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Gender-Affirming Care

Discovering gender identity is a natural part of the human experience, and we recognize that gender is not restricted to binary roles of male and female. At times, who we identify as may differ from the anatomy we were assigned at birth, leading to significant distress and health implications.

An endocrinologist can help assist in determing if hormone therapy is right for you, and what that entails. Rush Univeristy Medical Center is proud to have health care professionals from various specialites to assist in care that is right for you.

Areas of specialty include the following:

  • Behavioral health
  • Dermatology
  • Obstetrics/gynecology
  • Primary care
  • Social work
  • Surgery

Masculinizing hormone therapies

Testosterone is used to develop masculinizing features in alignment with the identified gender. If identified early, transgender youth can receive a hormone that suppresses puberty and start testosterone therapy when puberty is naturally expected. For adult patients who are transitioning after puberty, testosterone can be started immediately.

Testosterone preparations include the following:

● Transdermal (patches, gel)
● Intramuscular injection
● Subcutaneous injection

We will work with you to decide what method is best and preferred.

Some individuals may find testosterone therapy alone is enough to achieve the desired masculinizing characteristics, while others may feel surgery is necessary to transition. Both are entirely appropriate options. We will work with you to review surgical options and identify surgeons depending on services desired.

Feminizing hormone therapies

Estrogen and anti-androgen (anti-masculinizing) therapy is used to halt testosterone levels and develop feminizing characteristics. If identified early, transgender youth can receive a hormone that inhibits puberty and start estrogen therapy when puberty is naturally expected. For adult patients who are transitioning after puberty, estrogen and anti-androgen therapy can be started immediately.

Estrogen preparations include the following:

● Transdermal (patches)
● Oral (pills)
● Intramuscular injections

We will work with you to decide what method is most suitable.

Anti-androgen therapy uses the oral pill spironolactone or an injection of gonadotropin-releasing hormone to decrease testosterone levels.

Some individuals may find estrogen and anti-androgen therapy are enough to achieve the desired feminizing characteristics, while others may feel surgery is needed to transition. Both options are entirely appropriate. We will work with you to review surgical options and identify surgeons that best align with the services you desire.

Minimal or non-invasive options are additionally available for transgender women, including laser hair removal, filler injections and more. We will work with you to identify appropriate providers for the desired service.

Gender diverse hormone therapies

We recognize that gender is not restricted to the binary of male and female. Anyone whose gender identity does not align with the sex assigned at birth can experience significant distress. Gender diverse individuals may identify as any of the following:

● Gender nonconforming
● Genderqueer
● Nonbinary
● Gender fluid
● Two-spirit
● Other (not listed here)

We will work closely with you to identify goals of therapy and desired masculinizing or feminizing characteristics.

Commitment to your care

Rush is dedicated to equality and providing the best care for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals. We are recognized as a leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality by the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) – fewer than 500 hospitals in the country have achieved this status.

At the heart of providing quality care, Rush is dedicated to the education of future and current health providers in transgender and gender diverse medicine and is committed to LGBTQ healthcare. Rush provides patient and employee nondiscrimination policies that specifically include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Departments and programs that treat this condition