What are puberty blockers?
They are drugs which can pause the development of things like breasts, periods, facial hair and voice breaking
They can be prescribed to children with gender dysphoria who feel their sex at birth does match up with their gender.
This is meant to give them more time to weigh up their options before they go through the physical changes of puberty.
Although puberty blockers are described by the NHS as reversible, GIDS acknowledges that their impact on brain development and psychological health is not fully known .
A year after starting the puberty-blockers she said she was prescribed the male hormone testosterone, which developed male characteristics like facial hair and a deep voice . Three years ago, she had an operation to remove her breasts.
“Initially I felt very relieved and happy about things, but I think as the years go on you start to feel less and less enthusiastic or even happy about things.
“You can continue and dig yourself deeper into this hole or you can choose to come out of it and have the weight lifted off your shoulders.”
She decided to stop taking cross-sex hormones last year and said she was now accepting of her sex as a female. But she was also angry about what had happened to her in the last decade.
“I was allowed to run with this idea that I had, almost like a fantasy, as a teenager …. and it has affected me in the long run as an adult.
“I’m very young. I’ve only just stepped into adulthood and I have to deal with this kind of burden or radical difference – in comparison to others at least . “
Keira’s lawyers will argue that children cannot weigh up the impact such a treatment might have on their future life, including for instance, on their fertility.
Former staff at the clinic have raised concerns that teenagers who want to transition to a different gender are being given puberty blockers without adequate assessment or psychological work.
It has been been claimed that children as young as have received the drugs, which block the hormones that lead to puberty-related changes like periods or facial hair.
But she also understands why teenagers arrive at the clinic deeply distressed and desperate to change their gender.
“I did say the same thing years ago when I went to the clinic. I would say it was saving me from suicidal ideation and depression in general and at the time I felt it relieved all those mental health issues I was feeling, alongside gender dysphoria. “
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