Body dysphoria

Body dysphoria

Health and informationBody dysphoria is a psychological condition that makes a person feel his sexual sex is not in harmony with his gender identity. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), gender dysphoria is a condition that arises when a person experiences discomfort because he feels that the biological sex with his gender identity is inappropriate or incompatible.

To note, gender and gender identity are two things that are not the same. Gender refers to biological differences between men and women. Meanwhile, gender identity refers to the social and cultural role of women or men in society.

In the case of gender dysphoria, a person feels that the biological gender he carries from birth does not match his gender identity. Maybe this is the reason for people with gender dysphoria who want to undergo sex change surgery or what is called transgender.

It should be reminded that gender dysphoria is not a mental disorder, but a medical condition that has been recognized by the world of health through DSM-5.

In addition, it is important to know that not all transgenders feel gender dysphoria. Some of them may not feel burdened because they have a different gender than their biological sex.

There are several symptoms of gender dysphoria

The first symptoms of gender dysphoria can occur since the sufferer is still small, even at the age of 2-3 years. A small example, a person with gender dysphoria rejects toys that are usually preferred by their gender, and prefers toys that are generally preferred by the gender of their choice.

Listed below are the symptoms of gender dysphoria in children:

  • He firmly felt himself to be a woman, despite having a male gender or vice versa
  • Do not accept toys or clothes that are not in accordance with their gender identity
  • Refuse urination according to gender (for example, men with gender dysphoria, choose to urinate while squatting or sitting)
  • Always find out about the desire to undergo sex change surgery
  • Feel stressed with changes in his body when experiencing puberty

There are also symptoms of dysphoria for adolescents and adults, namely:

  • Feeling that his biological gender is incompatible with his gender identity.
  • Does not like genitals on him, so refuse to shower, change clothes, and have sex
  • Having a strong will to eliminate genitals and biological characteristics in him
  • A person can be diagnosed with gender dysphoria if some of the above symptoms are felt for 6 months or more.

According to the National Health Service there are several causes of gender dysphoria:

1.Congenital adrenal hyperplasia

This situation occurs when male hormone levels in the female fetus are too high. When born, the child may feel that he is a boy, and not a girl.


This situation occurs when the baby has a difference between the external genitalia and internal genitals (testes and ovaries). This situation is also known as hermaphrodite.

3.Androgen insensitivity syndrome

When this situation occurs, gender dysphoria has the potential to arise due to hormones that do not work well in the womb, when the baby is still in the mother’s womb.

4.Additional hormones

For additional hormones present in the mother’s system, due to taking certain drugs while pregnant, can also be one cause of gender dysphoria.

Management of gender dysphoria

If your child or one of your family experiences gender dysphoria, there will usually be treatment in the form of psychological assistance. Therefore, the handling of gender dysphoria intends to reduce or even eliminate the discomfort that arises due to the incompatibility between biological sex and their gender identity.

For example, letting a person with gender dysphoria wear clothes of the gender identity he chooses. They also have the potential to perform sex change operations when they are adults, if that is considered the best choice for him.

In addition, people with gender dysphoria who are afraid of changing their body shape at puberty usually take hormonal drugs (testosterone or estrogen) that can reduce physical changes due to puberty. Of course this is done by the will of the patient with a doctor’s supervision. Generally before doing this, people with gender dysphoria must consult with a doctor or psychologist.

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