Will I grow taller on testosterone?

Some men report going up a shoe size or a hat size or their hands grew bigger after starting testosterone. Others say they have put on a few centimetres in height with testosterone treatment. This is not due to bone actually growing. It is more likely due to a couple of reasons which give the sensation of being slightly taller, larger or needing to wear a larger hat or shoe size.One factor is an increased sense of well-being. Many men, especially after chest surgery, stand straighter rather than being ‘hunched over’ to hide their breasts. Testosterone treatment improves most men’s self-esteem for the first time. So, it is little wonder some people feel they are taller or they carry themselves straighter (and taller) after starting testosterone therapy.

Another factor is the growth of muscles and ligaments. Testosterone increases the density of your bones, which makes them slightly heavier. Heavier bones need stronger muscles for movement and activity. The ligaments and tendons which connect your muscles to bone need to be thicker and stronger to cope with the increase of muscle. Ligaments and tendons are wrapped around bones and joints and as they become thicker and stronger, there can be an overall impression of growth, height and size.

Your feet and hands, are made up of many many small joints and bones which are wrapped in ligaments. The growth of any tendons and muscles can cause your bones to sit slightly differently alongside each other and in this case, a larger shoe size (or glove size?) can be more comfortable given the changes to your ligaments and tendons. There can also be a slightly thickening of ligaments along your spine.

Overall, these factors together can contribute to a feeling of ‘growth’ or height.

If you have been treated with puberty-delaying treatment or you start testosterone before your growth plates (Epiphyseal plates) have closed off – for example, at 12 or 13 years of age, your normal growth process applies into your late teens.

However, if you start testosterone after puberty, the growth plates (Epiphyseal plates) at the ends of your leg bones have sealed off. It is these growth plates that give you height. They will not magically ‘re-open’ just because you start testosterone treatment.

  • Your long bones (in your arms and legs) won’t grow any longer on testosterone.
  • Your feet, hands and skull are not going to grow bigger.
  • If you have a wide pelvis, it isn’t going to become small and slender.
  • Your height will remain pretty much the same according to your genetic heritage.
  • If you are on the shorter side before testosterone treatment, you’ll still be in the short range once you’ve been through transition.