Skip to content

Children's Health

Font Size

Physical Development, Ages 15 to 18 Years - Topic Overview

By age 15, most girls have had their first menstrual period and have completed the rapid growth spurt that usually occurs during puberty. After the first period, teenage girls grow 1.5 in. (3.8 cm) to 3 in. (7.6 cm) on average. Other early changes of puberty, such as the growth of pubic hair and breasts, have also occurred. Teenage girls tend to complete breast development an average of 4 years after breast buds signal the beginning of puberty.

The growth spurt in boys tends to reach its peak sometime during the early to mid-teen years. Although boys lag behind girls in height in early adolescence, they generally end up being taller than girls by age 18. After growth starts, boys grow at a faster rate and for a longer period of time. Also, boys usually continue growth of facial hair, penis and testicles, and pubic hair during the late teen years.

These and other physical changes are highly variable by individual. Some individuals are "early bloomers," and others grow and develop later.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: April 06, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Physical Development, Ages 15 to 18 Years Topics

    Today on WebMD

    child with red rash on cheeks
    What’s that rash?
    plate of fruit and veggies
    How healthy is your child’s diet?
     
    smiling baby
    Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
    Middle school band practice
    Understanding your child’s changing body.
     

    worried kid
    fitArticle
    boy on father's shoulder
    Article
     
    Child with red rash on cheeks
    Slideshow
    girl thinking
    Article
     

    Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    babyapp
    New
    Child with adhd
    Slideshow
     
    rl with friends
    fitSlideshow
    Syringes and graph illustration
    Tool