If you’re transgender, intersex, or nonbinary, puberty may feel especially hard. Sometimes during puberty the changes going on in your body might not line up with your gender identity. If that sounds like you, know that you’re not alone.
Your gender identity is real, and there are medical treatments you can use to help your body better reflect who you are. Some young trans, intersex, and gender nonbinary people may decide to take puberty blockers after talking about it with their parents or guardian and a nurse or doctor. Puberty blockers are medicines that prevent puberty from happening. They work by blocking the hormones — testosterone and estrogen — that lead to puberty-related changes in your body. This stops things like periods and breast growth, or voice-deepening and facial hair growth.
There are two kinds of puberty blockers:
- A flexible rod called histrelin acetate that goes under the skin of the arm and lasts for 1 year.
- A shot called leuprolide acetate, which works for 1, 3, or 4 months at a time.
Anti-androgens are another kind of medicine transgender girls and nonbinary folks who were assigned male at birth can take to lower the levels of testosterone in their bodies.