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Advocates of so-called “gender affirming care” for children have sought to lower the minimum age for cross-sex hormone therapy, but waivers at a top Virginia clinic require parents to acknowledge a frightening list of potential permanent side effects.
The waivers from the University of Virginia (UVA) Medical Center, obtained exclusively by The Daily Wire, list the potentially harmful side effects of testosterone treatment and puberty blocker usage. The UVA Children’s Hospital Transgender Youth Health clinic offers “transgender youth health services for ages 11 to 25.”
“Testosterone therapy may cause transient infertility due to loss of ovulation or irreversible infertility due to ovarian tissue damage,” one warning from a document titled “Consent For Testosterone Therapy” reads. It goes on to suggest “banking eggs.”
The form also states “I authorize Dr. __________, based upon my child’s treatment goals, to treat me/my child with testosterone for the purpose of gender transition.”
The list of side effects points out that “this is an ‘off-label’ use of this medication – it has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.” Other potential side effects include high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and “increased risk of … yeast infections.”
Another UVA Health consent form lists potential side effects for puberty blockers. “Bone density may be compromised if puberty blockers are used on a long-term basis,” it reads. The form also notes that, like cross-sex hormone therapy, puberty blockers are also used off-label for a non-FDA approved purpose.
It also addresses fertility concerns, stating, “Although puberty blockers do not appear to have long-term effects on fertility, if someone intends to proceed directly to cross-sex hormones in the future … there may not be an opportunity to explore fertility preservation options.”
But despite the potential for permanent infertility and other side effects, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) announced new guidelines last year, which recommend that children as young as 14 should be able to receive cross-sex hormone treatments before ditching the age limits altogether just hours later in a “correction.”
Detransitioner Chloe Cole, who began medically transitioning in California at just 13 years old, told The Daily Wire that the process to get puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones “was not very rigorous at all.”
“The diagnostic process and treatment were effectively led by me as the patient and I was never told to wait by my psychologists,” she noted.
“I began puberty blockers only about half a year after my dysphoria diagnosis. A month or so afterward, I was administered my first testosterone shot,” Cole, now 18, said. “I don’t think fertility preservation options like IVF, egg storage etc. were presented to me, ever.”
“Many of the side effects listed in my forms were written in vague terms and most of the ones I’m experiencing today were not disclosed,” Cole stated.
Cole also explained that, after being told she was too young to be put on hormones by one endocrinologist, she was referred to a different endocrinologist who expressed no such concerns. She still deals with adverse effects of cross-sex hormone therapy, experiencing “difficulties with my libido, physiological arousal, sensation, and achieving orgasm,” as well as joint pain and urinary tract issues.
“It DEEPLY disgusts me that anybody under 18 is being allowed to pursue something so trivial that potentially could and WILL result in these things, and that the age of recommendation for these procedures is only being lowered.”
Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, the board chair of Do No Harm, explained that many parents are coerced into signing waivers for so-called “gender affirming” medical interventions.
“Have they been told for example, that their children are at risk of suicide, if they don’t comply with his protocol?” Goldfarb said in a statement to The Daily Wire. “This form of coercion often underlies parents ‘willingness to pursue these treatments, even though the literature suggests that suicide is not a risk in these children above and beyond that associated with their underlying psychological disorders of depression, autism, or a history of sexual or other forms of abuse.”
He also addressed the approval process, noting, “I have encountered at least one gender clinic in Southern California that reports that they do not even require a letter from a therapist who asserts that the child is able to make a decision about gender transition in the absence of other substantial, psychological disorders.”
January Littlejohn, a parent advocate at Do No Harm, told The Daily Wire that “children and adolescents do not have the cognitive maturity to consent to cross sex cross hormones and their longterm consequences, yet all treatments are based on a child’s self-ID as ‘transgender.'”
“Where else in medicine do we ‘follow the child’s lead’ toward irreversible medical treatments?” she added.
“Thorough assessments are not often occurring, and adolescents are being fast-tracked to a life-long medical pathway that will ultimately lead to sterilization and destruction of their future sexual functioning,” Littlejohn warned.
“Adolescents must be protected from the irreversible harms we are seeing from these dangerous experimental interventions,” she asserted.
Psychologist Erica Anderson resigned from her role as a board member of WPATH after witnessing “horror stories,” with families telling her “our child had 20 minutes with the doctor” before being offered cross-sex hormone therapy.
Meanwhile, detransitioners like Chloe Cole and Kayla Lovdahl are in the process of suing medical institutions that provided them with hormonal and surgical treatments intended to change their genders.
UVA Health did not respond to a request for comment.