Puberty Suppression Now A Choice For Teens On Medicaid In Oregon

According to NPR: Puberty Suppression Now A Choice For Teens On Medicaid In Oregon

Michaela wants to transition from male to female — meaning she doesn’t want to grow an Adam’s apple, facial hair or a heavy male body structure. To stop that process, she now gets an injection once every three months.

Michaela has private insurance. But the medication she gets, which Medicaid in Oregon now covers, is Lupron. It costs about $7,500 for three months. A few states now cover the cost of medical treatment for people who are transgender but Oregon is one of the few that pays for drugs that suppress puberty in children who think they might want to change their gender.

Lupron has been used for years on children with precocious puberty — that is, children who start puberty too early. It’s also used to treat prostate cancer and fibroid tumors. The state estimates that about 175 people will use some kind of transgender treatment under the Oregon Health Plan this year, but it doesn’t have figures on how many of those people might be seeking puberty suppression.

Selva says it just gives a child more time to come to a decision about their gender identity. And once they’ve decided, they can start taking the hormones for the gender they’d like to be — or they can stop taking the medication and allow their body to develop unhindered.

Dutch researchers, in a study published in the journal Pediatrics, found that puberty suppression gave transgender youth “the opportunity to develop into well-functioning young adults.”

A nice long article article that covers puberty suppression and how it helps teens with questions about their gender identity.

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