Puberty suppression in a gender-dysphoric adolescent: a 22-year follow-up

Arch Sex Behav. 2011 Aug;40(4):843-7. doi: 10.1007/s10508-011-9758-9. Epub 2011 Apr 19.


Puberty suppression by means of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs is considered a diagnostic aid in gender dysphoric adolescents. However, there are also concerns about potential risks, such as poor outcome or post-surgical regret, adverse effects on metabolic and endocrine status, impaired increment of bone mass, and interference with brain development. This case report is on a 22-year follow-up of a female-to-male transsexual, treated with GnRH analogs at 13 years of age and considered eligible for androgen treatment at age 17, and who had gender reassignment surgery at 20 and 22 years of age. At follow-up, he indicated no regrets about his treatment. He was functioning well psychologically, intellectually, and socially; however, he experienced some feelings of sadness about choices he had made in a long-lasting intimate relationship. There were no clinical signs of a negative impact on brain development. He was physically in good health, and metabolic and endocrine parameters were within reference ranges. Bone mineral density was within the normal range for both sexes. His final height was short as compared to Dutch males; however, his body proportions were within normal range. This first report on long-term effects of puberty suppression suggests that negative side effects are limited and that it can be a useful additional tool in the diagnosis and treatment of gender dysphoric adolescents.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Puberty*
  • Sex Reassignment Procedures / psychology*
  • Transsexualism / drug therapy
  • Transsexualism / psychology*
  • Transsexualism / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome