Children who are suffering from a condition that makes them think that they are born in the wrong sex are being given injections that delay puberty for some time.
Known as gender identity disorder (GID), the condition makes the children believe that they have been born in the wrong sex. Majority of the children either opt for sex change operation or change their minds. Doctors at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in London hope that by providing drugs that delay puberty, they are giving the children additional time to take a decision.
The injection comes with hypothalamic blockers that suppress the sex hormones and thus delay the start of puberty. Dr Polly Carmichael, director of Tavistock's gender identity development service (GIDS), expressed hope that delaying puberty will reduce the distress of affected children.
"The blocker reduces the distress associated with pubertal development but is not seen as a first step to physical sex re-assignment, rather it provides an opportunity for further exploration of the young person's feelings. Ongoing contact with the therapeutic team at the GIDS is important and part of the research protocol", she said.