Gender dysphoria in youth: a review of recent literature

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Transgender individuals including pubertal young people require hormonal therapy, in conjunction with mental health support. These youths are a unique population, with specific and individual desires and needs as they move through the physical and mental transition to the gender with which they identify.

Recent findings

The number of transgender youth presenting for treatment is increasing rapidly. They continue to have a high prevalence of mental health disorders, though not when supported in their sex identities by family in younger age. Older children are more susceptible to peer support or lack thereof. Treatment with gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists remains a mainstay of early therapy, but is associated with high costs and decrease in bone mineral density; androgenic progestogens could be used as a lower cost alternative. Fertility preservation is discussed with the majority of transgender youth, but use of such services is low.

Summary

Transgender youth are an increasingly identified population in need of medical and mental health treatment, as well as social support throughout life.

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