Archive for 2012

Transgender Teens, Part 8: FTM Hormone Therapy

“I stared far back into my past and remembered the child who couldn’t be catalogued by Sears.  I saw her standing in front of her own mirror, in her father’s suit, asking me if I was the person she would grow up and become.  Yes, I answered her. And I thought how brave she was to have begun this journey, to have withstood the towering judgements” –Leslie Feinberg 

In our last post we discussed MTF transgender people, people born male who feel and desire to appear female, and hormone treatment they can receive as teenagers that moves them closer to this goal. This post discusses FTM transgender people, and the hormone treatment available to them.

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Teens and Dangerous Games – Rope Swings

We had a recent post on teens and dangerous games where we highlighted a game called ghost train. The purpose of the post was to emphasize how teens will forever invent new ways to push limits and often act impulsively. That post inspired one of our readers to have her son share his story about the dangers of rope swings. Elliot is a 16 year old who was trying to impress friends one day by swinging on a rope swing attached to a tree. The consequences were very unexpected: he had a long hospital stay and rehabilitation. Elliot graciously shared his personal story with teenology101.

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Transgender Teens, Part 7: MTF Hormone Therapy

This morning I was walking across a hospital lobby when I saw a lovely young woman walk through the doors. She was quite tall, fashionably dressed, with platinum blond hair. I wish I was that tall and/ or blond, I thought, and went on my way. I was two feet away from her before I realized with a start that this was one of our transgender patients. I hadn’t seen her for a few months, and in that interval she had started hormone treatment. She looked confident, cheerful, and beautiful.

Biological males who are transgender can physically transition to being young women and not only find significant improvement in their mental health, but also a new pleasure in being in their own skin. Society tends to think of a MTF transgender person as looking like “a man in a dress”- which is a fine option for MTFs who wish to appear that way. But MTF people who want to “pass”, or appear fully female to an outside observer, may have that option as well.

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The Importance of Physical Activity in Teens

During the warmer months teens often take advantage of great weather to get outside and be active. Dr. Monique Burton, a Sports Medicine specialist, has helped to provided us with tips for why physical activity is important in teens. We know it’s important for health and for maintaining a normal body weight, but physical activity can have other benefits as well. Check out the video for more information!

Transgender Teens, Part 6: Preparing for Major Changes

If you have a transgender teen, they may desire to shape their physical body to reflect their inner gender more closely. It’s important to remember that not all FTM transgenders desire to look “exactly like a man”, or vice versa. There are different hormonal and surgical options for people who want to alter their physical appearance in terms of gender, some of which are available to minors and some of which are not. If your teen is interested in exploring them, it’s vital that you find an experienced provider who works with transgender youth. While any provider should be open and accepting of transgender patients, not all providers are experienced with their specific medical and psychological needs.

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How to keep your teen busy this summer

There’s a saying in the Pacific Northwest that summer doesn’t start until July 5th. This summer of 2012 is living up to that saying in Seattle. The weather is forecast to finally hit above 80 degrees. Now teens have been out of school a couple of weeks, so while the weather is just getting warm enough for summer fun, teens may already be going a little stir crazy if they haven’t made plans to occupy their time this summer. Read full post »

Teen Swimming Myths and Facts for 4th of July

A recent article reported that drowning was the number one cause of death for males ages 5-14 in the US. Now that the weather is warmer and we’re spending more time outdoors, we wanted to re-address the myths about teens swimming. The tragic death of a Bonney Lake teen last week at Lake Tapps also shows the importance of making sure our teens know about swimming safety and drowning prevention. So this 4th of July weekend, not only do we need to remember to be safe around fireworks, don’t forget about the importance of water safety! Read full post »

Teen Pregnancy

In the US, teen pregnancy rates have gone down over the past 2 years, however they still remain very high. In fact, we have one of the highest teen pregnancy rates of any developed nation! Over 1000 teens give birth in the US each day, that’s 400,000 new teen moms each year. For teens, a natural part of growing up is developing their first romantic relationships. While many teens wait to have their first sexual encounter, nearly half (47%) of all high school students have had sex according to the Center for Disease Control. Read full post »

Importance of helmets for teens

Helmets should be worn whenever a teen is participating in something that slides or rolls. Biking, skiing, skateboarding, and snowboarding are a few examples of activities where a teen is traveling fast enough that a fall could lead to a serious head injury. Unfortunately only 25% of teens wear helmets, though thousands end up in emergency rooms each year with a head injury that could have been prevented by using a helmet. We asked our colleague Dr. Cora Breuner to provide insight on why helmets are so important for teens and we’re shown how to properly fit a bike helmet.

Here is a link to a flyer that shows how to easily make sure your teen’s bike helmet fits correctly!

Teen Gambling: fun or risky?

In the US, we recently had a huge multimillion dollar jackpot lottery. The large sum of money was covered by all the major news stations and people flocked to super markets to buy their lucky numbers. Though this jackpot is not typical, we do have many more opportunities for gambling with the explosion of the internet and cell phone apps than in the past. As adults, we may not see a risk in spending a dollar for the opportunity to win millions (even if that opportunity is miniscule). For teens, virtual games may be fun and harmless. Playing for points instead of money does not seem like a problem and spending a dollar on a lotto ticket isn’t bad for us, but could it be? Read full post »