The evidence-based treatment for gender dysphoria is a combination of medical and mental health interventions. The specific treatments that are recommended will vary depending on the individual’s needs and preferences.
- Hormone therapy: Hormone therapy can help to align a person’s physical characteristics with their gender identity. For transgender women, hormone therapy may include taking estrogen and progesterone. For transgender men, hormone therapy may include taking testosterone.
- Surgery: Surgery can be used to further align a person’s physical characteristics with their gender identity. For transgender women, surgery may include breast augmentation, facial feminization surgery, and vaginoplasty. For transgender men, surgery may include top surgery (chest masculinization) and phalloplasty.
Mental health interventions
- Counseling: Counseling can help people with gender dysphoria to explore their gender identity, develop coping mechanisms, and deal with the social and emotional challenges of being transgender.
- Support groups: Support groups can provide a safe space for people with gender dysphoria to connect with others who share their experiences.
- Legal name and gender marker change: Changing one’s legal name and gender marker can help to affirm one’s gender identity and make it easier to live as their authentic self.
- Social transition: Social transition involves changing one’s pronouns, name, and appearance to match one’s gender identity.
It is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for gender dysphoria. The best approach will vary depending on the individual’s needs and preferences. If you are experiencing gender dysphoria, it is important to talk to a healthcare provider or mental health professional to discuss your options.
Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:
- The Trevor Project: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/
- Gender Spectrum: https://www.genderspectrum.org/
- World Professional Association for Transgender Health: https://www.wpath.org/
The primary evidence-based treatment for gender dysphoria is known as gender-affirming therapy, which involves a combination of social, medical, and psychological interventions. It is important to note that treatment approaches may vary depending on an individual’s specific needs, preferences, and medical considerations. Here are some commonly used evidence-based treatments for gender dysphoria:
- Psychotherapy: Mental health professionals, such as psychologists or therapists with expertise in gender identity issues, can provide individual or group therapy. The goal of psychotherapy is to explore feelings, alleviate distress, provide support, and assist individuals in navigating the challenges associated with gender dysphoria.
- Social transition: Social transition involves changing one’s gender presentation, name, and pronouns to align with their gender identity. This can include coming out to family, friends, and colleagues, changing legal documents, and integrating into appropriate social groups. Social transition allows individuals to live in a manner consistent with their gender identity, which has been found to reduce distress and improve well-being.
- Hormone therapy: Hormone therapy, also known as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), is a medical intervention that involves the use of hormones to induce physical changes in line with an individual’s affirmed gender. For transgender women (assigned male at birth), this typically involves the use of estrogen and anti-androgens, while transgender men (assigned female at birth) often use testosterone. Hormone therapy can result in various physical changes, such as breast development, voice deepening, or facial hair growth, depending on the desired gender.
- Surgery: For some individuals, gender-affirming surgeries, also known as sex reassignment surgeries or gender confirmation surgeries, may be an option. These surgical procedures alter an individual’s physical characteristics to align with their gender identity. Common procedures include chest/breast augmentation or reduction, genital reconstruction (vaginoplasty, phalloplasty, metoidioplasty), and facial feminization or masculinization surgeries. The decision to pursue surgery is typically made after careful evaluation and consultation with medical professionals experienced in transgender healthcare.