occurs when a child isn't growing at the normal rate for their age. The delay may be caused by an underlying health condition, such as growth hormone deficiency or hypothyroidism. In some cases, early treatment can help a child reach a normal or near-normal height.
Slow growth occurs when a child is not growing at the average rate for their age. The delay may be due to an underlying health condition, such as growth hormone deficiency. Some growth problems are genetic. Others are caused by a hormonal disorder or the inadequate absorption of food.Do bananas help kids grow taller? ›
Banana is the most important fruit for your child to increase height. It is rich in many essential nutrients like potassium, manganese, calcium, soluble fibre, Vitamin B6, C, A, and healthy prebiotics. It is one food you can't ignore when it comes to choosing a balanced diet for your child to increase height.Does sleeping make you taller? ›
A single night of no sleep will not stunt growth. But over the long term, a person's growth may be affected by not getting the full amount of sleep. That's because growth hormone is normally released during sleep.What fruits make you taller? ›
Berries. Berries are thought to be the best foods to help you grow taller because they have a lot of vitamin C, which helps tissues grow and heal. The most prevalent protein in your body, collagen, is also produced more frequently thanks to vitamin C.Can a child be tall if both parents are short? ›
The same thing can happen in a “short parents-tall child” case. If the parents are both short heterozygous individuals, they can pass the tall recessive traits to their child. When that happens, the recessive trait becomes activated and such a child will be tall.At what age are you half your height? ›
(2) Try this: Girls are half of their adult height at 18 months of age, while boys are half of their adult height at 24 months of age.Can you be tall with short parents? ›
The same thing can happen in a “short parents-tall child” case. If the parents are both short heterozygous individuals, they can pass the tall recessive traits to their child. When that happens, the recessive trait becomes activated and such a child will be tall.How can I get taller overnight? ›
Your body produces human growth hormone (HGH) while you sleep. This hormone helps you develop muscle and actually grow taller. So if you're serious about getting taller, get plenty of sleep. School-age children should get between 10 and 11 hours of sleep.Does jumping make you taller? ›
Jumping itself does not increase your height as a kid. But jumping can be very effective to grow taller during your puberty. As jumping is an effective sort of exercise, practising it daily can help your bones grow during puberty which later helps a lot in height growth.What stops growth in kids? ›
Malnutrition is the most common cause of growth failure around the world. severe stress. endocrine (hormone) diseases, such as diabetes or a lack of thyroid hormones, which are necessary for normal bone growth. syndromes (genetic disorders).
A major growth spurt happens at the time of puberty, usually between 8 to 13 years of age in girls and 10 to 15 years in boys.What is normal height for girls? ›
What's the Average Height for Women and How Does That Affect Weight? The average height for women in the United States is about 5 foot 4 inches (or about 63.7 inches) tall.Do girls grow after period? ›
Girls usually stop growing taller about 2 years after starting their menstrual period. Your genes (the code of information you inherited from your parents) will decide many things during this time, including: your height, your weight, the size of your breasts and even how much hair you have on your body.How much taller will a girl grow after her period? ›
Myth: menarche means the end of growth is near
The reality is that the average gain in height after menarche is about 7 cm (3 inches), and it is even greater for girls who menstruate on the early side of normal.
Your genes, which you inherited from your parents, largely determine how tall you will end up being and how fast you'll grow. Kids get taller more quickly during growth spurts, times when their bodies grow fast — as much as 4 inches or more in a year during puberty, for example!What affects child height? ›
A well-nourished, healthy, and active child is likely to be taller as an adult than will be a child with a poor diet, infectious diseases, or inadequate health care. Socioeconomic factors such as income, education, and occupation can also influence height.Will my child be tall? ›
Mother and Father's Height Average
Calculate the mother and father's height in inches and add them together. Add 5 inches for a boy or subtract 5 inches for a girl, to this total. Divide the remaining number by two.
Here's a popular example: Add the mother's height to the father's height in either inches or centimeters. Add 5 inches (13 centimeters) for boys or subtract 5 inches (13 centimeters) for girls. Divide by 2.What can stunt your growth? ›
Stunted growth: what actually causes it? The most direct causes are inadequate nutrition (not eating enough or eating foods that lack growth-promoting nutrients) and recurrent infections or chronic or diseases which cause poor nutrient intake, absorption or utilization.What is considered late puberty? ›
Delayed puberty is when: boys have no signs of testicular development by 14 years of age. girls have not started to develop breasts by 13 years of age, or they have developed breasts but their periods have not started by 15.
A common reason is familial short stature, which means the parents are short. Constitutional delay in growth and puberty is another cause, which means the child is a late bloomer. It's not unusual for someone who has been small all their life to suddenly have a growth spurt late in high school.Does late puberty affect height? ›
Conclusions: Final height is influenced by both height and the age of onset of the PGS in normal maturing children. A normal but early puberty exerts a negative effect on final height. A delayed PGS exerts a positive effect on final height.Can a girl have a late growth spurt? ›
It would be extremely rare. The hormonal changes brought on by puberty basically start the bones fusing. As girls begin puberty on average around 12, the bones are pretty much fused by 15.How can I help my child grow taller naturally? ›
- Mar 14, 2021. Things to do to make your child grow taller. ...
- Role of genes in height. Genes play a huge role in determining the height of the child. ...
- Increasing height. ...
- Eating a healthy diet. ...
- Stretching exercises. ...
- Examples of stretching exercises. ...
- Hanging. ...
- Yoga poses.
- Get enough sleep.
- Eat plenty of nutritious food.
- Get enough protein, but not too much.
- Focus on calcium and vitamin D.
- Build healthy eating patterns.
- Reign in snacking.
- Promote physical activity.
Height is largely determined by DNA. However, environmental factors such as nutrition and exercise can affect growth during development. As children get older, they need good nutrition and plenty of exercise to help their bodies make the hormones they need to grow.What foods help with height? ›
- Beans. Beans are a fantastic source of protein and are quite nutrient-dense. ...
- Chicken. Chicken is a great food to increase height because it is high in protein and several other crucial components. ...
- Almonds. ...
- Leafy Greens. ...
- Yoghurt. ...
- Sweet Potatoes. ...
- Quinoa. ...
Height is largely due to genetics. Once a person reaches adulthood and stops growing, eating certain foods will not make them any taller. During years of growth and development, however, good nutrition can help a person reach their full height and support their body in growing and developing healthily.Does height depend on Mom? ›
In addition to genetic and biological determinants, height is also influenced by environmental factors, including a mother's nutrition during pregnancy, whether she smoked, and her exposure to hazardous substances.Can short parents have a tall child? ›
It is possible to have a tall child from relatively short parents. Whilst genetics play a major role, other modifiable factors can help increase such a child's height.