Transgender children who receive gender-affirming medical care earlier in their lives are less likely to experience mental health issues like depression and anxiety, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.
“The study highlights that timely access to gender-affirming medical care is really important for youth with gender dysphoria,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Julia C. Sorbara, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Gender dysphoria involves a conflict between an individual’s sex assigned at birth and their gender identity.
The study found that transgender youths who sought that type of care — which, for minors, most commonly includes puberty blockers, hormones or both — at a later age and further into puberty were more distressed and more likely to suffer from mental health issues.
“A major part of puberty is developing physical changes, and for youth with gender dysphoria, they begin to