André Van Mol, MD is a board-certified family physician in private practice and the co-chair of the American College of Pediatrician’s Committee on Adolescent Sexuality. 

In this article for CMDA’s The Point, Dr. Van Mol reveals the flaws in regret studies and surveys, and includes other sources showing higher regret rates.

Regretting Transition for Gender Dysphoria

June 23, 2022

by André Van Mol, MD

Supporters of gender-affirming therapy (GAT)—transition affirmation—are doubling down on claims that regret and detransition are rare. From state-level bills in my home state of California to national policy initiatives from the federal administration, the assertion that transitioning for gender dysphoria is all but regret free is used as a promotional tool for the proposed mandating of GAT essentially on request. However, the sales pitch does not hold up to inspection.

Studies and surveys commonly cited to prove that regret after transition (GAT) for gender dysphoria is exceedingly rare remarkably often demonstrate the same fatal flaws:

  • Impressively high rates of loss to follow up, from over 20 percent to over 60 percent, which invalidate the findings.[1] Were those lost patients helped, hurt or even still alive?[2]
  • Exceedingly strict definitions for regret, e.g. requiring formal application to change their legal documents back to the original sex.[3]
  • Insufficient periods of follow up, usually only six months to two years post-transition, despite the existing evidence that post-surgical regret is known to manifest eight years or so post-transition.[4],[5]
  • Sampling usually taken from gender clinics, to which those with regret repeatedly report they do not return. Dr. Littman’s 2021 survey of 100 detransitioners found that only 24 percent had informed their clinician of their detransition, thus 76 percent did not.[6]
  • Data is gleaned from in-house satisfaction surveys lacking clear and uniform definitions, metrics and follow up. This low-quality data then gets pooled to create low quality, unreliable results.

See entire article at