Trans teens who begin gender-affirming treatments are overwhelmingly more inclined to continue therapies into adulthood, new study finds
“It’s almost like trans kids know who they are and we should listen to them”
Transgender teenagers who begin using puberty blockers are overwhelmingly found to continue engaging in hormone therapy into adulthood, according to a new study published by The Lancet on Thursday (October 21).
The new study was carried out in the Netherlands, where treatment with puberty suppression – known commonly as puberty blockers – is available to transgender adolescents younger than age 18-years-old.
When gender dysphoria persists, testosterone or oestradiol can be added as gender-affirming hormones in young people who go on to transition.
The gender identity clinic at Amsterdam UMC hospital center in the Netherlands conducted the study, sampling 720 adolescent patients who had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and prescribed puberty blockers.
The findings showed 98% (704 patients) reported continued use of hormone replacement therapy in a follow-up after starting.
“To our knowledge, this study is the first to assess continuation of gender-affirming hormones in a large group of transgender individuals who started medical treatment with puberty suppression in adolescence,” said a press release on the findings.
The findings are a complete contradiction to the argument often put forward by anti-trans figures and ‘gender critical’ groups, who frequently insist that most young people “grow out” of their gender dysphoria and/ or regret beginning treatment when they get older.
More detail on the sample group
Of the 720 people included, 220 (31%) were assigned male at birth and 500 (69%) were assigned female at birth.
At the start of GnRHa treatment, the median age was 14·1 (IQR 13·0–16·3) years for people assigned male at birth and 16·0 (14·1–16·9) years for people assigned female at birth.
Median age at end of data collection was 20·2 (17·9–24·8) years for people assigned male at birth and 19·2 (17·8–22·0) years for those assigned female at birth.
704 (98%) people who had started gender-affirming medical treatment in adolescence continued to use gender-affirming hormones at follow-up.
Age at first visit, year of first visit, age and puberty stage at start of GnRHa treatment, age at start of gender-affirming hormone treatment, year of start of gender-affirming hormone treatment, and gonadectomy were not associated with discontinuing gender-affirming hormones.
Dr Marianne Van Der Loos, a physician at Amsterdam UMC and co-author of the study, told The Daily Beast that the the “majority of people, who went through a diagnostic evaluation prior to starting treatment, continued gender-affirming hormones at follow-up”.
“This is reassuring regarding the recent increased public concern about regret of transition,” Van Der Loos added.
Read the full study here.
Groundbreaking new study shows that 98% of trans youth that take puberty blockers and start HRT continue to take hormones into adulthood. Trans kids know who they are and they don’t just “grow out of it.”https://t.co/OpzJjZeCzv pic.twitter.com/lQKAphUEPs
— Alejandra Caraballo (@Esqueer_) October 20, 2022
‘the initiation of hormone treatment in trans adolescents has a high rate of continuation into adulthood (98%)’
study finds discontinuation of gender-affirming hormones in those who start treatment as adolescents is rare https://t.co/f4ke4kC6ml
— Dr Helen Webberley 🏳️⚧️🧜♀️🏳️⚧️ (@MyWebDoctorUK) October 21, 2022
In a study of over 700 trans teens receiving gender affirming care, 98% continued hormone replacement therapy into adulthood.
It’s almost like trans kids know who they are and we should listen to them. 🤷 https://t.co/xDiUZ4Jgs5
— Mx. Amanda Jetté Knox (@MavenOfMayhem) October 21, 2022