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The Tanner stages, or Tanner scale, is a scale of secondary sex characteristics used to assess physical maturation in children, adolescents, and adults. It can be assessed by examining the pubic hair, penis, and testes/scrotum in a male and by examining the pubic hair and breasts in a female.

Males

Pubic Hair Stages

  1. No pubic hair
  2. Long, lightly pigmented, straight or slightly curled hair growing at the base of the penis
  3. Darker, coarser curlier hair growing from base of penis over pubic symphysis
  4. Hair as in the adult, not yet spreading to thighs
  5. Hair as in the adult

Penis Stages

  1. Same size as in childhood
  2. Slight enlargement
  3. Linear growth and enlargement
  4. Further enlargement in length and breadth
  5. Adult size

Testes and Scrotum Stages

  1. Same size as in childhood
  2. Growth of testes, scrotum larger, slightly reddened, slight change in texture
  3. Further growth
  4. Further growth of testes, scrotal skin darkened
  5. Adult size

Females

Pubic Hair Stages

  1. No pubic hair
  2. Long, lightly pigmented, straight or slightly curled hair growing at the base of the labia
  3. Darker, coarser curlier hair growing from base labia over the pubic symphysis
  4. Hair as in the adult, not yet spreading to thighs
  5. Hair as in the adult

Breast Stages

  1. Nipple slightly elevated
  2. Breast buds
  3. Breast bud elevates
  4. Secondary mound
  5. Adult breasts

References

  1. Swartz MH. Textbook of Physical Diagnosis: History and Examination. 6th ed Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company; 2010.
  2. Bickley LS, Szilagyi PG. Bates' guide to physical examination and history taking. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009.
  3. Behrman RE, Kliegman, RM, Jenson HB. Textbook of Pediatrics. 17th edition. Saunders; 2003.