Sustanon Shortage- update 30 December 2022
We have been made aware that there is currently a shortage of Sustanon which is affecting some areas of the country.
Should this affect your patient, we would advise that you prescribe Testosterone Enantate at the same dosage.
We are offering appointments either by telephone, Attend Anywhere, (our virtual consultation platform) or face to face at the clinic.
We will continue to have our phone lines open for set hours throughout the day (Monday to Friday from 10am-2pm). We also have our email address email@example.com.
Please don’t send personal information through this email address without completing a Service User Communication Consent Form that you can attach to your email. Please be aware that if your email address is outside of the NHS, we cannot guarantee the security of any communication sent to us via email and communication via email is entirely at your own risk.
We are trying to answer your queries in a timely way, however we may be delayed in responding to emails. If you’re experiencing any urgent concerns in relation to your mental or physical health, please contact your GP, your local mental health team or call 111 for advice.
We recognise that patients may have varying needs that may impact an individual’s ability to engage in an appointment with the service. This may include:
- Heightened anxiety
- Learning disabilities.
We aim to make reasonable adjustments for these patients. Please highlight if you have any additional needs so we can identify how to support you better.
Examples of reasonable adjustments include
- Easy read assessment tools and letters for people with processing difficulties
- Shorter or longer appointments
- Video or face-to-face consultations
We are happy to discuss any adjustments that may be appropriate.
We would appreciate a few moments of your time to provide feedback on your experience with our website. Please fill in the survey so we can improve our website.
About the service
The following information relates to normal service operating conditions
The Leeds Gender Identity Service offers assessment and support to people aged 17 and above with Gender Dysphoria.
Gender Dysphoria is a condition where a person experiences discomfort or distress because there’s a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity. It’s sometimes known as gender incongruence. You can find out more about this on the NHS website.
Our team will complete a full assessment of people referred to us which includes looking at mental, social and physical health.
Once the assessment stages have been completed and you have a diagnosis, and you are ready to move forward with treatment, we can start you on our care pathway.
The care pathway includes a prescribing clinic that can start hormone treatment. We can refer individuals to voice and communication therapy, discuss surgical opinions and gender reassignment surgery as appropriate.
You can find out more by expanding the different sections on this web page.
Ben’s gender identity journey – a service user story
Ben Brookes is a service user of the Leeds Gender Identity Service. He has kindly volunteered to share both the good and challenging aspects of his continued journey with his gender transitioning. In this video he speaks both about his own gender identity challenges and about how he experienced the NHS system.
Kerry’s gender identity journey – a service user story
When Kerry Bayley first visited the Gender Identity Service in August 2014, she despaired for her life. When we spoke to her three years later, she was happier than ever. In this short video Kerry bravely shares her journey and talks about the support she received from us. We are most grateful to her for allowing us to do this.
Our Care Pathway - what to expect
Our care pathway is quite complicated so we’ve tried to capture it all simply in this document.
You can also watch this short video which summarises it.
Waiting times explained
The following is an overview of the current waiting times. Please note it is an estimate guide – there are many factors that could affect this, and it will not be the same for everyone.
This information has been updated on 31st August 2023. Please note, we are open to referrals.
When we receive your referral, this will be reviewed and then added to our waiting list if further information is not required. Both you and your GP will receive an acknowledgement letter once this has been completed. This letter will also include forms to be completed and some further useful information. We do have a current delay in sending acknowledgement letters, due to staffing in our administrative team but if you have not received this within 12 weeks, please let us know.
Waiting times until first appointment
There are currently 4590 people on our standard waiting list to be seen.
We are currently booking appointments for people who were referred in approximately March 2019. If you were referred before this date and have not been contacted, please contact us.
If you have been transferred to us from the Child and Young Person’s Gender service (GIDS) as you have already had an appointment, you will be placed on the priority waiting list and offered an appointment as soon as we can. If you have been transferred to us from this service and you have not yet been seen for an appointment, we will honour your existing waiting times.
The Trust takes the issue of waiting times very seriously. The Leeds Gender Identity Service waiting times are currently reported to our Trust Board in the Board papers for each meeting.
