How to Talk to your Care Provider about Gender-Affirming Care and Blood Clot Risk | Transgender Health and Blood Clots

Gender-affirming care is lifesaving for many transgender and gender-diverse people. If you’re on hormone therapy or having gender-affirming surgery, here are some ways to talk about the risk of blood clots with your healthcare team:

  • Ask questions, such as:
    • What is a blood clot?
    • Why are hormone therapy and surgery risk factors for blood clots?
    • What are my options for hormone therapy?
      • Are there medicines with a lower risk of blood clots? (Some estrogen hormones put on the skin have less risk than taking estrogen pills.)
    • What do I need to know about blood clot risk and my surgery?
      • Not all procedures have the same level of risk and you may not need to stop taking hormones for all procedures
    • Are there things I should do before or after surgery to prevent blood clots?
  • Make sure both you and your healthcare team understand that…
    • Gender-affirming care has known benefits.
    • The risk of a blood clot should not be a barrier to receiving care. 

To make the most of your healthcare visits in general, you can ACT:

Acknowledge concerns

Come prepared

Talk about it

  • Acknowledge your concerns 
    • You know your body better than anyone. If something feels off, commit to talking about it.
    • There are no dumb questions.
  • Come prepared
    • Make a list of any questions or concerns you have about your health and bring it with you to your appointment.
    • Appointments can sometimes be 10-20 minutes max, so bring up your concerns within the first few minutes of the visit.
  • Talk about it
    • Be open
    • Tell your doctor about your lifestyle…for example, what you eat, if you smoke or drink, and if you exercise. This information will help them provide the best care for you.
    • Don’t be afraid to speak up.

Helpful Tip: Bring page 6 of the toolkit with you to your appointment!

Helpful Links from NPR Life Kit

Related Articles