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:
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