Medical management of transgender and gender diverse youth is a relatively new, but rapidly expanding and evolving aspect of paediatric medicine. Puberty and the development of secondary sex characteristics are frequently associated with intensely attenuated dysphoria for gender diverse youth. Hormonal interventions to block the effects of puberty and subsequently to affirm one’s gender identity are therefore potentially appropriate therapeutic interventions but many questions in relation to their use remain.
The Gender Service at The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne offers a Victorian statewide service to support transgender and gender diverse youth. Referrals to the service have increased exponentially in recent years with >200 new referrals in 2016. This presentation will focus on current medical management options, current knowledge and as yet unanswered questions in relation to the impact of hormonal therapies and their potential benefits and adverse negative effects. The ethical, social and legal challenges faced by gender diverse youth and clinicians in the field will also be addressed.