Mayo Clinic reports puberty blockers may lead to ‘irreversible’ testicular harm in boys

Boys who are administered puberty blockers for gender dysphoria (GD) may face permanent bodily harm, according to new research from Mayo Clinic.

Researchers at the Rochester, Minnesota hospital…

Boys who are administered puberty blockers for gender dysphoria (GD) may face permanent bodily harm, according to new research from Mayo Clinic.

Researchers at the Rochester, Minnesota hospital found boys who take puberty blocks may experience “mild-to-severe sex gland atrophy” and “a potential concern regarding the complete ‘reversibility’ and reproductive fitness” of stem cells that are central to reproductive capacity.

The study challenges the claims of LGBTQ activists that puberty blockers (GnRH analogues) are harmless, reversible drugs that block the development of sex characteristics in order to allow time for children to consider additional medical intervention.

Marugesh, et al conducted the preprint study – which has yet to be peer-reviewed – published in late March by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

“In males, the puberty-associated development of spermatogonial stem cells (SSC) undergoes dynamic cellular and molecular changes,” the researchers explained, noting that puberty blockers are “increasingly used in clinics to treat Juvenile-GD by blocking the development of sexual characteristics, impeding both primary (reproductive) and secondary (non-reproductive) organ development in children of both sexes with GD.”

As more young people began to identify as a gender not aligned with their biological sex, transgender medical physicians minimized the long-term effects of puberty blockers.

“It’s completely reversible,” claimed pediatric endocrinologist Stephen Rosenthal, M.D. about puberty blocker treatment in a 2016 cover story at University of California San Francisco Magazine. “You take them off it, and they resume puberty.”

Even today, the Mayo Clinic says on its website puberty blockers “can be used to delay the changes of puberty in transgender and gender-diverse youth who have started puberty.”

“In people assigned male at birth, GnRH analogues slow the growth of facial and body hair, prevent voice deepening, and limit the growth of the penis, scrotum and testicles,” the Mayo Clinic staff explain, even suggesting potential “benefits” of puberty blockers.

Clinic staff also still clearly insist puberty blockers “don’t cause permanent physical changes.”

The Mayo Clinic investigators in the current study, however, observed that young people with gender issues who are prescribed puberty blockers, but seek surgery to preserve their fertility, “face a major conundrum due to the absence of current procedures guaranteeing fertility.”

“This is because the generation of gametes from human SSC that have not naturally transitioned during puberty to a meiotogenetic state have been unsuccessful,” they wrote.

The researchers used data from the Mayo Clinic Pediatric Testicular Biobank for Fertility Preservation, “the largest pediatric (age 0-17 years) testicular biobank, encompassing GD children with and without PB treatment,” and one that includes “well-annotated clinical data, reproductive health data, digitized slides of testicular tissues, and cryospecimens suitable for single-cell omics analysis.”

Marugesh, et al collected living testicular samples from 87 individuals under the age of 18. Of these, 16 boys identified as female, with 9 who were taking puberty blockers.

Of the 9 patients treated with puberty blockers, two “exhibited abnormalities” on their testicles that could be detected upon examination, the researchers reported.

“To the best of our knowledge, no rigorous study has been reported on extended puberty blockade in pediatric populations and its long-term consequences on reproductive fitness,” the authors said, noting they initiated their research from the perspective that “the consequences” of puberty blockers for “juvenile testicular development and reproductive fitness” are “poorly understood.”

The study’s findings are brought to light following release of the landmark investigative report, led by British pediatrician Dr. Hilary Cass, who expressed dismay about children and young adolescents who have been rushed into medical treatment for gender dysphoria.

Cass said the “toxicity of the debate” has led to a situation whereby the “knowledge and expertise of experienced clinicians who have reached different conclusions about the best approach to care are sometimes dismissed and invalidated.”

The pediatrician and her independent review team from the University of York specifically addressed the claim that puberty blockers are fairly harmless drugs that buy time to weigh continued treatment, but found no support for the assertion.

“[G]iven that the vast majority of young people started on puberty blockers proceed from puberty blockers to masculinising/feminising hormones, there is no evidence that puberty blockers buy time to think, and some concern that they may change the trajectory of psychosexual and gender identity development,” the report concluded, asserting as well that “no changes in gender dysphoria or body satisfaction were demonstrated” as a result of puberty blockers.

Studies pertaining to the use of puberty blockers for children also revealed the drugs compromise bone density.

The Mayo Clinic study is also published at the same time an exposé focused on the World Professional Association of Transgender Healthcare (WPATH) has revealed its physician affiliates admitting young people – and, in some cases, their parents – are not able to comprehend the potential long-term effects of the drugs they prescribe, particularly those pertaining to sterility.