Intended for healthcare professionals


Puberty blockers do not alleviate negative thoughts in children with gender dysphoria, finds study

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 08 February 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n356
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

Puberty blockers used to treat children aged 12 to 15 who have severe and persistent gender dysphoria had no significant effect on their psychological function, thoughts of self-harm, or body image, a study has found.1

However, as expected, the children experienced reduced growth in height and bone strength by the time they finished their treatment at age 16.

The findings, from a study of 44 children treated by the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) run by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in London, have emerged as the trust prepares to appeal against a High Court ruling that led NHS England to pause referrals of under 16s for puberty blockers.2

The appeal, expected to be heard on …

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