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What are puberty blockers? Why are they used? Are they safe?

What are puberty blockers? Why are they used? Are they safe?

Social transitioning is when someone takes non-medical and fully reversible steps to begin living and presenting publicly as their gender. This can include changes such as:

For those who begin transitioning prior to puberty, transition is entirely social. But for many transgender and non-binary people, social transition is the first step in their gender transition journey, regardless of the age they begin transitioning. This is because it offers the opportunity to easily and quickly take small steps to begin living authentically, before involving medical interventions.

For transgender and non-binary youth who are aware of their gender at a young age, going through puberty can cause intense distress and dysphoria, as it leads their body to develop into a gender that is not theirs -including in ways that are irreversible, or only reversible with surgery. For example, teenage transgender boys who do not have access to blockers will have to go through a puberty that includes growing breasts and later in life will require surgery.

In these instances, puberty blockers may be prescribed by doctors early in puberty, in consultation with the child, their parents and therapists, in order to temporarily stop the body from going through the unwanted physical and developmental changes of puberty. Read more