Long-term Puberty Suppression for a Nonbinary Teenager

Many transgender and gender-diverse people have a gender identity that does not conform to the binary categories of male or female; they have a nonbinary gender. Some nonbinary individuals are most comfortable with an androgynous gender expression. For those who have not yet fully progressed through puberty, puberty suppression with gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonists can support an androgynous appearance. Although such treatment is shown to ameliorate the gender dysphoria and serious mental health issues commonly seen in transgender and gender-diverse young people, long-term use of puberty-suppressing medications carries physical health risks and raises various ethical dilemmas. In this Ethics Rounds, we analyze a case that raised issues about prolonged pubertal suppression for a patient with a nonbinary gender.

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