At Centretown Community Health Centre, you have the right to:
- Respectful care.
- Privacy and confidentiality.
- Refuse to answer questions, and to know why those questions are being asked.
- Have a support person with you in all your appointments.
- Consent (or not) to learners being present during your appointments.
- Refuse treatments and services you do not want.
- Answers to your questions about your care.
I don’t have a primary care provider (family doctor or nurse practitioner), can I still be seen by the Trans Health Program?
Yes. You can be seen by the Trans Health Program even if you don’t have a primary care provider. We will work with you to find a doctor who can continue to prescribe hormones.
Do I have to tell my family doctor that I am transitioning?
Transition has an effect on your health needs, so it would be good for your family doctor to know. The Trans Health Program team can help you talk about your transition with your doctor and help them prepare for your follow up care. Keeping that in mind, you have a right to choose what information is shared.
How long will it take before I get hormones?
Wait times in our clinic vary. During your intake appointment, the Community Support Worker can give you an idea of how long the wait times are. At any point, you can also contact them to get an update.
What is informed consent?
In an informed consent model, you get to make decisions about your treatment. Your provider’s responsibility is to make sure you know what to expect from hormone therapy including physical and emotional changes, side effects and potential risks. The provider will guide you in this discussion by asking you about your health and transition goals and explaining any risks.
Will my answers to questions affect my access to hormones or surgeries?
There are no wrong answers! Our team will ask you a lot of questions. They need to get to know you in order to offer you the highest possible quality care and give you the information you need to make an informed choice. Your answers will not impact access to our services.
Will I be denied access to hormones if I have certain health conditions or mental health issues?
Your provider needs to know about any health conditions or mental health issues you face. This will help them put together the best possible care plan for you. Your health history may affect which medications will be used. It can also help identify risks associated with taking certain medications. In some cases, a provider might refer you to a specialist or ask for further tests in order to assess any potential risks. Only in very rare cases will a provider refuse to prescribe you hormones. For example, if you have a life-threatening allergy to a medication.
How much do hormones cost and are they covered by health insurance?
The cost of hormones depends on the specific medication being prescribed. The cost of feminizing hormones starts at approximately $40/month. The cost for masculinizing hormones starts at approximately $10-15/month. Many medications are covered by health insurance including Ontario Disability Benefits and OHIP+ (some may require a special form to be filled out). More information about cost can be found in the following document https://www.rainbowhealthontario.ca/TransHealthGuide/pdf/rho_transprimarycare_quickreferenceguide.pdf
Why Do They Ask About…?
|Gender Identity and expression|
Questions about how you identify and express your gender help us understand your transition goals. Your provider needs to know about your gender to provide appropriate care. Possible Questions: How would you describe your gender identity?How would you change your appearance if you could?
|Sexuality and reproductive health|
Hormones can have an effect on fertility. It is important for you to be aware of these effects. It is also important to know how to continue to practice safe sex as you move forward with your transition. Possible Questions: Is there a possibility that you could get, or any of your partners could get you, pregnant? If so, would you like to access birth control?Have you heard about hormone therapy’s effect on fertility?
|Expectations and transition goals|
In the informed consent process, the provider has a responsibility to inform you about reasonable expectations hormone therapy and surgeries will have on your body. Your transition goals will also help determine which medications and surgeries are most appropriate for you. Possible Questions: What changes are you most looking forward to? Are there any potential changes you are not sure about?Are there any potential side effects that you are concerned about?
Many individuals struggle with their mental health for a wide range of reasons. You do not need to have perfect mental health to access hormones and/or surgeries. Many of our clients benefit from some support during their transition. You can access counsellors at no cost at Centretown either through an appointment or during our walk-in hours. Possible question: How would you describe your mental health?Have you ever thought about seeking support for your mental well being?Have you had any suicide ideations recently or in the past?
If you smoke, drink, or use recreational drugs, your risks for adverse events on hormone therapy or for surgeries might be different. For example, smoking cigarettes may increase the risk of side effects from hormone therapy. For this reason, your provider is going to ask questions about your substance use and will give you all the information you need to make the right decisions for yourself. Possible questions: Do you smoke cigarettes?How many alcoholic drinks do you consume in an average week?
Transitioning can be hard on social relationships and it can be difficult for trans people themselves. These questions are asked to ensure that you have thought about the potential impacts and have a plan in place – and to let you know about some of the services and supports that are available to you! Potential questions: Are you connected to other trans people?Do the people in your life know you are trans? Are they supportive?
Some individuals have experienced the loss of housing during the process of transition. Your provider wants to make sure that you have a plan if you’re facing this risk. If you are accessing surgeries, it is important that you have a clean stable place to recover. The Community Support Worker may have suggestions to help you navigate resources. Possible question: Do you think that your medical transition will impact your housing?
The aim of these questions is to ensure that you have adequate supports in place. Providers and Community Support Workers can help develop strategies to deal with transitioning in school or the workplace. These questions can also start a conversation about the documents required for legal transition (i.e. changing your ID). Potential questions: Do you know how you are going to pay for hormones?How do you think your transition will impact your work/school?