Gender-Affirming Medical Transition at the Mary Bridge Children’s Gender Health Clinic
Our gender-affirming medical treatment includes puberty blockers and hormone replacement therapy. We do not perform surgery at the Gender Health Clinic, but we can provide referrals to surgeons. We will also help you navigate other medical interventions that can help you feel affirmed in your identity.
Puberty blockers are meant to help place a pause on puberty to allow gender-diverse patients more time in exploring gender identity. There are several types of blockers, so our nurse can help your family navigate which option may be best for you based on your individual needs, insurance, and financial ability.
Testosterone is a cross-sex hormone taken by gender-diverse patients who want to masculinize their body. We will most likely prescribe subcutaneous injections, as injections are a common form of administration for this medication. There are other options for taking testosterone which may be considered if needed.
Estrogen is a cross-hormone taken by gender-diverse patients who want to feminize their body. We will most likely prescribe estrogen in a pill format, although there are other options for taking estrogen if needed.
There are many issues to consider for those starting HRT under the age of 18. We can help you navigate and understand these steps at any point during your time our clinic. There are some legal requirements prior to starting HRT under the age of 18.
- Permission from caregivers who have medical decision-making consent for treatment
- Completion of the Readiness Assessment/Evaluation by a mental health provider or by our psychiatric services. This assessment tool ensures that a young person is set up for success prior to starting HRT. The assessment includes reviewing the WPATH standards of care for medical necessary treatment, as well as reviewing social transition, support, compliance/adherence to treatment, mental health needs, and other related aspects of a patient’s life. We want to ensure that once you began HRT, your compliance and treatment success will continue for the remainder of your time in our clinic and into adulthood.
- Lab work to ensure no pre-existing medical conditions will prevent a patient from starting HRT
Rest assured, we are here to support your gender journey. We can assist you and your family in understanding the need for and how to obtain necessary documentation to help you start medical transition. The Gender Health Clinic not only follows the most up to date care standards from the Endocrinology Society and WPATH, but also ensures you are medically monitored and supported along the way.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and/or some gender affirming surgeries can make it difficult to get pregnant or make someone get pregnant. Before starting any gender affirming medical intervention, some people will take steps to make it more likely to have biological children in the future. This is known at fertility preservation.
Our Gender Health clinic nurse or social worker can talk with you further about this process, even if you are not sure right now.