Gender transition treatment minimum age lowered to 14-years-old

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health has said the minimum age for gender reassignment treatment can now be lowered to 14, which is two years younger than previously recommended. Along with this lowering of age requirements for hormone treatments, the association has also lowered the minimum age for some gender reassignment surgeries to 15 or 17 years.

While potential risks exist in administering hormonal treatments and performing conversion surgeries in patients in these age groups, these risks have been weighed against those that might result from withholding treatment for someone who needs it.

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In an AP News report detailing information shared with them by the association ahead of publication in a medical journal later this year, AP News explains that contributions from a pool of “more than 3,000 physicians, Social scientists and others involved in transgender health issues” was consulted in making the decision to lower these minimum age requirements. A key factor in this decision, according to the association’s report, was that lowering this age would allow trans youth to enter the age group at the same time as their peers going through puberty.

dr Eli Coleman, chair of the group’s standards of care and director of the Human Sexuality Program at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, warns in the AP News report that emotional maturity will also play a role on a case-by-case basis any sex change treatment.

“Certainly there are youth who don’t have the emotional or cognitive maturity to make an informed decision,” said Coleman. “Therefore, we recommend a careful multidisciplinary assessment.”

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Under the new guidelines, girls can start puberty blockers between the ages of 8 and 13, boys two years later, giving anyone considering sex reassignment surgery time to decide for themselves whether they want to proceed with next steps regarding continue further treatment.

According to AP News, the new guidelines also recommend:

– Sex hormones – estrogen or testosterone – from the age of 14. This is often a lifelong treatment. Long-term risks include infertility and weight gain, as well as stroke in trans women and high blood pressure in trans men.

– Breast removal in transsexual boys aged 15. Previous guidelines suggested this could be done at least a year after hormone intake, around age 17, although no specific minimum age was specified.

– Most genital surgeries starting at age 17, including removal of the uterus and testicles, a year earlier than previous guidelines.

“Medical interventions in any area are not one-size-fits-all,” said Coleen Williams, a psychologist at Boston Children’s Hospital’s Gender Multi-Specialty Service, in response to the new guidelines.

Continue reading: Gender transition treatment minimum age lowered to 14-years-old

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