Have your say
Since 23 April 2021, as part of a new Leeds and York Partnership NHS Trust (LYPFT) initiative, the Gender Service has started to collect feedback from people accessing our service via ‘Have Your Say’. This is as new way people accessing the service can give feedback on the appointments they attend. LYPFT have worked with staff and service users to co-produce the survey.
“Have Your Say” is aligned to the Friends and Family Test, asking about “experience of care”, so provides anonymous patient feedback specifically for the gender service.
- Feedback summary April-June 2021
- Feedback summary July-September 2021
- Feedback summary October-December 2021
- Have Your Say Jan-March 2022
- Feedback Summary April-June 2022
- Have Your Say Feedback July – Dec 2022
- Have your say feedback summary January – March 2023
Gender Outreach Workers and other sources of help
Supporting trans, non-binary and gender diverse people on the Leeds Gender Identity Service waiting list and care pathway.
You may have questions. You may have heard conflicting information. You might want to talk with someone with lived experience. Gender outreach workers can offer advice and support from the point of your referral to Leeds Gender Identity Service. We can also provide advice and information to people thinking about referral to the service. Gender outreach workers aim to support people accessing Leeds Gender Identity Service across England.
We were shortlisted in the National Diversity Awards 2022: Community Organisation Award LGBT category. We aim to support inclusion and diversity across the support we provide.
Information and advice line
You can call our information and advice Line on 0800 183 1486. We can help with a range of needs related to your transition, including practical advice on name change, document updates, learning more about the Gender Identity Service and signposting to other organisations and support near you. We can arrange a one-to-one session if you need more time to talk.
One to one sessions
We offer one to one support sessions by online video, by telephone or in person. We can provide practical advice and discuss your individual needs and support available. Feel free to ask questions. Contact us to learn more.
Peer support and social groups
People tell us that groups can be a good way of accessing information and support from peers who share similar lived experience. We offer a variety of groups in-person and online. Groups can provide an opportunity to receive support or just listen to other people’s journeys and life experience. This has helped people on their own personal journey. You can take things at your own pace and involve yourself as much as you like.
The groups have sometimes helped people make new connections, increase confidence and provided a sense of wellbeing. Contact a gender outreach worker to learn more or check out our Facebook page.
“It was really good to speak to someone who really understands what you are going through. She was also very informative and pretty much put me at ease”.
“This has all been very helpful because of where I was and where I am now. I feel more confident in myself. The knowledge of the steps and services has increased”.
“I will attend the groups she organises and hopefully will make new friends along the way. I really cannot recommend this enough, especially if you feel all alone like I did”.
“Extremely helpful and relieved some of my anxieties about progressing. Great information. Feeling secure about myself and my future”.
“It’s always difficult for me to meet new people as I can be very shy and lack confidence but I’m glad I attended our meeting. It was really good to speak to someone who really understands what you are going through”.
“When I attended my first session, I felt I was at a low point. As the sessions progressed, my health and wellbeing has improved”.
“It’s easy to bottle things up when they’re floating around in one’s own head. I feel like I made some progress towards me working things out”.
“A very big thank you for all your help and support 😁”.
Give Us Your Feedback
Have you accessed Gender Outreach Worker support?
Please provide us with helpful feedback about our Information and Advice Line, One to One sessions or Peer Support Groups by completing our surveys:
Information and Advice Line – https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/HW00PD/
One to One Sessions – https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/DTBD67/
Peer Support and Social Groups – https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/S52SPO/
For more information
- Download our gender outreach worker leaflet.
- Download our gender outreach worker poster.
- Find out more on our gender outreach worker Facebook page.
Contact our gender outreach workers
Our gender outreach workers aren’t counsellors but sometimes it just helps to talk.
Contact our gender outreach worker information and advice line on 0800 183 1486 (closed weekends, bank holidays and some holiday seasons).
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, date of birth, address and telephone number. Clients of Leeds Gender Identity Service and LYPFT will need to complete an email permissions form if they have not already done so. Find out more in our Get in Touch section.
