Study Finds Gender Transition Surgeries Do Not Improve Mental Health

A Finnish study found that gender reassignment (GR) surgeries do not benefit the patient’s mental health.

Those with gender dysphoria have “many more common psychiatric needs than do their matched population controls, even when medical GR interventions are carried out,” the study said.

The researchers explained that while the number of individuals seeking gender transitions has increased “throughout the Western world,” the “reasons for these increases are not known.”

The study reviewed the record of more than 3,500 people who “contacted the nationally centralized gender identity services (GIS) in Finland in 1996-2019.”

Of this group, 38.4% had received hormones, gender transition surgery, or both.

“Both those [gender dysphoria] patients who had proceeded to medical [gender reassignment] and those who had not were more likely to need psychiatric treatment after the index date than were the control,” the authors wrote.

The authors added that as the number of individuals contacting gender identity services (GIS) has increased, “their needs for psychiatric treatment have increased.”

“Both before and after contacting GIS, they present with many more common psychiatric needs than do their matched population controls, even when medical GR interventions are carried out,” they wrote, adding, “This vastly increased pursuit of GR with increases in psychiatric comorbidities warrants cautious assessment of the timeliness of medical GR and of other treatment needs that may be more urgent.”

Another study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry (AJP), suggests that “gender-affirming surgery” does not reduce the need for mental health services.

A Danish study similarly found that psychiatric conditions are higher among transgender individuals than non-transgender people.

The study noted that about 43% of transgender people had a psychiatric diagnosis, compared to 7% of non-transgender individuals.

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