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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


Puberty blockers are doctor-prescribed medications that block sex hormones that develop secondary sex characteristics such as breasts or body hair. Puberty resumes normally after stopping the medication.

Puberty blockers, according to Mayo Clinic, “don’t cause permanent physical changes. Instead, they pause puberty.”

Blockers allow trans children to avoid distress that can accompany development of physical characteristics at odds with their gender identity. Blockers also are prescribed to cisgender children to delay onset of early puberty.

On Oct. 27, 2023, Republican Wisconsin state Rep. Janel Brandtjen, who represents part of suburban Milwaukee, shared a tweet that claimed puberty blockers are not reversible.

The state Legislature in October approved a bill that would ban gender-affirming treatment, including puberty blockers, for minors.

Republican sponsors said they want to “protect children from being subjected to invasive and irreversible medical interventions.”

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has pledged a veto.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


Wisconsin Watch: Gender-affirming care in Wisconsin: What you need to know

Mayo Clinic: Puberty blockers for transgender and gender-diverse youth

Wisconsin State Legislature: 2023 Assembly Bill 465

Wisconsin State Legislature: Wisconsin Legislature: AB465: Text as Enrolled

WisPolitics: Sen. Streobel: Legislation to protect children from irreversible medical interventions passes senate

Wisconsin Watch: Wisconsin Senate passes gender-affirming care ban; Assembly OKs Brewers stadium deal

Cedars-Sinai: Puberty Blockers: What You Should Know

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Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for Milwaukee Magazine and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.