Timing of Puberty Suppression and Surgical Options for Transgender Youth

Tim C van de Grift, Zosha J van Gelder, Margriet G Mullender, Thomas D Steensma, Annelou L C de Vries, Mark-Bram Bouman
Pediatrics 2020, 146 (5)

OBJECTIVES: Puberty suppression (PS) is a cornerstone of treatment in youth experiencing gender dysphoria. In this study, we aim to inform prescribing professionals on the long-term effects of PS treatment on the development of sex characteristics and surgical implications.

METHODS: Participants received PS according to the Endocrine Society guideline at Tanner 2 or higher. Data were collected from adolescents who received PS between 2006 and 2013 and from untreated transgender controls. Data collection pre- and post-PS and before surgery included physical examination and surgical information.

RESULTS: In total, 300 individuals (184 transgender men and 116 transgender women) were included. Of these, 43 individuals started PS treatment at Tanner 2/3, 157 at Tanner 4/5, and 100 used no PS (controls). Breast development was significantly less in transgender men who started PS at Tanner 2/3 compared with those who started at Tanner 4/5 and controls. Mastectomy was more frequently omitted or less invasive after PS. In transgender women, the mean penile length was significantly shorter in the PS groups compared with controls (by 4.8 cm [Tanner 2/3] and 2.1 cm [Tanner 4/5]). As a result, the likelihood of undergoing intestinal vaginoplasty was increased (odds ratio = 84 [Tanner 2/3]; odds ratio = 9.8 [Tanner 4/5]).

CONCLUSIONS: PS reduces the development of sex characteristics in transgender adolescents. As a result, transgender men may not need to undergo mastectomy, whereas transgender women may require an alternative to penile inversion vaginoplasty. These surgical implications should inform decision-making when initiating PS.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"