Some children receive treatment to delay puberty and buy them time while deciding whether to proceed with a gender change.
Puberty blockers, which are not covered by insurance, are expensive. "Injections can cost upwards of $1,000 a month." Leibowitz said. Newer implants cost about $3,400 for two years.
Blocking irreversible changes of puberty has advantages for those who eventually opt for full gender transition, through cross-sex hormones or sexual reassignment surgery, Leibowitz said. "In their bodies and appearance, they will be perceived by society as the gender they affirm and thus have healthier outcomes," he explained.
"We as individuals who do not experience an incongruence between our minds and bodies take for granted how easy life is," Leibowitz added. "You just need to meet one child and one family to see how this impacts their lives."
Visit the TransActive website for a list of resources for transgender youth.
Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.