What’s the difference between puberty blockers and HRT for trans teens?
By Miriam @ Planned Parenthood | March 3, 2023, 1:04 a.m.
Category: Gender Affirming Care, LGBTQ
For some trans teens, puberty can be especially hard because the changes your body goes through (like periods, breast growth, or facial hair growth) may not line up with your gender identity. Puberty blockers — also called hormone blockers — delay or stop puberty-related changes in your body. With parents’ consent, some doctors prescribe puberty blockers to trans patients at the first sign of puberty.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is also called gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT). HRT is when you take hormones to develop secondary sex characteristics that better align with your gender identity.
- In transfeminine teens, HRT involves taking estrogen and an androgen blocker (which blocks testosterone). This helps trans girls and women develop secondary sex characteristics like breasts, and redistribution of body fat towards the hips and breasts.
- In transmasculine teens, HRT involves taking testosterone. This helps trans boys and men develop secondary sex characteristics like a deeper voice, growth of facial hair and muscle, as well as redistribution of body fat away from hips and breasts. It will also help them stop or prevent their period.
After taking puberty blockers, trans teens might decide to continue transitioning by taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT). When young trans people take HRT after puberty blockers, it starts puberty in the direction of their gender identity. But taking puberty blockers isn’t required before starting HRT.
Learn more about transitioning and trans and nonbinary health care. If you’re interested in gender-affirming hormone therapy at Planned Parenthood, contact your local Planned Parenthood health center.
Tags: transgender, trans health, HRT, puberty blockers