Healthcare requirements for people who are transgender

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Healthcare requirements for people who are transgender

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What kinds of health care and services do I need if I am transgender?

Transgender people have the same health care needs as cisgender people, such as basic physical exams, preventive care, and STD testing. But you may also have special health care concerns and needs. If you wish to transition medically by using hormones or having surgery, expert care is needed to avoid problems.

Accessing health care can be challenging for transgender people. Not all nurses and doctors are sensitive to trans issues or informed about the health care needs of transgender people. You may worry about revealing your gender identity regardless of whether you wish to transition medically. You might not feel comfortable with your body or feel comfortable having a nurse or doctor examine you.

Transgender people who want to transition medically should look for qualified nurses and doctors who can provide the best treatments and care. Unfortunately, these treatments are not easy to access for many people who want them — they can be expensive and are often not covered by insurance. You may need a parent or legal guardian’s permission if you’re under 18. Sometimes finding a provider who offers these treatments can be difficult depending on where you live.

Because finding doctors who will help you safely through medical transition can be difficult, some people use hormones that they obtain from other sources. Using hormones without medical guidance is dangerous — it can increase your risk for blood clots, high blood pressure, liver disease, and other serious complications. If you use needles to give yourself injections without learning how to do it safely from a nurse or doctor, you could increase your risk for HIV, hepatitis, and other infections.

Transgender people who want to feminize their bodies and can’t access surgeries may get people who aren’t nurses or doctors to inject “street” silicone into their bodies. Street silicone might give your body feminine curves, but it’s extremely dangerous and can lead to infections or even death. Some people who use street silicone eventually need to have it removed from their bodies by a doctor.

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