A teenager says puberty blockers were sold as a “miracle cure for being trans”, but instead felt like poison which did not solve her problems.
Speaking to The Times, the anonymous child explained how she began taking the blockers aged twelve because she was unhappy as a girl.
But now, at 16, she describes it as “the worst decision I’ve ever made” and no longer takes the drugs.
The girl was prescribed the drugs from a London endocrine clinic after meetings at the Tavistock NHS gender centre.
She claims her background – including her parents’ divorce and a sexual assault at primary school – was not considered before she was handed the blockers.
“They promise you that your breasts will disappear, that your voice will be deeper, that I would look and sound more like a boy. For me, that was the best thing that could have happened”.
But when she began taking the drugs, she found herself more ostracised as her peers were developing physically and emotionally while she was ‘stuck’ as a twelve year old.
Side effects of the drug also took their toll. These included insomnia, fatigue and rapid weight gain as well as a drop in bone density.
“I stubbed my toe, it broke. I fell over, my wrist broke. Same with my elbow.”
The anonymous teenager made the decision to speak out to help others, saying: “I was sold a miracle cure. They promised happiness with little evidence behind it.”
“They push and push you on to this one-way train you’re not allowed off.”
Now she has stopped taking the blockers, and will wait until she is 18 before deciding on a future course of action.
A spokesman for the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, which oversees the gender centre, said patients are made aware of the potential problems.
“In the end the decision to go on blockers is a balancing act weighing up these factors against the perceived distress of undergoing puberty in the ‘wrong’ gender and developing unwanted and potential hard to change secondary sexual characteristics.”