NHS England bans puberty blockers for children


NHS England announced it will no longer prescribe puberty blockers to gender-questioning children. The move comes after a review found insufficient evidence on the drugs' safety and effectiveness for this use.

Puberty blockers are medications that delay physical changes associated with puberty, such as breast development and facial hair growth. Previously, NHS guidelines suggested they could provide time for young people experiencing gender dysphoria (distress related to their assigned gender) to explore their identity before transitioning.

The decision sparked fierce debate. Transgender rights advocates condemned the move as "cruel" and potentially harmful to the mental health of transgender youth. They argue puberty blockers are a crucial step in transitioning and can prevent distress caused by unwanted physical changes.

On the other hand, some groups welcomed the change. Concerns have been raised about the long-term effects of puberty blockers on young people's physical and mental health, particularly given the lack of long-term studies. Some former patients have also spoken out against their use, arguing they were not fully informed of the potential risks.

The debate is likely to continue as the NHS seeks alternative treatment options for gender-questioning youth with a focus on robust evidence and patient well-being.

(Source: Daily Mail)

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