What is Yorkshire MESMAC?
Yorkshire MESMAC offer services to various communities across Yorkshire including men who have sex with men, African and other BAME people, people misusing drugs, sex workers and LGBT+ young people and adults.
They have bases in Leeds, Bradford, Rotherham and Hull. They also run LGBT groups across the Yorkshire region. Visit the MESMAC website or call 01132 444 209 to learn more.
What is Lancashire LGBT?
Lancashire LGBT are a registered charity and their aim is to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and/or Trans people to be happier, healthier and well connected. Their core work is aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of LGBT people, reducing health inequalities and providing social and support activities to reduce social isolation.
Lancashire LGBT work to improve services for LGBT people as well as reduce the barriers many LGBT people experience accessing services. They regularly deliver awareness training to professionals and work in partnership with health, education and criminal justice sectors. Visit their website or call 07788 295 521 to learn more.
The TranzWiki Directory
If you’re based outside West Yorkshire and Lancashire, check out the TranzWiki Directory. This is a comprehensive directory of groups campaigning for, supporting or assisting trans and gender non-conforming individuals. For more information, visit their website.
Other helpful information
Please see the below document complied by the service for further resources and information that might be helpful to you.
Frequently asked questions
We get a lot of people making enquiries about transgender issues and we sometimes struggle to answer all of these. Therefore we’ve compiled a list of common questions we get from people like yourself and some responses, we hope they are helpful.
Q. If I’ve got to wait a long time to get a prescription for hormones, should I buy them online?
A. We would recommend that people do not obtain medication privately and wait to see our specialist hormone prescribers. They will discuss with you the risks, side effects and benefits of hormone treatment, and will tailor your treatment to your specific needs. You should have blood tests prior to starting hormones, and also regular monitoring blood tests whilst taking hormones. There are potentially life-threatening risks associated with hormone treatment – be aware of these and how to minimise the risks before you start taking hormones.
Drugs bought online can vary enormously in quality and safety. Our hormone specialists prescribe in accordance with the Endocrine Society Guidelines.
Q. What are Testosterone Intramuscular (IM) Injections?
An intramuscular injection delivers medication directly into the muscle. This allows the medication to be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.
Once you are established on hormones, it may be appropriate for you to self administer hormones with the support and training of the health care provider (doctor or nurse) who normally undertakes your injection. Your GP surgery may be able to provide the equipment required. This guidance is suitable for Enantate or Sustanon but NOT for Nebido.
To self administer hormones, please follow our How to give a Testosterone Intramuscular (IM) Injection guidance.
Q. How do I change my name?
A. If you’re transgender and you want to change your name, you’ll need to change your name by deed poll. This can be done for free – simply search free UK deed poll online.
If you’re non-binary and you want to change your name, you’ll also need to change your name by deed poll. However, bear in mind that UK law currently only recognises two legal genders (male and female).
If you haven’t been issued a Gender Recognition Certificate
If you haven’t been issued with a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) then you’ll need to change your name by deed poll. In fact, changing your name could be an important step in proving that you’re living in your new gender, before applying for a GRC.
A deed poll will be enough to change your name in your passport. However, if you want your passport to be in your new gender as well, HM Passport Office will need to see:
- your deed poll, showing that you’ve changed your name to one that’s associated with your new gender
- medical evidence showing that your change of gender is “likely to be permanent”. This can be a letter or report from a medical practitioner (such as your consultant or GP), or a chartered psychologist practising in the field of gender dysphoria.
You don’t need a GRC to have your passport updated to show your new gender, and you don’t need to have had gender reassignment surgery.
Please note that changing your passport (or other records) to be in your new name and gender doesn’t give any legal recognition to your change of gender. It’s merely recognition by those record holders that you’ve adopted a new identity. However it does provide supporting evidence to the Gender Recognition Panel (and other record holders) that you’re living in your new gender.
If you want to change your title you don’t need a deed poll. You’re free to use any social title unless it is a restricted title (Princess, HRH, Sir, Lord etc.) and, assuming the new title is part of a change of gender, you simply need to inform record holders of the new title. The important matter is your change of gender. HM Passport Office for example doesn’t list social titles in passports at all, it isn’t considered to be a legal part of your name.
