About Blockers

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/Leuprolide/Eligard

  • 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/Vantas/Supprelin LA

  • 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

Spironolactone/Aldactone/CaroSpi

  • 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.

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