Trans Health Care – Pubertal Suppression

Transgender and gender-diverse children might choose to temporarily suppress puberty through the use of prescription medications called pubertal blockers. But deciding to get this treatment is a big step.

The medications mostly commonly used to suppress puberty are known as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues. Here’s what you need to know about the benefits, side effects and long-term effects.

What do pubertal blockers do?

Puberty’s physical changes can cause intense distress for many gender-nonconforming adolescents. When taken regularly, GnRH analogues suppress the body’s release of sex hormones, including testosterone and estrogen, during puberty.

Sex hormones affect:

  • Primary sex characteristics. These are the sexual organs present at birth, including the penis, scrotum and testicles and the uterus, ovaries and vagina.
  • Secondary sex characteristics. These are the physical changes in the body that typically appear during puberty. Examples include breast development and growth of facial hair.

In those identified as male at birth, GnRH analogues decrease the growth of facial and body hair, prevent voice deepening, and limit the growth of genitalia.

In those identified as female at birth, treatment limits or stops breast development and stops menstruation.


A gonadotropin-releasing hormone, or GnRH, agonist. It works by helping the pituitary gland ignore signals from the brain. This, in turn, stops the release of sex hormones that cause puberty. An every 3 month injection that is used to suppress development of secondary sexual characteristics.

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