Report Reveals Adults Who Undergo Transgender Surgeries at Higher Risk of Attempting Suicide

According to a recent study, adults who have undergone transition surgeries to become the opposite sex are at an increased risk of attempting suicide.

The study, titled “Risk of Suicide and Self-Harm Following Gender-Affirmation Surgery,” was published in April in the medical science journal Cureus and researchers assessed over 90 million adults aged 18 to 60. 

According to the study, individuals who underwent “gender-affirming surgery” had a much higher suicide attempt risk than those who did not.

The researchers found that 3.5% of people who had an elective transgender-related surgery were treated for attempting suicide.

One of the study’s authors, Dietrich Jehle, said in a statement that they “looked at associations with outcomes rather than causation in a large propensity matched retrospective study.”

“We did not look at the effect of surgery — just the outcomes of the population that had gender affirmation surgery,” Jehle said.

“[I should emphasize] that we did not use individuals that wanted gender affirmation surgery and were not granted the surgery as a control as patients are required to undergo at least two psychiatric evaluations in order to qualify for surgery (i.e., patients who qualify for surgery are at lower suicide risk than the group who wants surgery but does not qualify regardless of whether the group that qualifies undergoes surgery),” Jehle added. 

“Our conclusion might be better worded: Patients who undergo gender-affirming surgery are associated with significantly elevated suicide attempt risks, underlining the necessity for comprehensive post-procedure psychiatric support,” Jehle continued.

In May 2023, American Faith reported on a study from the American Journal of Psychiatry (AJP) that suggested that “gender-affirming surgery” does not reduce the need for mental health services.

The Swedish study analyzed the effectiveness of gender-affirming hormone treatments and surgeries on antidepressants and anti-anxiety prescriptions for mental health, doctor visits for those with mood or anxiety disorders, and post-suicide attempts.

The study was a correction after first being published in 2019, when its conclusion suggested that transgender surgeries do offer a benefit to mental health.