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Testosterone Is Not "Medicine" When Used for Cosmetic Alterations

Part II in a series about Planned Parenthood’s informed consent model.

Planned Parenthood claims that testosterone is a medicine used for gender transition. But what exactly is medicine?

Medicine: “a compound or preparation used for the treatment or prevention of disease.” Therefore, medicine is, by definition, something that promotes health.

However, because no evidence exists to support the administration of testosterone as a treatment for gender dysphoria or dysmorphia, the FDA has not approved it for that purpose. When used to treat gender issues, testosterone is solely administered to induce cosmetic changes in women and girls.

Why should we care what the FDA says?

Because the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA): “is a federal agency of the Department of Health and Human Services [which] is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the control and supervision of [food and drug products].” In part, the FDA was established to prevent quacks from pushing ineffective and/or harmful drugs to take advantage of people.

So, is testosterone, when used to masculinize a female body, actually medicine?

No, it is not.

When administered in doses high enough to result in cosmetic changes, testosterone causes a healthy female body irreversible harms and has serious life-threatening side effects such as liver damage, kidney damage, stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, cancer, and atrophying of healthy organs.

Though testosterone is a medicine when used for proper, FDA-approved treatments, it is not a medicine when administered to masculinize a girl’s or woman’s body.

When used for cosmetic purposes, testosterone is actually the very opposite of medicine; it does not treat or prevent diseases, but rather causes them.

Erin Brewer, a partner with Partners for Ethical Care, is a former Planned Parenthood donor and volunteer. Contact Dr. Brewer via

See the 2019 list of Planned Parenthood Donor corporations here.

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