Rush offers a number of nonsurgical treatments to support your gender transition, including hormone therapy, voice therapy and gender-affirming primary care.
Nonsurgical gender-affirmation treatments can help people achieve more masculine or feminine characteristics to align with their gender identity.
Rush offers a wide range of nonsurgical gender-affirmation treatments. Exploring these treatments is often one of the first steps transgender, non-binary and genderqueer people take in their gender transition.
We offer a welcoming, inclusive environment with experienced providers.
When it comes to gender-affirming care, we know that one size does not fit all. Our team will meet you wherever you are in your gender identity journey.
Our patient navigators will be your first point of contact at Rush. They will discuss your needs, goals and expectations, focusing on your overall health and well-being.
They will connect you with the appropriate providers, who will then discuss your treatment options with you.
Hormone therapy can be an important part of gender transitioning. These therapies cause physical changes in your body in line with your gender identity.
Hormone therapy has been found to improve mental health, confidence and overall well-being in people who are going through gender transition.
Is gender-affirming hormone therapy right for you?
Your providers will assess the following:
- Your health and gender history
- Lab tests measuring blood count, blood sugar, cholesterol and hormone levels
- Your fertility concerns
- Your sexual health concerns
- Your emotional and behavioral health
If hormones are right for you, your provider will help you understand what to expect. They’ll also discuss the benefits and risks of treatment.
Once you start your gender-affirming hormone therapy, it will take time before you notice changes. You’ll likely start noticing the effects and changes within the first year.
However, hormone therapy will lead to gradual change that can take years. Many people continue lifelong hormone therapy to maintain the effects.
Feminizing hormone therapy
Feminizing hormones help you take on more female characteristics. Feminizing hormones can include the following:
- Estrogen to help induce more feminine characteristics and decrease testosterone production.
- Androgen blockers to decrease or block your body’s production of testosterone and other male hormones.
These are some of the changes that you can expect:
- Breast growth
- Softer skin
- Decreased muscle mass
- Fewer erections
- Slower growth of body and facial hair
Masculinizing hormone therapy
Masculinizing hormones, specifically testosterone, cause you to take on more masculine traits and block your body’s production of estrogen.
These are some of the changes you can expect:
- Voice deepening
- Facial and body hair growth
- Halted menstrual cycle
- Clitoral enlargement
Gender-Affirming Voice and Speech Therapy
Voice and speech therapy can also be part of your gender transition.
Rush offers comprehensive voice and speech therapy to help you change your speech patterns to align with your gender identity.
Our experienced team offers professional voice assessments and personalized treatment plans to address the following:
- Speech patterns
- Volume and intensity
Gender-Affirming Primary Care
At Rush, we incorporate gender-affirming care into all aspects of your overall health care. Our gender-affirming primary care providers are dedicated to:
- Providing gender-affirming, age-related health screenings
- Advising patients on fertility concerns and referring them to specialists in OB-GYN and urology
- Addressing the distinct social and emotional needs of transgender patients, and referring patients to behavioral health specialists when needed
- Offering guidance and treatment for sexually transmitted infections
- Providing PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) therapy for HIV prevention
- Addressing patients by their pronouns and names
Rush Excellence in Gender Affirmation Surgery
- A leader in gender-inclusive care: Rush is a safe and welcoming space for all LGBTQ patients. We recognize that many transgender patients have had negative experiences within the U.S. health care system in the past. We are committed to providing a supportive and respectful environment where you can be your authentic self. These efforts have been recognized by the Healthcare Equality Index, with all three Rush hospitals earning the Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality designation.
- Expertise from providers who specialize in transgender health care: You will work with providers at Rush who have expertise in gender-affirming care. Our team personalizes your care — from hormone therapy to surgery — through every step of your gender identity journey.
- Comprehensive gender-affirming surgery care: Our highly experienced gender-affirming surgery team offers the full range of gender confirmation surgeries. This includes facial reconstruction, top surgery, bottom surgery and cosmetic procedures.
- Comprehensive care in a welcoming environment: Through Affirm: The Rush Center for Gender, Sexuality & Reproductive Health, we provide comprehensive care for all your health care needs. Our team includes providers in endocrinology, urology, physical therapy, behavioral health and other specialties.