Gender Questions

What does it mean to be a transgender person?

Transgender people have a gender identity that differs from the sex which they were assigned at birth and we currently estimate that they represent 0.5 – 1.0 % of the population, but when you consider the spectrum nature of gender identity, in reality the prevalence may be much higher.

Do transgender people get good healthcare?

Many studies and reviews have noted that transgender people meet a wide and varied range of barriers to accessing primary health care. Surveys have shown that many trans people avoid going back to their doctor due to past bad experiences, and many have shown that people have been actively denied the care that they are entitled to. Many people report having to teach their doctor, nurse or therapist about their own healthcare!

Who should look after transgender healthcare needs?

Current guidelines and protocols are being designed to specifically be implemented in every-day, evidence-based primary care, meaning that simple healthcare should be delivered by your own family doctor and GP practice.

Which guidelines does GenderGP follow?

We follow the guidelines of the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, Department of Family & Community Medicine University of California, San Francisco,2nd Edition – Published June 17, 2016 http://transhealth.ucsf.edu/pdf/Transgender-PGACG-6-17-16.pdf and these complement the existing World Professional Association for Transgender Health Standards of Care and the Endocrine Society Guidelines.

What gender-affirming interventions are defined as being medically necessary?

Many trans people adopt clothing, hair and make-up to suit their gender identity. Medical interventions include hormone manipulations to achieve desired body characteristics. Surgery can further align the body and mind. Facial hair removal and voice modifications are very important for some. Behavioural adaptations such as genital tucking or packing, or chest binding are also recognised.

Gender-affirming hormone therapy is the major medical intervention that transgender people seek, and this allows their body to develop the secondary sex characteristics that more align with their gender identity.

Should trans people have a mental health assessment?

Historically, patients had to undergo an assessment from a mental health professional in order to be referred for hormone therapies. However, many large volume and experienced providers of transgender care have for years used an ‘informed consent’ model of care.

What does informed consent mean?

Informed consent means that where a healthcare professional comfortable and experienced in the field of transgender health can have an open and honest discussion with a person about their identity; and where that person has the capacity to understand the risks, benefits, alternatives, unknowns, limitations, risks of no treatment – then gender-affirming hormone treatment can be started.

Who can prescribe hormones?

This is well within the scope of suitably competent and trained doctors and nurses – including GPs, sexual health doctors, gynaecologists, endocrinologists, advanced nurse practitioners and medical assistants.