Puberty blockers have become a huge talking point recently.
Given the intensity of the debate, Derry Now sought a wide range of opinions for a timely and considered feature on the issue.
Puberty blockers are commonly prescribed, for short-term use, for children diagnosed with precocious puberty, the development of pubertal changes at too young an age, before eight in girls and nine in boys.
These children are taken off the medication when they reach the age when typical puberty starts, so they can experience normal puberty.
There were calls at Derry’s recent Pride celebrations, and Pride celebrations throughout Ireland this summer, for improved transgender health care. This includes what is described as ‘gender-affirming care’ and can involve the prescription of puberty blockers for people diagnosed with body dysphoria.
Body dysphoria is a state of severe distress or unhappiness caused by feeling one’s gender identity does not match one’s sex.
The purpose of puberty blockers for children with body dysphoria is to postpone the onset of natural puberty, which they will never go through because they may subsequently go on to cross-sex hormones.
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