The Karolinska Hospital in Sweden has confirmed this week that so-called "transgender children" who had been prescribed puberty blockers experienced severe side effects as a result.
Puberty blockers have been championed by trans activists as a simple "pause button" or "breather" on development, and are often referred to as a temporary measure to allow children who claim to be transgender to prevent the development of secondary sex characteristics (breasts, periods, a deeper voice, etc...) in order to potentially yield a better outcome with hormone therapy if pursued.
But many critics, including some major health authorities, have noted that there was little high-quality research that demonstrated they were completely safe.
This week, the Karolinska Hospital confirmed it was aware of the cases of at least 13 youths who had received puberty blockers and experienced medical side effects as a result. According to a report published this week in Swedish-language SVT, a number of impacted minors experienced "major side effects and medical injuries" as a result of going on puberty blockers.
In one case, an 11 year old girl who was prescribed puberty blockers because she identified as a boy developed severe osteoarthritis in her spine after 5 years on the medication. The girl's height is also stunted, and X-Rays show a number of abnormalities on her skeleton.
In the 11 year old's case, she continued to receive puberty blockers even after doctors noted the impact it was having on her physical health.
According to Karolinska physician Ricard Nergårdh, puberty blockers are akin to chemical castration.
"It's chemical castration. It can affect mental state in a way that [the patient] did not think and did not want." Nergårdh, who treats children with gender dysphoria, says, "It is very important that the patient and the patient's family are well informed about [the side effects]."
In May of this year, Karolinska halted the issuing of puberty blockers to all minors, noting that there was a lack of scientific support and research into their potential health implications.
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