treatment for adults
Adults with gender dysphoria should be referred to a specialist adult GIC. As with specialist children and young people GICs, these clinics can offer ongoing assessments, treatments, support and advice, including:
- mental health support, such as counselling
- cross-sex hormone treatment (see below)
- speech and language therapy - to help alter your voice, to sound more typical of your gender identity
- hair removal treatments, particularly facial hair
- peer support groups, to meet other people with gender dysphoria
- relatives' support groups, for your family
For some people, support and advice from a clinic are all they need to feel comfortable in their gender identity. Others will need more extensive treatment, such as a full transition to the opposite sex. The amount of treatment you have is completely up to you.
Hormone therapy for adults means taking the hormones of your preferred gender:
- a trans man (female to male) will take testosterone (masculinising hormones)
- a trans woman (male to female) will take oestrogen (feminising hormones)
The aim of hormone therapy is to make you more comfortable with yourself, both in terms of physical appearance and how you feel. These hormones start the process of changing your body into one that is more female or more male, depending on your gender identity. They usually need to be taken indefinitely, even if you have genital reconstructive surgery.
Hormone therapy may be all the treatment you need to enable you to live with your gender dysphoria. The hormones may improve how you feel and mean that you don't need to start living in your preferred gender or have surgery.
changes in trans women
If you're a trans woman, changes that you may notice from hormone therapy include:
- your penis and testicles getting smaller
- less muscle
- more fat on your hips
- your breasts becoming lumpy and increasing in size slightly
- less facial and body hair
Hormone therapy won't affect the voice of a trans woman. To make the voice higher, trans women will need voice therapy and, rarely, voice modifying surgery.
changes in trans men
If you're a trans man, changes you may notice from hormone therapy include:
- more body and facial hair
- more muscle
- your clitoris (a small, sensitive part of the female genitals) getting bigger
- your periods stopping
- an increased sex drive (libido)
Your voice may also get slightly deeper, but it may not be as deep as other men's voices.