You can use any name or title unless it is to “obtain good or services by deception”. It’s important that if you change your title or name, you shouldn’t deceive anyone as to your birth gender in order to gain a financial advantage as this would be considered fraud. Once you’ve been issued a GRC you’re under no such obligation and your birth gender is legally considered to be your new gender.
If you have been issued a Gender Recognition Certificate
If you’ve been issued a full GRC, then this will be sufficient evidence of your change of name (and gender, for passport purposes), and you won’t need a deed poll.
If you’ve been issued an interim GRC, then it’ll likewise still be sufficient evidence of your change of name (and gender, for passport purposes) — you won’t need a deed poll.
If your interim GRC has expired (i.e. after six months) and you haven’t been issued a full GRC because your marriage hasn’t been dissolved, HM Passport Office may still accept this as sufficient evidence of your changed name and new gender, because the important point is that you should be living in your new identity for all purposes, not that you’ve been issued a GRC. However, you should check this first with HM Passport Office.
If you’ve been issued a new birth certificate
If you’ve been issued with a new birth certificate, then this is proof of your name change and new gender, for all purposes — you don’t need a deed poll.
Q. How do I change my name on my passport?
A. Once you have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, we can provide you with a letter to use to change your gender on your passport (see also ‘How do I change my name?)
Q. How do I get a gender recognition certificate?
A. The trans charity GIRES has published a guide on this.
Q. What services do you provide on the NHS?
A. Hormone treatment, facial hair removal, genital hair removal prior to surgery, voice coaching, speech and language therapy and psychological support.
Q. What services do you NOT provide on the NHS?
A. Breast implants, breast augmentation, voice/laryngeal surgery, facial feminisation surgery.
Q. Can I claim back my travel expenses?
A. You can claim help with the cost of travel if you are on a low income and have made an additional journey to the Leeds Gender Clinic. We can help you with this when you attend for your appointment – ask your Lead Professional.
Q. Who can refer me to the Gender Clinic?
A. Your GP can refer you. There is a GP referral form for them to complete in the “How to refer to the Leeds Gender Identity Service – Information for Professionals” section of this page.
Q. What can I do whilst I wait to be seen?
A. Lots! You can start your social gender transition at any time and you do not need a diagnosis of gender dysphoria to do this. Some people call this ‘coming out’. Your Lead Professional and our support workers can offer advice on this.
There is also a lot of online information about how to do this. Changing your name and pronouns is one way to start. For other people, it’s about getting the right clothes. It is important you do this at your own pace and in a way that you find comfortable. Check out the section called ‘Other Sources of Help’.
Q. Do I have to dress a certain way?
A. Dress how you feel comfortable. Your appearance will not have a bearing on the outcome of your assessments. Wear whatever you feel comfortable wearing. However, it is an opportunity to dress as your preferred gender. We have changing areas onsite if you wish to arrive early and get changed in time for your appointments.
Q. What do I do if I can’t get to my appointment?
A. It’s very important you let us know as soon as possible by calling us on 0113 8556346 or by emailing email@example.com
If you are more than 15 minutes late for your appointment you will not be seen. This is because your appointments take one hour, and each patient is booked on the hour, every hour. It is not safe to do an assessment in less than one hour, especially given the life-changing treatments on the care pathway.
Q. I have mental health problems. Can I still be seen and treated by the Gender Identity Clinic?
A. Yes. We do require that you are engaging with treatment and that you have been stable for a reasonable period of time. This is again to keep you safe, and ensure that you are able to understand and consent to the life-changing treatments on the care pathway. We have psychologists working within the team who are specialists in gender dysphoria and who are experienced in treating transgender people.
Q. How long does it take to transition?
A. Your physical transition can start with hormone therapy but it doesn’t always. Hormone therapy is not a requirement for chest surgery, for example. Hormone therapy can take up to two years (sometimes longer) to reach its maximum effect. Some surgeons prefer that you have reached this stage but the guidelines for having lower surgery are that you have been on monitored hormone treatment for at least 12 months. Given current NHS waiting times, it is likely that your transition will take 4-5 years.
