10 Health Issues Transgender People Should Talk to Their Doctors About

The following ten health issues are identified by health care providers as the most common health concerns among the transgender community. While not all the listed issues apply to everyone, but it is highly recommend that transgender people are aware of such issues and to discuss them with their providers.

1. Access to Health Care

Many transgender people are hesitant to seek necessary medical care. Some fear of being rejected while others are actually turned away by their providers. Also, medical care related to transgender is normally not covered by insurance.

2. Health History

Many transgender people hide important medical history from their providers for fear of being denied care. It is extremely important to share with their doctors their medical history in order to obtain optimal care. Patients should see their providers as participants in their health care and not as obstacles.

3. Hormones

Cross-gender hormone therapy is often used to achieve desirable feminizing or masculinizing effects, but they are not without potential detrimental side effects. Estrogen can increase risk of blood clotting, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, and water retention. Testosterone can cause liver damage. Hormone therapy, therefore, should be closely monitored by professional health care provider.

4. Cardiovascular Health

Transgender people are at risk of heart attack or stroke from hormone therapy as well as from smoking, obesity, hypertension, and failure for proper health monitoring.

5. Cancer

Hormone related cancer is of a concern within the transgender population. Trans men should continue to monitor for breast, uterus, and ovarian cancer. Trans women should also monitor for prostate cancer.

6. STD and Safe Sex

Some transgender people are rejected by their family, forcing them to be homeless and having to work as sex workers. They are at great risk for STDs, including HIV. Others are experiencing unsafe and risky sex behavior when they begin to experience sexuality in their desired gender.

7. Alcohol and Tobacco

Alcohol abuse is a major concern in the transgender population due to overwhelming presence of family and social rejection. Alcohol combined with hormone therapy can lead to detrimental liver damage. Many trans people are smoking to achieve weight loss. Tobacco combined with hormone therapy increases the risk of stroke.

8. Depression/Anxiety

Many transgender people are rejected by their family and friends. Some face discrimination at work place. Therefore, suicide is a major risk. Proper management of depression and anxiety is vital within this population.

9. Injectable Silicone

Many transgender women inject silicone without proper medical supervision. Injected silicone can lead to disfigurement and even mortality.

10. Fitness (Diet and Exercise)

Many transgender people are non-active and are overweight, for exercise is not one of their high priorities. Exercise and proper diet are important in maintaining healthy life.