West Australian researchers say giving trans or gender diverse kids hormone to suppress puberty can improve their mental health.

Researchers at the Telethon Kids Institute reviewed the peer-reviewed literature on the effects of puberty suppression on the mental and physical health of young people.

They found a link between puberty suppression in trans adolescents and psychological benefits and improved overall quality of life.

“Puberty suppression gives adolescents time to explore their gender, without the added stress of physically developing into a body that does not align with their gender identity,” supervising author Dr Ashleigh Lin said.

“Although it is reversible, meaning the child will go through a normal puberty of their sex assigned at birth if it is stopped, it is only given to trans young people after extensive psychological assessment from a team of experts.”

Dr Lin said more research is needed to determine whether puberty suppression is physically safe.

“Trans young people and their families go through a personal process of weighing up the information as it applies to them, discussing these options with their health care practitioners, and making individual decisions about gender affirming treatment,” Dr Lin said.

“There is still much we don’t know and more research is needed to understand the long-term effects of puberty suppression and how to best support trans young people during their development during adolescence.”