Q. What can I expect at my first visit to the clinic?
A. Your screening appointment will involve a lot of detailed questions about your life story, particularly relating to your gender. This will involve some personal questions about your body, your sexuality, and your feelings. You will also be asked about your mental and physical health, and your medication. It is important we have a full picture of you as a person in order to make tailored recommendations for your ongoing treatment. All the information you give is confidential.
Questions and answers last updated: 26 February 2019
Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19
Frequently asked questions
I cannot get blood tests done during the Covid-19 pandemic, can I still get my hormones?
In some cases, it may not be possible to continue to prescribe safely if you are unable to have routine monitoring blood tests done, particularly if you have had abnormal results previously. Following up abnormal blood tests may be considered urgent, rather than routine, and you should be guided by your GP. If your GP is concerned they can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Physical harm is unlikely to occur if your hormone therapy is temporarily reduced or stopped. There may be a slight return of characteristics of birth assigned sex but these should revert when hormone therapy resumes. For people who have had genital reconstructive surgery, physical health complications are unlikely unless you are off hormone therapy for more than two years.
I am having difficulty arranging an appointment at my GP surgery for my Sustanon / Testosterone Enantate injection, what should I do?
You can ask your GP to consider switching you over to testosterone gel. There is prescribing information to help with this in the Prescribing section on our website.
I cannot arrange an appointment for my Nebido injection, what should I do?
As Nebido is a long-acting testosterone injection it is unlikely that testosterone levels will drop too low if an injection is delayed by a few weeks. It is not advisable for injections to be given too early. Again, you can ask your GP to switch you over to testosterone gel.
I cannot arrange an appointment for my blocker injection (e.g Leuprorelin), what should I do?
Blocker injections are long-lasting so even if they have to be delayed your hormone levels will stay suppressed for quite some time. The longer you have been on the injections, the longer the effect will last. Try to arrange an injection for as soon as you can after it was due.
Due to the hormone shortages I cannot get my usual prescription, what should I do?
Firstly, you can ask your pharmacist about alternative hormone products. Your GP may also be able to prescribe generically i.e. with the hormone name, rather than the brand name, then the pharmacist may be able to access a different brand of the same type of drug. In most cases, the type and dose of your hormones are more important than the brand.
We’re a diverse bunch at the Leeds Gender Identity Service. Our team consists of:
Psychology -Consultant Clinical Psychologists, Clinical Psychologists who assess for a gender dysphoria/incongruence and readiness to progress onto the care pathway. They also provide opinions for surgery. Their team also provide psychology if this is recommended from within the service.
Psychiatry- Consultant Psychiatrists/Psychiatrists who assess for the gender dysphoria/incongruence and the readiness to progress onto the care pathway. They also provide opinions for surgery. Some of our Consultant Psychiatrists can also recommend hormone prescriptions to your GP.
Consultant Endocrinologists (doctors that specialise in hormone treatment) providing hormone assessment/specialist advice and recommendation for hormone prescriptions.
Doctors with Special interest in Endocrinology, who also provide hormone assessment and recommendation/advice for hormone prescriptions.
Our pharmacist works alongside the prescribing clinic in a non-medical prescribing role, seeing individuals in the prescribing clinic for the recommendation of hormone prescriptions.
Clinical nurses who see people through the assessment process and act in the role as a Named Professional providing support and six-monthly appointments to those people accessing the service care pathway. Some of our clinical nurses can also recommend hormone prescriptions.
Speech and Language Therapists who provide group and individual therapy sessions with the goal of being a voice that reflects who you are.
Gender Outreach Workers who provide peer support and advice primarily to those people waiting to access the service via one-to-one appointments and groups either online or in person.
We accept referrals from your GP or NHS healthcare professional. We also accept self-referrals to the service. Referrals can be made using the referral form found on the link below. Please note that we only accept referrals for people aged 17 and above. If you are self-referring we would ask that you discuss this referral with your GP as if they are not in agreement with long-term prescribing and monitoring this may affect future care.
