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 University 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
- Primary care
- Social work
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
- Gender fluid
- 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.
On-demand modules for clinicians and clinical staff
Transgender and gender diverse (TGD) patients have unique health care needs as they experience significant health disparities compared to the general population. These needs and disparities may shift and expand in particular ways when intersecting with race, sexuality, age, and accessibility. These three comprehensive introductory courses address gender-affirming care strategies and treatment options. We also explore the established criteria used to diagnose gender dysphoria at varying ages in today’s health care system. The modules will help a range of clinicians and clinical staff treat TGD patients more equitably and effectively. Participants earn up to 1.5 CME/CNE/CE credits.
Available for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit, Continuing Nursing Education and Continuing Pharmacy Education, gender-affirming care modules include the following.
- Introduction to Trans-Affirming Care
- The Gender Dysphoria Diagnosis and Gender-Affirming Mental Health Care
- Gender-Affirming Care: Medical Management
Here’s what your colleagues had to say:
- “I strongly believe in the importance of this subject matter to improve my patient care.”
- "The program was great and answered so many questions that I had.”
- “The introduction course was very easy to understand and follow. The examples were relevant and provoked thought, empathy and pro-active action.”