New study: Trends in usage of puberty-blocking implants in trans youth

Puberty-blocking medications for trans youth – and cis youth – come in many forms, ranging from GnRH analogues given as implants or injections, to a number of other generic oral medications. Of these, histrelin acetate implants, sold as Supprelin LA or Vantas, are one of the most well-known and widely used treatments for trans youth. A new study released this year provides a closer look at how these implants are being used for trans kids, and how the availability of this treatment has changed over time.

Lopez et al. (2018) studied a group of 92 trans youth from 12 hospitals, as well as 2,240 cisgender youth being treated for precocious puberty. Most notably, there was a tenfold increase in the yearly number of histrelin acetate implants given to trans youth from 2014 to 2016. Trans girls and trans boys were found to be given implants at differing rates and at different ages:

Of the 92 transgender patients identified, there were 39 natal females, 52 natal males and one patient whose natal sex was unknown. The average age at the time of implant placement in transgender children was 14 years (range 8.8–18.8 years), whereas the average age of children with CPP was 8.5 years (range 1–16.8 years). There were more treated transfemales. Compared to transmales, transfemales were more likely to have implants placed at an older age (62% transfemales/natal males vs. 50% transmales/natal females; individuals were ≥13 years; p < 0.04).

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About Zinnia Jones

My work focuses on insights to be found across transgender healthcare, public health, psychiatry, and history of medicine, integrating these many perspectives and guided by the lived experiences of trans people. I live in Orlando with my family, and work mainly in technical writing.
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