In The Gender Clinic
When you are first seen at the Gender Identity Clinic your clinician will ask you have a blood test taken. This test will look for the hormone problems that are sometimes seen in people with gender dysphoria.
It’s important that we perform this blood test when you have not been taking hormones otherwise we won’t be able to detect if there is any problem with your hormones or not. If you have been taking hormones before coming to the clinic it is important to be honest with your doctor because they will affect your blood test results and could lead us to conclude that you have a hormone problem when you do not.
The effects of any hormones that you have taken, even if they are health food supplements, will be in your body for at least three months after you have stopped taking them and sometimes these effects can last longer than that.
The blood tests will also check your general health looking at things like your liver function, kidney function and your cholesterol levels.
These blood tests are all reviewed by the clinic endocrinologist Dr Seal. If there are any problems with these screening blood tests you may need to attend the endocrinology clinic so we can look at your case in more detail. In any case your GP will be advised of any problems. If the blood tests are normal then your hormone treatment will be managed by the gender specialist that you are seeing.
At the Endocrinology Clinic
The endocrinology clinic is held in the GIC on Monday and Thursday afternoons. The endocrine team consists of a consultant endocrinologist, a specialist registrar and a clinical nurse specialist.
The first time you come to clinic the clinician will take you history and will usually want to examine you physically as well. You will have your height weight and blood pressure checked.
The physical examination may involve the examination of your breast and genitalia. This is necessary to decide if you have any physical problems that could be affecting the hormone levels in your body it, however it’s extremely unusual for an internal examination to be required.
If you would like a female chaperone to be present during your examination then let the doctor know and he will arrange this for you.
You will be treated with respect and sensitivity at your appointment and it is of course your right to refuse examination. Bear in mind that the doctor seeing you may then not be able to give a full opinion on your case.
Other people may be seen at the endocrinology clinic this would include people with other medical problems that can affect their hormone treatment such as diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney problems or liver problems.
People with significant weight problems which prevent their progress through gender transition are also seen so we can investigate if there is a hormonal cause for the problem, as well as to help with weight reduction.
People that are transferred from the child and adolescent clinic at UCH will routinely be seen in the endocrinology clinic. This is to help ensure a smooth change from the treatments used in the child and adolescent clinic to those recommended in the adult clinic.
Your GP will also be supported by the endocrine clinic when you’re receiving hormones and can contact the gender clinic for advice if needed. This advice may be given by your regular gender specialist or by Dr Seal. It is best to raise any concerns you have regarding your hormone treatment with your GP first who can then get advice from the gender clinic.