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Children's health

16th Jun 2022

Trans children should receive treatment at a younger age, experts confirm

Kat O'Connor

Experts have suggested that trans children can get gender transition treatment from the age of 14.

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health has updated the guidelines.

Experts said children can now start hormone treatment from 14. They also said children aged 15 and 17 could undergo surgeries.

The group said withholding treatment is unethical and cruel.

According to Associated Press, the new suggestions are based on scientific evidence, as well as expert opinion.

They also looked at the “harms of transgender medical treatment in teens whose gender identity doesn’t match the sex they were assigned at birth”.

The team said having early access to treatment can help mental health. It can also help reduce suicide rates.

However, age wasn’t the only factor that the team took into consideration.

Experts considered emotional maturity, longstanding gender discomfort, and parents’ consent too.

Speaking to AP, Dr.Eli Coleman said:

“Certainly there are adolescents that do not have the emotional or cognitive maturity to make an informed decision.”

“That is why we recommend a careful multidisciplinary assessment,” Dr. Coleman added.

See the full updates below:

Sex hormones (estrogen/testosterone) can start at 14. Guidelines warn that this is a lifelong treatment. It also has numerous risks including weight gain, strokes in trans women, high blood pressure in trans men, and infertility.

Breast removal surgery for trans boys can start aged 15.

Genital surgeries, including the removal of testicles/womb, can start aged 17.

Where to go for help and support if your child is transgender:

LGBT Ireland, Transgender Family Support Line: PH: 01 907 3707

Transgender Equality Network Ireland, PH 01 873 3575

BeLonGTo, PH 01 670 6223

Read more: What to do when your child tells you they’re transgender