Sunday, January 31, 2016

Planned Parenthood Bridges Gap in Access to Hormone Therapy

Slate (Jan. 29, 2016): Planned Parenthood is Helping Transgender Patients Access Hormone Therapy, by Vanessa Vitiello Urquhart: 

For transgender Americans, finding safe, affordable, and nonjudgmental medical treatment can be a struggle. Hormone therapy, which typically consists of testosterone (for patients seeking to become more masculine) or estrogen plus androgen blockers (for patients seeking a feminizing effect), is among the most commonly used treatments in medical transition. Across much of the country, it can be difficult to find doctors who are willing to prescribe the drugs required for hormone replacement therapy, and medical practitioners who choose not to prescribe hormones to these patients may be ignorant or insensitive to patients who come in to request them.

Planned Parenthood has taken this issue on, currently offering hormone therapy to transgender patients in 26 locations across the country and working to increase that number. 

While all the other local clinics require a letter from the patient’s therapist before they will prescribe HRT, Planned Parenthood operates on an informed consent basis. This means that all patients whose bloodwork indicates they are good candidates for the treatment will be prescribed testosterone or estrogen and androgen blockers, so long as they understand the likely effects and accept the possible side effects that go along with it, after those side effects have been explained to them. This distinction can be crucial to poorer patients, who may struggle to afford the months of therapy that can be required before a letter is forthcoming.


Check out Planned Parenthood's website for further resources.

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