Several GPs at Northside Clinic are experienced in prescribing and monitoring hormone therapy. We refer to clinical guidelines including the WPATH Standards of Care.
Northside Clinic GPs can prescribe hormones only after a mental health assessment has been completed by a Psychiatrist or Clinical Psychologist that specialises in Gender issues. Another option is to attend the Gender Dysphoria Clinic at Southern Health in Moorabin (a public service), or to see a private endocrinologist following a mental health review.
An advantage of seeing a General Practitioner for hormone therapy is that other health concerns can also be addressed. This includes general health check ups, management of chronic diseases, mental health support, immunisations, sexual health check ups, PAP tests etc.
The Northside Practice Nurses are available for further education regarding hormone therapy, including education sessions regarding self injecting technique for people taking testosterone.
The process for accessing hormone therapy at Northside Clinic is as follows:
The GP refers you for a mental health assessment. This is performed by a Psychiatrist or Clinical Psychologist specialising in Gender.
Usually you would expect to attend 4-6 sessions with a mental health professional prior to commencing hormone therapy.
Once the mental health assessment is complete the GP will organise a baseline check up and some blood tests. The check up involves taking a medical history, a family history, recording medications and past illnesses, and a brief clinical examination including blood pressure, height and weight. A genital examination is not required unless you have concerns about this area and request an examination.
The initial blood test is to check baseline hormone levels, and may include liver function, kidney function, diabetes screening (blood glucose) and cholesterol. For patients over 40 years of age a heart tracing (ECG) may be required.
In some cases sex chromosomes are checked (to screen for intersex conditions).
For more information on intersex conditions please see link
Your GP will talk to you in detail about hormone therapy, including a thorough discussion of expected changes and possible side effects of medications.
Finally a consent form must be signed prior to commencing hormone therapy. The consent form is a legal document stating that you accept any risks involved with taking Hormone therapy and understand potential irreversible side effects of hormone therapy, including in some cases potential loss of fertility.