Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gender (and Body) Appropriate Medical Treatment

This is a topic that runs through my mind from time to to so I think I might mention it here. As trans men and women we strive to be accepted as who we are on the inside. I know for me it was a great feeling to get my drivers license changed. It was like finally! I have an F in sex!!! Many of us also attempt to live in some level of stealth, or at least divulge person information in a very strict as needed basis. I hope I can make a case here that there at least one venue where it may not be in your best interest to hide personal history.

Related: Transgender Patient Care

Despite having had surgery and jumping through the legal hoops and having been on hormones for years there is still one reality. I am an XY woman. My body has developed and gone through puberty as a male... My broad shoulders and male pattern baldness are a testament to that... But so are my larger heart and lungs, smaller kidneys, the fact that I have male sex organs (even a prostate post surgery) and more red blood cells. Many of these things place me square in the risk factor for male related disease and some protect me from disease that typically effect females. Also, as they point out in this article even effective medication dosages can vary between men and women, and for a number of reasons: size, chemical composition of blood, organ size... etc. So what this means is just because you transition and even have surgery you still need to not neglect the reality of your circumstances. I get a prostate exam when it is appropriate!

In addition to all of this men and women both have risk factors for certain condition that can be genetic. For instance, if you are a trans man and both your mother and sister have had breast cancer I don't think I need to tell you that you have a VERY high risk. Conversely, if you are a trans woman in the same situation (mom and sister with breast cancer) hormones may be a very dangerous path for you to take. The same things apply to any number of diseases. Women are typically at risk for auto immune disease, men are more at risk for some neurological diseases.

Does these risks tie into hormones or surgery? Maybe, maybe not. When you transition do you open yourself up to the health risks associated with the sex you are transitioning to? Maybe??? In the end only a doctor can answer your specific questions as to what your transition means for you and your over health. I for one am certainly not gonna risk my life over hiding a secrete that could potentially risk my life or put me at risk for unneeded medical care or even exclude me from very necessary screenings. I tell every doctor who examines me that I am a post op trans woman....

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