(NPR) Most transgender adolescents go through the same steps during the medical transition from one gender to another. They're given a drug that blocks or pauses puberty. Then, if they and their doctors are sure they want to continue, they are given sex hormones that will resume puberty and give them more male or more female bodies.
This has been going on for just under a decade. "But what are the benefits and adverse effects of starting young kids on these powerful [puberty blockers] and then hormones? We don't know," says Dr. Frederic Ettner, a physician who has worked with transgender patients for over two decades. Since hormone treatment began for transgender youth, there's been a paucity of data on what happens to them in the long term.