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Guest andrea2012

What Happens on the NHS? (UK)

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Guest andrea2012

I just wondered for when I get everything sorted out, going as far as I can on my own first for the next 2-3 months, weight loss, teeth whitened, ear pierced, voice training, hair done, etc (kind of given up on my body before this in all honesty and put on weight due to depression) what happens when you first go to see your GP generally? Like, do they then refer you to some therapist/assessor, then put you on a basic treatment after x months?

I'm not after specific medication names or doses as I know thats against rules but if someone could possibly say if it's estrogen or the testosterone blockers (is that right?) so I'd have some idea of what will happen and what kind of changes they bring I'd appreciate it. I'm basically interested what happens over the first year or so from first going. :)

Second...erm I'm rather needle phobic, I'd overcome it for this of course! I'd do anything. Did wonder if they ever inject you though. I assume they take bloods at times to test things?

Also do they do the Electrolysis for facial/other body hair or am I going to have to pay for that?

Same with facial surgery like after, if I end up with like...I dunno a guys chin (random!) but a female face, do they cover the surgery to fix that or would I need to go private?

Thanks to anyone who replies in advance... :)

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Guest Amberley_Vail

As I understand it, in England you need to see your GP, who will refer you to a specialist clinic. Be prepared for a wait. I've just got onto a waiting list of 8 months.

I think you're doing the right thing in the meantime with regards to ear piercing and what pieces of feminisation you can do to get yourself started. I dont think theres a set time from initial consult to hormones, Its all down to the individual.

As for needle phobias, I think you can get E as a pill. Not sure about T blockers. Maybe someone else can weigh in on that?

Facial feminisation surgery is available on the NHS if needed but again I tihnk itll be a heck of a wait. Hair removal [laser / electrolysis] is something you need to do yourself. Try signing up to groupon. Sometimes you can get 2 sessions for one and similar.

Lucy x

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Guest andrea2012

Thank you very much! I'm trying to get all my information down before I go to the NHS...8 months...wow...

Thanks for the groupon advice though, that likely will double the speed up for me if I wait for those 2 for 1's to appear!

To be honest affording anything is quite tough lately since I ended up looking after my mother, just have to battle through! It's a funny thing to say though but I'm not just doing feminization, I got so depressed with my male body that I kind of just let it slide, now I know I will be much more female than before I feel absolutely motivated to get it right!

I don't mind the wait for the surgery at all if any is needed, it's more the wait for the initial hormones. I feel like enough time has passed. Bitterly regret not doing this as soon as I hit 16 but at the time had my long term partner who would never of forgiven me.

Would you suggest going to the doctor as soon as this month and continuing the physical change process while I wait or getting that all done with first? (I am slightly bothered if everything seems to start changing quickly for people and they catch on)

It may not be an avenue I consider but...they do implants as well or those are a private thing? Clueless. :)

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Guest Amberley_Vail

As far as I understand it, from talking to another trans woman on another forum, if you get approved, the NHS provides hormones, speech therapy, the re-assignment procedure and if necessary a breast augmentation and tracheal shave. I dont know one way or the other for facial feminisation surgery.

Id go to your doctor, or research Gender Identity Clinics in your area as soon as possible. You might be able to self refer, but either way its a long waiting list; I didnt even get a definite date. Just 'around 8 months. We'll be in touch in due course.' best to at least get your name down. You can decide wether or not you still want to continue with the parts of your transition you have control over or wait for your therapy.

Your doctor might be able to direct you to a non specialist in the meantime, so that you know what to expect from gender therapy or to help you if you're feeling stressed about the process. My doc was.... less than helpful but he's the exception to the rule.

And I hear ya on the 'regret-not-doing-it-sooner' front! >.< We'll get through it though.

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Guest andrea2012

Yeah, I have to admit there's more trepidation about the 'therapy' aspect than anything else. It feels like they view you as psychologically damaged or something.... We're just people born in the wrong gender, we're not mentally ill. It's not like we wake up one day and decide to switch sex out of the blue this is something thats been with us our entire lives, not a mental issue caused by some event or trauma. I'll have to get past my annoyance at that this week and then book in and go next. Thanks for the advice. I probably would of put it off a few months had you not written back. And we will get through it. :)

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Guest Sarahwr

Hi.

I am in the NHS system.

They have a "Care Pathway" leaflet a copy of which is worth getting hold of.

The NHS also publish several booklets and other publications on hormones, families etc which again are informative.

There are also other official organisations that can offer assiatance and advice and I have found have been very helpful.

The following has been my experience and may just stop you wasting time.

Firstly I approached my GP.

We briefly discussed how I felt and she then offers to find me a private counsellor. I agreed to the private counsellor because going NHS can be lenghty.

In addition she also wrote to the local NHS psychiatric department to arrange my assessment. This had nothing to do with gender but was to assess me as being compos mentis and aware of my facalties and of the implications of my decisions..

In the meantime the Psychiatric Department head wrote a letter to a GIC requesting an outpatient appointment.

This was not the correct way forwards. The GIC replied explaining that they require a referral letter and have to seek funding from my PCT before any appointment could be offered.

In the meantime I was having one to one counselling as well as group counselling sessions. My Counsellor specialises in Gender Dysphoria.

This counselling enabled me to explore myself and my feelings and the group sessions enabled me to meet other people and to interact with them.

After 8 or 10 sessions my Counsellor wrote a report with her findings to my GP. My GP then, writes a referral request letter and sends this request along with the report from the psychiatrc assessment, to the GIC making a referral..

Several weeks later I received a letter from the GIC confirming that funding my PCT had agreed to fund my treatment.

Then a couple of weeks after this I received a letter offering me an appointment at the GIC. The current waiting time at the GIC is about 6 mouths.

The total time from my approach to my GP to now is about 8 months and I have a further 3.1/2 months to my GIC appintment.

I did have to keep an eye on my progress because I lost some time when there was confusion between my GP and the Psychiatrist as to who was responsibible for writing the referral letter to the GIC.

I hope you find this brief description useful.

Best wishes and good luck,

SarahW

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Guest andrea2012

Thank you! I will try and get a hold of the care pathway leaflet and see if there are any others (good old google)

With the counselling I guess I will have to take what they give as far as private stuff goes, it's not a problem though as long as it's moving at all towards the end goal.

Adjusted expectations also that this is likely to be around a 12 month journey before anything with hormones gets moving, still it allows one to start transitioning in other ways (hair, etc).

Thank you for being so detailed.

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Guest Sarahwr

Hi.

Try seaching G.I.R.E.S and also go to www.thebeaumontsociety.org.uk

These are just 2 of a large number of organisations that can help.

Depending on your age www.mermaids.freeuk.com is for teenagers and youngsters.

Best wishes,

SarahW

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