Children given puberty blockers and hormones can expect to become infertile, US hospital officials have admitted.
The risk was laid bare on consent forms for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, revealed following a freedom of information lawsuit by religious group the California Family Council.
Pro-transgender state legislators had previously denied the drugs would cause sterilisation in children.
The forms, used to record participants’ informed consent, tell parents that their child “will not be able to have biological children”.
They go on to warn of the permanent effect of taking the drugs, stating that even after ceasing treatment it is “uncertain” if the children involved will be able to produce sperm normally or become pregnant in the future.
Dr Michael Laidlaw, an endocrinologist in California, said the documents: “confirmed exactly what I suspected, that the hormones used for child and adolescent transition are causing sterility in addition to a host of other health problems”.
The news comes as the state considers introducing a Bill requiring state money to be made available to facilities which provide transgender services.
The Transgender Wellness and Equity Fund proposes making grants to fund gender-transition practices, including surgery as well as puberty blockers and hormones.
The author of the Bill, Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, said those raising concerns were engaged in “fear-mongering”.
NHS guidance switch
In the UK, the NHS recently changed their advice on puberty blockers. Until recently, NHS guidance stated that they “are considered to be fully reversible, so treatment can usually be stopped at any time”.
However, the guidance has now been altered to state: “Little is known about the long-term side effects of hormone or puberty blockers in children with gender dysphoria.”