transhealth

Trans* is an umbrella term we use for a wide range of gender identities and experiences.
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This can include but is not limited to:
- people whose gender identity is different from sex assigned at birth
- people who do not identify with either male or female traditional gender roles
- people who identify with both female and male gender
- non-binary people
- gender non-conforming people
- genderqueer people

Over the last few years SHS has been working to be a more trans* inclusive office. Some of our efforts include hiring staff with trans* care experience, training our staff in basic trans* competency and sending some of our current providers to the Trans* Health Conference at the Mazzoni Center. We are committed to being a gender-affirming office, but we realize that our efforts are a work in progress. We would love to hear any feedback you may have! Please send your questions, comments and suggestions to Erika Gross at egross@upenn.edu!

The following providers have either experience treating trans* clients or have attended trans* specific health training at the Mazzoni Center: Dr. David Malebranche, MD, MPH, Dr. Amanda Swain, MD, Dr. Leslie Thompson, MD, and Julia Mills, CRNP. When making a trans* health appointment, please ask the receptionist for one of these providers.

Trans* care at SHS includes:

  • primary medical care
  • gender-affirming hormone therapy
  • comprehensive gynecological and sexual health care 
  • referrals for surgeons, endocrinologists and other specialists
  • referrals for other trans* competent providers in the Philadelphia area

Frequently Asked Questions:
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How may hormones affect my body?
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What should I expect at my first visit if I'm interested in hormone therapy?

  • At SHS, we utilize the informed consent model of care for hormone therapy. (This means you work with your provider to make an informed decision about your health.)
  • Be prepared for your appointment to last at least 30-45 minutes.
  • Your provider will inquire about past medical and surgical history and your current medications and allergies.
  • Your provider will ask about your gender experience and goals of transition, if any.
  • Your provider will order some baseline laboratory tests and if you're comfortable with it, perform a basic physical exam. (This will not include a genital exam.)
  • If you're interested in gender-affirming hormone therapy, the provider will go over your options with you. The provider will review the reversible and permanent effects of the medicines you may be prescribed, possible side-effects and how medical transition may affect your body.
  • You will be given plenty of time and many opportunities to ask questions about your medical transition.
  • You will be given a copy of the informed consent form to take home and review.
  • You will be given trans* health guide for the Philadelphia area, including resources both on and off campus. 

What should I expect during follow-up appointments?

  • Your provider will see you for a follow-up appointment when your laboratory results come back. (Anywhere between a couple of days and a week.)
  • During this appointment, the provider will go over the results with you. You will review the informed consent for gender-affirming hormone therapy again and will be asked to sign it.
  • Your provider will then prescribe your hormones. 
  • If you require injections, the provider or a nurse will teach you a safe injection technique. Click the links below for more information!
    Intramuscular Technique
    Subcutaneous Technique
  • You will continue to see your provider for follow-up visits after one month, three months, six months, and then every six - twelve months or as frequently as necessary.
  • At all of these appointments, your provider will continue to promote health and wellness. (This is something we do for all of our patients.) You will be counseled on healthy diet and exercise habits, appropriate immunizations, STI & HIV testing and pregnancy prevention. (if applicable)
  • Your provider may schedule another visit to discuss any health issues reviewed during your initial appointment. 

FAQs about SHS insurance coverage of sex-reassignment surgeryVist now!
Interested in a comprehensive list of Philadelphia trans* resources?  Visit now!