Puberty blockers can lead to poor mental health, according to the latest reports. Check out the relevant news abut the matter below.
Effects of puberty blockers
New research conducted by UK scientists suggests that transgender children under the age of 16 who use puberty blockers may be at risk of experiencing poor mental health.
The study analyzed data from 44 individuals aged 12 to 15 and found that up to 34% of trans teens with gender dysphoria who use the puberty blocker triptorelin reported a decline in their mental health. Meanwhile, up to 29% reported an improvement, and 37% reported no change.
This contradicts the previous findings from a 2021 study that suggested this age group experienced neither positive nor negative effects after taking triptorelin for at least one year.
To gain a clearer understanding of the benefits and risks of triptorelin, researchers examined individual-level changes rather than testing differences between group averages.
“Rather than saying ‘on average’ there was a statistically significant difference before and after treatment; we can say ‘of the
whole sample, 50% improved but 50% deteriorated’ and so on,” the authors wrote.
What Is Triptorelin?
Triptorelin is a medication that belongs to the class of gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH). Its purpose is to stimulate the production and release of two sex hormones in the body – luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone. In men, these hormones encourage the testes to produce testosterone, while in women, they prompt the ovaries to synthesize estrogen chemically.
This drug is injectable and was approved in the United States in 2000 to relieve symptoms of advanced prostate cancer by lowering testosterone levels. It is known to be as effective as surgical castration.
Triptorelin has also been used off-label in girls under the age of 8 and boys under 9 to offset early puberty. It is also a key component of “gender-affirming care” as it can stop menstruation and erections.
It also plays a role in affecting secondary sex characteristics such as breast and genitalia development, fat deposition, body hair growth, and changes in the larynx.
Common side effects of triptorelin include:
Loss of libido.
The shot also comes with several rare but potentially severe complications, such as:
Pituitary apoplexy, or bleeding of benign tumors in the pituitary gland.
Mental health epidemic
It is concerning that the results of the recent study may contribute to the growing prevalence of poor mental health. The 2022 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report revealed that almost 15 percent of young people aged 10 to 19 worldwide have a mental health disorder.
A comprehensive 2022 report published by UK researchers indicated that around 18 percent of children between 7 and 16 are suspected to have a mental health disorder.
The likelihood of such disorders also increased from 1 in 9 in 2017 to 1 in 6 in 2020, before stabilizing between 2020 and 2022. A similar 2022 study in the United States found that nearly 22 percent of children experience at least one mental, emotional, or behavioral health condition.