Adequate medical care is necessary for everyone. Regular doctor's appointments can help patients discover and treat health conditions that can have major impacts on their lives. In addition, some people need particular kinds of care tailored to their individual needs. Transgender people have many of the same healthcare needs as other patients, although they may need additional services as well.
These are four areas of healthcare that transgender people can take advantage of.
1. Health Screenings
Health screenings allow doctors to diagnose health conditions that require treatment and management, such as diabetes and cancer. Transgender patients who have already undergone medical transition and those who prefer not to both require sex-specific health screenings. For example, it's important that everyone with a cervix receives routine pap smears, and people with prostates should have them examined to rule out the possibility of prostate cancer.
2. Gender-Affirming Treatments
Transgender healthcare also includes gender-affirming treatments, which describe any treatment used to relieve gender dysphoria. Many transgender people choose to undergo hormone replacement therapy to cause the desired secondary sex characteristics to manifest in their bodies. Some transgender people also choose to undergo gender-affirming surgeries, such as breast reduction surgery or vaginoplasty surgery. Doctors can advise transgender patients as they go through this process to monitor their health and help them to select the treatments that are right for them.
3. Reproductive Care
Reproductive care is also part of transgender healthcare. Many transgender people wish to start families in the future. Unfortunately, many gender-affirming treatments can affect fertility. Reproductive care can help transgender people manage this risk by taking preemptive family planning steps. Transgender people may choose to freeze their sperm or eggs in order to have biological children in the future. Doctors can help their patients understand the benefits and drawbacks of these procedures so patients can fulfill their family planning goals.
4. Mental Healthcare
People who are transgender are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, possibly as a result of discrimination and a lack of acceptance. Transgender healthcare should include mental health services, such as psychotherapy and psychiatric services. Therapists can help transgender patients discuss the issues that affect them, including issues surrounding their gender identity. Therapy is a place where patients can feel safe expressing themselves, knowing they will be helped and not judged. Some patients seek therapists who specialize in LGBTQ clients because they feel more comfortable talking with them.
Reach out to a transgender healthcare clinic like CAN Community Health for more information.