(CNS News) -- A new documentary, What Is a Woman? examines sexual identity and reveals that some doctors encourage puberty blockers in “transgender” children, including a drug that is used to sterilize some sex offenders.
Although the puberty blockers apparently can be reversed, even The New York Times reports that “more research is needed to fully understand” their impact “on certain patients’ fertility,” and that little is known of the “drugs’ lasting effects on brain development.”
In What Is a Woman? author and conservative commentator Matt Walsh of The Daily Wire interviews numerous experts, academics, and average citizens about sexual identity, asking the question, “What is a woman?”
One of the medical doctors interviewed is Michelle Forcier, a professor of pediatrics and assistant dean of admissions at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School. She also has worked with Planned Parenthood for more than 20 years.
In the segment, Forcier explains that she uses puberty blockers on children who express a desire to transition their gender.
“Medical affirmation begins when the patient says they’re ready for it,” she explains. “So that could be a kiddo who is just starting puberty and panicking because they're getting breast buds or their penis is getting bigger and busier and they're worried about all kinds of masculine changes.”
She continues, “Puberty blockers, which are completely reversible and don't have permanent effects, are wonderful because we can put that pause on puberty, just like if you were listening to music you put the pause on -- and we stop the blockers and puberty would go right back to where it was: the next note in the song, just delayed that period of time.”
In May 2021, The New York Times reported, “But while puberty blockers are commonly referred to as ‘fully reversible,’ more research is needed to fully understand the impact they may have on certain patients’ fertility. There is also little known about the drugs’ lasting effects on brain development and bone mineral density.”
Puberty blockers may affect fertility potential by suppressing ovulation and altering ovarian histology in women, and impairing spermatogenesis and potential for testicular atrophy in men, according to the journal Translational Andrology and Urology.
In the June 2019 article, “Fertility Concerns of the Transgender Patient,” it states, “Transgender individuals who undergo gender-affirming medical or surgical therapies are at risk for infertility. Suppression of puberty with gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist analogs (GnRHa) in the pediatric transgender patient can pause the maturation of germ cells, and thus, affect fertility potential. Testosterone therapy in transgender men can suppress ovulation and alter ovarian histology, while estrogen therapy in transgender women can lead to impaired spermatogenesis and testicular atrophy. The effect of hormone therapy on fertility is potentially reversible, but the extent is unclear.”
Puberty blockers are FDA-approved to treat precocious puberty but do not have FDA-approval for transgender-related treatment, making their use in this instance considered “off-label.”
Walsh asked Dr. Forcier about a specific puberty blocker she prescribes, “One of the drugs used is Lupron, which has actually been used to chemically castrate sex offenders.”
Forcier nodded yes that Lupron was a drug used, but claimed, “[chemical castration]: that’s not a correct term for puberty blocking in a transgender [patient].”
Walsh then cited Merriam-Webster’s medical definition of chemical castration: “the administration of a drug to bring about a marked reduction in the body's production of androgens and especially testosterone.”
The doctor responded, “And I’m saying, as a pediatrician who takes care of hundreds of these kids, when you use that terminology you are being malignant and harmful.”
Lupron is the brand name for leuprolide acetate, an LHRH agonist. The National Cancer Institute reports, “Treatment with an LHRH agonist is called medical castration or chemical castration. But, unlike surgical castration (orchiectomy), the effects of these drugs on androgen production are reversible. Once treatment is stopped, androgen production usually resumes.”
Leuprolide acetate is commonly used for chemical castration in sex offenders. It is also used to treat prostate cancer, endometriosis, and precocious puberty.
Keira Bell, a woman who previously believed she was transgender and was put on blockers at 16, sued Britain’s Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust for allegedly failing to adequately inform her, when she was a minor, of the risks involved in taking puberty blockers.
In February 2022, Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare issued new guidelines for transgender care for minors, saying, “At present, the risks of hormonal interventions for gender dysphoric youth outweigh the potential benefits.” The guidelines tightly restrict the administering of puberty blockers except for “extreme circumstances.”
The National Academy of Medicine in France similarly released a press release saying that if France was going to allow puberty blockers, “the greatest caution is needed in their use.”