New study confirms what we always knew about trans teens and gender-affirming healthcare

A person holds up a sign reading 'trans healthcare saves lives'

Trans teenagers who start gender-affirming treatments using puberty blockers are highly unlikely to stop hormone replacement therapy in adulthood, a study has found. 

Contrary to anti-trans propaganda circulated by the right-wing media, a new study published by The Lancet has found the majority of adolescent patients diagnosed with gender dysphoria stick with gender-affirming treatments as they get older.

The study, conducted by the gender identity clinic of the Amsterdam UMC hospital in the Netherlands, conducted the research with a group of 720 adolescent people who were diagnosed with gender dysphoria and prescribed puberty blockers. 

It found a total of 98 per cent (704) of those who started gender-affirming medical treatment in adolescence continued to use gender-affirming hormones. 

And of those who didn’t continue the gender-affirming care, there is no conclusive proof they had regrets over their treatment as an adolescent or wanted to detransition.

Authors of the study speculated that the few who didn’t continue with treatment may have done so due to factors such as non-binary gender identities or cost of continuing treatment.


Dr Marianne Van Der Loos, a physician at Amsterdam UMC and co-author of the study, told The Daily Beast that the main takeaway from the study is that the “majority of people, who went through a diagnostic evaluation prior to starting treatment, continued gender-affirming hormones at follow-up”.

“This is reassuring regarding the recent increased public concern about regret of transition,” Dr Van Der Loos added. 

The study’s findings challenge the anti-trans rhetorics that go against gender-affirming care for trans youth, with those opposed to gender affirming often citing a 2011 study which has been frequently criticised for its slack methodology. 

That study suggested most adolescents with gender dysphoria would eventually “desist”, and end up identifying as the gender they were assigned at birth.

Another false narrative highlighted by countless studies is a suggested “social contagion” or lack of oversight in prescribing hormone replacement therapy. 

The results of this new study comes as gender-affirming care for minors in the USA and UK is under threat, with both countries seeing a rise in politicians trying to limit the gender-affirming care available to trans teens. 

Arkansas was the first state in the US to pass a law banning all life-saving gender-affirming care for minors. Thankfully a federal appeals court  ordered that a preliminary injunction to stop the state enforcing the 2021 anti-trans law will remain in place – for now. 

In Texas authorities have subjected parents and of trans children to “child abuse” investigations for seeking vital gender-affirming healthcare.

In the UK, the NHS is drafting new, strict guidelines for young trans people, including rules that anyone who has accessed private trans healthcare online would be liable to have the NHS initiate unspecified “safeguarding protocols” on their behalf.