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Healthcare Providers Need to Consider Needs of Transgender Adolescents

Healthcare Providers Need to Consider Needs of Transgender AdolescentsMore adolescents are identifying as transgender, and doctors need to stay up to date on transgender healthcare needs, according to a recent review in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).

Gender dysphoria occurs when a person identifies as a gender other than one’s birth gender. For example, a child born male might feel more female and prefer clothes and activities that are typically associated with girls.

Often, people with gender dysphoria feel that they are born in the “wrong” gender. Many decide to live as their desired gender and physically transition by undergoing hormone therapy and gender affirmation surgery.

While the study authors acknowledged the need for shared decision making among doctors, families, and patients with gender dysphoria, they emphasized that adolescent’s wishes should come first.

“Ideally, the approach to youth with gender dysphoria revolves around collaborative decision-making among the youth, family or guardians, and care providers,” the authors wrote. “The youth’s voice is always paramount.”

The authors also commented on medications that suppress the onset of puberty.

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