What are puberty blockers?
What are puberty blockers?

What are puberty blockers?

Puberty blockers are medications that prevent the body from producing the hormones that cause the physical changes of puberty.

Young people who are transgender may take puberty blockers to prevent the development of breasts, facial hair, and periods.

This article will discuss what puberty blockers are, who they are for, how long until they take effect, and their benefits and safety.

What are they?

According to Planned Parenthood, puberty blockers are medications that block the hormones testosterone and estrogen. When a person reaches puberty, these hormones cause changes in the body, such as periods, breast growth, and facial hair growth.

The National Health Service (NHS) note that puberty blockers do not permanently stop the body’s production of testosterone and estrogen. Instead, they pause the physical effects of puberty.

Types

There are two types of puberty blocker: histrelin acetate and leuprolide acetate.

Histrelin acetate is a flexible rod that goes under the skin in the arm. It lasts for 1 year before a person must have it replaced.

The leuprolide acetate puberty blocker is an injectable shot. Different forms of leuprolide acetate work for different lengths of time. A person will need another shot every 1–4 months.

How do they work?

Both puberty blockers are forms of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist.

According to one 2021 articleTrusted Source, when a person begins puberty, the hypothalamus in the brain begins producing gonadotropin-releasing hormones.

These hormones activate the pituitary gland, which triggers the release of further hormones, such as gonadotropins.

The gonadotropins cause the maturation of the gonads. This, in turn, produces and releases the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen from the testes and ovaries.

Histrelin acetate and leuprolide acetate prevent the pituitary gland from producing gonadotropins. This means that the body cannot produce the sex hormones that cause the physical effects of puberty.

How long until they take effect?

A person can use puberty blocker medications for several weeks before noticing any effects.

Histrelin acetate

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) note that histrelin acetate can cause an increase in some hormones within the first week of treatment. People who are assigned female at birth may notice light vaginal bleeding and breast enlargement.

However, people should notice that signs of puberty stop within 4 weeks of treatment.

Leuprolide acetate

Leuprolide acetate can initially cause an increase in puberty hormones.

The FDA state that a person may notice an increase in the signs of puberty for 2–4 weeks. However, people should notice signs of puberty stopping within 4 weeks of treatment.

The puberty blockers significantly suppress puberty by the sixth month of treatment.

Who are they for?

Healthcare professionals prescribe puberty blockers to young people who are transgender and who may be experiencing gender dysphoria.

Gender dysphoria is a term that describes the sense of unease that a person may have when their sex assigned at birth does not match their gender identity. ………….. Continue Reading……..

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