There are a lot of misconceptions regarding access to hormone replacement therapy. I’m here to help you navigate through this difficult process.
Should the information within this page be confusing, or if you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Jennifer, who can help guide you through this process.
Let’s start by going through some common ‘myths’ about access to HRT.
I have to see a Psychologist or a Psychiatrist for a year in order to access HRT.
This is incorrect. While the rules used to require some form of psychological treatment or expertise in order to obtain HRT, this is no longer the case
I have to have a diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria from a Psychologist before I can obtain HRT.
While a diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria must be made prior to obtaining HRT, this can be done by your primary care physician, and there is no requirement to seek out additional mental health treatment (unless you would like to).
These are the two most common misconceptions that people have regarding access to HRT. The reality is that your primary care physician, or family doctor, is capable of providing you with HRT.
Often, primary care physicians are reluctant to do so if they are unfamiliar with the process of obtaining HRT, or if they are unfamiliar with the different options. In this case, reaching out to a Psychotherapist, Social Worker, Counsellor, or Psychologist will not be beneficial, as none of these individuals are able to prescribe medication.
My advice would be to discuss this with your primary care physician, and work to educate them on the process so they may feel more comfortable. I have included a number of resources below for your convenience.
- Protocols for Hormone Therapy: This document is a comprehensive, easy to read guide for primary care physicians to provide their clients with HRT, provided by Rainbow Health Ontario. It outlines the requirements for HRT, provides a list of terminology, steps for assessment, and includes a guide to the different types of hormones and their effects. This document is great for your physicians as well as for yourself if you are unfamiliar with the process.
- Sherbourne Trans Care Guidelines: Sherbourne Health Centre provides trans individuals with HRT and integrative medical care as they move through their physical transition. They have created this comprehensive guide to trans care that outlines each potential stage of the process and provides individuals and practitioners with valuable information and tools.
- Effects of Feminizing Hormones: This is a list of the different types of feminizing hormones and their effects; what to expect and what not to expect. From Rainbow Health Ontario.
- Effects of Masculinizing Hormones: A list of what to expect and what not to expect when taking masculinizing hormones. From Rainbow Health Ontario.
- Families In Transition: A guide for families of trans individuals. This guide includes terminology and offers an alternative, unbiased view to help families better understand and support their trans family members.
- Trans Care for Youth: Sick Kids Hospital has a trans care clinic specifically for youth. A referral can be sent by your family doctor to begin the program.
You can find a full list of documents recommended by Rainbow Health Ontario for your primary care physician here.