Puberty blocking is a noninvasive therapy that can be reversed. Doctors inject a compound or use an implant that mimics the actions of a puberty-stimulating hormone that is released in the brain known as gonadotropin-releasing hormone. The compound makes the pituitary gland less sensitive to that hormone and, in doing so, it essentially pauses puberty. Puberty starts again after the drugs are stopped.

In the US, where several Republican-led states have banned gender-affirmative healthcare for young people, every major medical association agrees that gender-affirming care is clinically appropriate for children and adults. This includes the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Gender-affirming care can include puberty blockers, which may not be a part of every association’s treatment.

The AMA and LGBTQ advocates stress that gender-affirming care can be a life-saving treatment for trans youth. In the US, transgender and nonbinary youth are twice as likely to have attempted suicide compared to their cisgender peers, according to a 2022 survey by the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth.