What are puberty blockers?
- The medical term for puberty blockers is Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Agonist (GnRHa).17
- GnRHa essentially pauses puberty by reverting secretion of sex hormones to pre-pubertal levels and regressing the patient’s pubertal development slightly.17
Why use GnRHa?
- The Endocrine Society has approved GnRHa as an effective form of treatment for transgender youth as young as 12 years old.17
- Many young transgender people use GnRHa to prevent unwanted secondary sex characteristics.16
- This benefits the mental health of a person with gender dysphoria.2
- This also reduces the need for expensive surgeries later on.
- Clinics in several countries have begun providing GnRHa to transgender patients under 16 years of age if puberty has already begun.2
What else is GnRHa used for?
- GnRHa has been used safely for decades to suppress sex hormones in children who develop too early (precocious puberty).17
- It has also helped to treat patients with endometriosis, uterine fibroids, subfertility, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, prostate cancer, and more.12
What kinds of puberty blockers are there?
- Lupron is an injection which can be delivered daily, monthly, or every few months.12
- The patient and/or family members are often taught how to administer the shot at home.2
- The cost is usually anywhere between $500-$6,000 depending on frequency of injection and insurance plans.17/10
- Histrelin is a flexible rod inserted under the skin of the arm which lasts between 12-36 months.14
- The average age for placement is 14 years and can be done by a surgeon under local anesthesia.11
- The cost can be anywhere between $3,500-$20,000 depending on the brand and insurance plans.10
Medroxyprogesterone Acetate/Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate/Depo-Provera
- This is NOT GnRHa, but a less effective, low-cost alternative.2
- Medroxyprogesterone Acetate can be taken orally daily or as an injection every 3 months.10
- The doses of medication increase as the patient gets older and sex hormone levels rise.10
- It usually costs about $30 per month for the shot or the oral regimen.10
- NOT GnRHa, but an anti-angrogen commonly used in transgender women and girls (assigned male at birth).2
- Oral dosages increase over time and are taken twice a day.10
- This can induce natural breast development and reduce masculinization.10
- The cost is usually anywhere between $10-$73 for 30 doses.10
If you’d like to see where we got this information, please view our references page.