Some trans* people decide to take hormones as part of their transition. It’s very important that you get your hormones from a health professional and that you are being monitored to make sure that the hormones are safe for you. Your health professional and therapist can talk with you about the risks associated with hormones, what changes to expect, and provide emotional support. Most therapists use the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards.
The new standards require that a health professional conduct a psychosocial assessment and get the informed consent of the individual before making a referral to an endocrinologist or other hormone provider, who will actually prescribe the hormones. The criteria for hormone therapy are:
- Persistent, well-documented gender dysphoria
- Capacity to make a fully informed decision and to consent for treatment
- Age of majority in a given country
- If significant medical or mental health concerns are present, they must be reasonably well-controlled
Other therapists operate under an informed consent model, in which they will see you for one visit and carefully go over the risks and effects of hormones. The first step in obtaining hormones is to visit a therapist or counselor. They will help you in figuring out which path to hormones will be the healthiest for you.
The Gender and Sexuality Resource Center keeps a list of doctors who provide initial hormone therapy services in the area, please check out that list here (Hormone Therapy in the Berkshires). This list is not an endorsement of quality of care or services, it is a meant as an information resource only.