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Transgender medicine - puberty suppression

Abstract

Puberty suppression is the reversible first step of endocrine medical treatment in transgender youth, and allows for two very important aspects of transgender management. Firstly, it buys the patient, family and their medical team time to fully evaluate the presence and persistence of gender dysphoria. Secondly, it successfully prevents the development of cis-gender unwanted secondary sexual characteristics. The latter, when present, almost certainly increase the burden of psychological co-morbidity for any transgender person. This management is modelled from treatment of gonadotropin-dependent precious puberty, with use of GnRH agonists at its core. With the increasing number of transgender youth treated, and the changing demographics of patients seeking medical care, providers are faced with the decision to start puberty blockade at younger ages than previous decades. This article will review the rationale behind puberty blockade for transgender children, the providers’ options for achieving this goal, the emerging literature for potential adverse effects on such an approach, as well as identify directions of potential future research.

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Correspondence to Leonidas Panagiotakopoulos.

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Panagiotakopoulos, L. Transgender medicine - puberty suppression. Rev Endocr Metab Disord 19, 221–225 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11154-018-9457-0

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Keywords

  • Puberty suppression
  • Puberty blockade
  • Transgender
  • GnRH agonists
  • Bone health
  • Endocrine transgender care