What do we need to keep in mind when treating adolescent transgender patients? Assistant Professor of Clinical Sciences at Florida State University College of Medicine, Dr. Ramiz Kseri, discusses bills impacting transgender rights, hormone blockers, and how we can provide better care for adolescent transgender patients.
A Pediatrician’s Perspective on Treating Transgender Adolescents
Welcome to Clinicians Roundtable on ReachMD. Here to discuss what we need to keep in mind when treating our adolescent transgender patients is Dr. Ramiz Kseri, a dually board-certified Internist and Pediatrician who’s also an Assistant Professor of Clinical Sciences at Florida State University College of Medicine. Here’s Dr. Kseri now.
I would say that in this past year, or currently what we are seeing, there are, I think, the last time I read anywhere, and don't quote me on the actual number, but I think there are about 30 bills all across different states that are targeting trans youth. Specifically, in terms of sports participation. And in some states, it's actually shift into a criminal act for a pediatrician or a provider to be giving hormone blockers or hormone therapy for teenager, adolescent population. And I wanted to expand on that a little bit just to give the listeners an understanding of what we're talking about when we talk about trans youth, and why it would be important for you to contact your local government and learn more about these bills and what they offer. And to figure out what is the best decision for you.
So when it comes to competitive advantage when talking about trans youth, when a pediatrician like myself who does see LGBTQ plus patients, and the topic is brought up that a child might be trans. I want to let people know that we don't flip a switch, and as soon as, you know, the parent or the child says that, then the very next day, we're starting hormone blockers and doing all these things. This is a long process and a long conversation that involves myself, sometimes there's a social worker, and obviously the parents. And it's not necessarily a step, it's more so of a road.
And when it comes to hormone blockers, all that you're doing is stopping puberty from happening. So for children who are on hormone blocker, there is no difference in that child than any other child of the same age. And when they are of age where we want to shift onto puberty and we give them hormones for that, we are allowing them to kind of develop into the gender that they identify with. So in theory, there is no kind of opposite gender advantage because if we do catch those trans youth at a very young age, then we're just helping them develop into the gender they identify with.
When we're talking about, puberty blocker, the goal is to stop puberty from happening. And then when the child reaches a certain growth, then we introduce hormone, and we help them go into puberty with the gender they identify in. And so for all intended purposes, that trans youth have developed and the gender they identify with. There is no physical advantage. It's not one gender, or at birth that was flipped over by the hormones; we just aided them from the beginning.
So that's where the conversation needs to start is that we are not giving any medicine that is athletically enhancing someone. We're just helping our patient live their authentic self. And when you shift the perspective into that, then you're able to appreciate why trans health care is so important at a young age. Also, it also helps them with living their true self without having to deal with any of the side effects of puberty within the wrong body, which is mentally more damaging to those patients.
That was Dr. Ramiz Kseri talking about various treatment avenues for our adolescent transgender patients. To access this and other episodes from our series, visit ReachMD.com-slash-Clinicians-Roundtable, where you can Be Part of the Knowledge. Thanks for listening!
- Guest: Ramiz Kseri, MD
When treating transgender adolescents, what do we need to know about hormone blockers? And how can we improve the quality of care?
Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAPPeer