What to Expect Before Starting HRT for Planned Parenthood (2023)

If you're wondering what Planned Parenthood is, Planned Parenthood is a global clinic focused on sexuality education, reproductive health, and providing quality, affordable health care to people. Planned Parenthood believes that LGBTQ people (especially transgender people) deserve the same health care as cisgender people. So whether you want a basic medical checkup or want to talk to someone about gender identity, Planned Parenthood is a safe place for both of you.

First steps What is HRT?

Hormone replacement therapy or commonly known as HRT is one of the transition options (Ftm or Mtf). There are other ways that people transition naturally or with other forms of hormone treatments, but I transitioned through single subcutaneous injections of testosterone. In other words, it is the layer of tissue just below the skin.

Family Planning Election

What to Expect Before Starting HRT for Planned Parenthood (1)

All are welcome here.

Dra. julie edwards

People may choose Planned Parenthood for a variety of reasons. The main reason why he wanted to come here was your acceptance. Knowing that I could walk in and say I was there to start HRT without explaining "why" or "how long" and "oh I can see the note from your therapist" was such a relief. Unlike a doctor's visit, Planned Parenthood doesn't ask many questions about the legality of HRT. I also chose Planned Parenthood because my insurance didn't cover it. This is very common (I've heard) from other people who want to make the switch, but Planned Parenthood offers affordable ways to start HRT. Another reason some people choose Planned Parenthood is because they don't have insurance, so Planned Parenthood is a great resource for people who can't afford a PCP (GP). Therefore, I choose Planned Parenthood as my only "stop" to start "T".

My experience

What to Expect Before Starting HRT for Planned Parenthood (2)

I went in alone, not sure what the procedure would be like, but I felt the cold, thick air penetrate my skin as I looked around at a very dark decor, no piped music, and two administrative assistants standing about their lives talking. I nervously interrupted to give my name and appointment time, and was quickly given a "new patient" clipboard to fill out. I filled it out, returned it, and sat patiently. A short time later I heard "Ian". I got up and ran to the door. As I followed the assistant back into the room, I realized that it wasn't a doctor's office. I was starting to wonder if this was the right way to go, but maybe I was just nervous. I sat in a chair with the assistant facing me, laptop open, notebook open and to the side, and heard nothing but crickets.

One of the first questions he asked me was if Ian was my preferred name and I happily said yes. Some simple questions were asked about my age, weight, etc., and then came the longer questions. For those of you who know, and for those of you who don't, I have been in a relationship with depression and anxiety from time to time. As a result, issues related to depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses often make my palms sweaty, my eyes wonder, and my throat close up as if I'm choking on air. The only question I clearly remember was, "Do you have a strong support system?" Lying through my teeth, I said "yes" and all the other questions felt like a lie too because I couldn't stop my mind from wandering to the lie I was telling him. Because here is the truth. I'm alone in Planned Parenthood with no support because firstly my family doesn't know I'm transitioning, two I haven't told but maybe one person about my appointment and third I had no one around (in terms of distance). could accompany me on the most stressful day of my life. So how can I say my support system is strong when I'm literally alone on a date being injected with a needle full of testosterone because to others I'm "they" but to me... well, I'm an individual. queer transgender nonbinary and no one knows what I do to feel free? Excuse my dishonesty, but I lied to get what I wanted, and that was testosterone.

So I continued answering questions until I was asked to go to a separate room with another person whose name I didn't catch while they took my urine sample, pricked my finger, and touched my limbs. Awkward is an understatement as I didn't know all of this was required to start HRT. Then they returned me to the first assistant, where she opened a notebook with information about HRT. He handed me a copy of Effects of Hormone Therapy and How to Inject SubQ and began reading. He must have felt my mouth open as my facial expressions said everything my mind didn't. To me, I felt like she didn't know much about HRT or how it worked because she was reading sentence by sentence in her notebook. Where was the eye contact? Where was the doctor-patient information discourse? Why do I know more about HRT than you? All these questions started clouding my mind and I began to wonder if this was the right way to start HRT. I felt insecure and felt insecure as if I didn't know about my own HRT related research. But I kept listening to it until it was time for the demo.

He took out that fake skin along with a needle and the testosterone. She said it was easy and in a minute she showed you how to give it a go. Now it was my turn, and she was clearly capable of doing what I'd seen, so I thought I'd go to another room to take my first shot. I thought wrong. I was referred to another room with my prescribing doctor who asked if I had any questions. At that moment, my mind was blank from everything that had happened on that visit. What was a 30 minute date felt like a day and my mind was a blank. I explained that I had no questions, got a ticket and left. It is not a true live recording. Unlike other people I had seen, here I only had a piece of paper with my written recipe. So I was out of a shot until I went to the drug store to get my first round of testosterone to try it myself at home.

An advice

Go to Planned Parenthood with someone who cares. Don't Do It Alone Come into Planned Parenthood with a list of questions so you don't fear take over and forget about it. Go to Planned Parenthood after months of thinking about it like I did, but go when you're sure. Going to Planned Parenthood with knowledge of HRT because the package I received didn't tell me anything. But above all, trust your gut. Although I began to have doubts, I went ahead with the appointment and gave myself my first injection the day I got home. Today I have just over 4 months of T. Thank you Planned Parenthood

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and reflects the creator's thoughts and opinions only.


What tests should be done before starting HRT? ›

You can usually begin HRT as soon as you start experiencing menopausal symptoms and will not usually need to have any tests first. However, a blood test to measure your hormone levels may be carried out if you're aged 40 to 45.

What happens at your first HRT appointment? ›

Your provider will get to know you and your parent(s) or guardian(s). You will review the hormone therapy process and do Q&A with your provider. You will discuss the impact of hormone therapy on fertility, get blood tests (if time permits), review consent forms, and gather your medical history.

How do I prepare for HRT? ›

How do I prepare for feminizing hormone therapy?
  1. Patient education to explain how treatment works and what to expect. ...
  2. Medical history to check for estrogen-dependent conditions, like certain breast cancers and endometriosis.
  3. Physical exam to ensure you are healthy enough to start feminizing hormone therapy.

What is the first step in starting HRT? ›

Creating Your Hormone Therapy Plan

A blood test happens first. This will give us a baseline to compare against after you start hormones. Analyzing your blood also helps us see if taking hormones could cause side effects. And we'll continue to monitor your blood levels during therapy to make sure you're OK.

How soon will I see results from HRT? ›

It may take a few weeks to feel the effects of treatment and there may be some side effects at first. A GP will usually recommend trying treatment for 3 months to see if it helps. If it does not, they may suggest changing your dose, or changing the type of HRT you're taking.

How should I feel after starting HRT? ›

When starting HRT, it's very common to experience some initial side effects or start-up symptoms such as breast tenderness or breast size increase. Some women describe slight nausea, headaches or abdominal bloating. Light erratic bleeding is also quite usual.

How much does HRT cost per month? ›

A monthly prescription for oral hormone replacement therapy costs between $130-$240 per month. This equates to $1,560-$2,440 per year. But, since most insurance pays for HRT pills, patients typically only have to cover co-pay costs, which are around $30 per month.

How do you know if you are a good candidate for HRT? ›

Women who go through early menopause or who have their uterus removed (hysterectomy) may also benefit from HRT. But HRT isn't for everyone. For example, you may not be a good candidate for HRT if you have a high risk of certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, blood clots, stroke, and deep vein thrombosis.

What do you say to get HRT? ›

And, if you have any preferences about how to manage your symptoms and long term health, tell them that too e.g. do you want to try hormone replacement therapy (HRT), herbal approach, changes in your lifestyle.
They should not:
  • Tell you that it's just that time of your life. ...
  • Tell you they don't prescribe HRT.
Jun 24, 2020

What blood test do they do for HRT? ›

HRT Blood Test

Measure the levels of oestradiol, progesterone and FSH in your blood, which is insightful if you're taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

What do I need to know before starting estrogen? ›

The first changes you will probably notice are that your skin will become a bit drier and thinner. Your pores will become smaller and there will be less oil production. You may become more prone to bruising or cuts and in the first few weeks you'll notice that the odors of your sweat and urine will change.

Why do I need blood tests for HRT? ›

"Blood tests are occasionally needed in women whose symptoms fail to respond to adequate doses of HRT. Occasionally women don't absorb hormones well, even with transdermal (skin) therapy. Also, there's a syndrome where women can get high levels of hormones in the blood, but still feel symptomatic.

Does HRT require blood work? ›

Dr Aziz-Scott: GPs follow the NICE guidelines which state that if a patient is over 45, blood tests are not mandatory and HRT can be initiated, depending on symptoms. It is only if a patient is under 45 that an FSH blood test is required. LH levels will also be checked, but estrogen will not be.


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