Download a copy of our Gender Identity Service referral form.
The completed referral forms should be emailed to email@example.com.
If you are emailing from outside of the NHS, please note that we cannot guarantee the security of any communication sent to us via email, and that communication via email is entirely at your own risk. There is a postal address on the referral form should you prefer to send by post due to this reason.
Healthcare Professional Hormone Support Hub
Welcome to the Healthcare Professional Hormone Support Hub.
We understand that there are challenges for primary care health professionals in prescribing hormones for transgender, non-binary and gender diverse people. The aim of the content of the website is to support and guide health professionals through common queries and presentations in this group. We want to work in collaboration with GPs and are committed to supporting GPs develop expertise and confidence in hormone prescribing.
Primary care responsibilities: GMC guidance; Trans healthcare – ethical topic – GMC (gmc-uk.org)
The GMC website has some great information on how to make your practice more inclusive and considerations of the health inequalities and challenges faced by gender diverse people. They say:
“GPs must co-operate with GICs (Gender Identity Clinics) and gender specialists in the same way as they would other specialists, collaborating with them to provide effective and timely treatment for trans and non-binary people. This includes:
– Prescribing medicines recommended by a gender specialist for the treatment of gender dysphoria;
– Following recommendations for safety and treatment monitoring
– Making referrals to NHS services that have been recommended by a specialist.” With regard to the prescribing of off licence medication.
– Most of the medications used for the treatment of gender dysphoria are not licensed for this specific indication, although GPs will be familiar with their use in primary care for other purposes.”
Primary care responsibilities: Information from the BMA; https://www.bma.org.uk/advice-and-support/gp-practices/gp-service-provision/managing-patients-with-gender-dysphoria
“Collaboration with gender specialists
The GMC advice states that GPs must co-operate with gender identity clinics and specialists to provide effective and timely treatment for trans and non-binary people.
NHS England’s guidance states that when clinical responsibility for prescribing is transferred to general practice, it is important that the GP is confident to prescribe the necessary medicines.
In our view, this advice reaffirms that GPs should approach shared care and collaboration with gender identity specialists in the same way as they would any other specialist.”
Gender Identity Toolkit for General Practice; https://igpm.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Gender-Identity-Toolkit-for-General-Practice.pdf
The above toolkit has fantastic information on terms, treatment pathways and the administrative processing that might be required from a General Practice perspective.
Leeds Gender Identity Service Hormone Clinic
At the Leeds Gender Identity Service, we aim to review our patients in the hormone clinic after they have had a diagnosis made of Gender Dysphoria. The waiting list for the hormone clinic is lengthy. Patients are seen by one of our hormone clinicians, counselled and provide full written consent to hormone treatment. Here is a copy of our detailed consent forms which also has information regarding what to expect from cross sex hormones, common side-effects and complications:
In line with the NHS England service specifications (Appendix J) we are required to provide the GP with patient-specific written ‘prescribing guidance’ and advice around hormone care. We are not commissioned to provide or arrange any investigations. We will offer advice on dose titration, administration, initiation, duration of treatment, monitoring, advice on the interpretation of laboratory results and likely treatment effects. To support this process, we review our patients in clinic until they are well established on hormones, but require GP’s to prescribe, request blood testing and send on the results to us, whilst the patient is under our care.
We will see patients; stabilise their hormone regimen then discharge the patient back to primary care with further information regarding monitoring and ongoing care.
The GMC guidance:
“Once the patient has been discharged by a GIC or gender specialist, the prescribing and monitoring of hormone therapy can be carried out in primary care without specialist input. From the patient’s perspective, management in primary care is far easier, and there is no specific expertise necessary to prescribe for and monitor patients on hormone therapy.”
The following guidelines are here to support you with making decisions around hormones:
- Shared care Interim Guidance
- Information about hormone regimens
- Initiating Feminising Hormone Treatment
- Initiating Masculinising Hormone Treatment
- Information about treatment with Leuprorelin for transwomen
- Self Injection Testosterone
Hormones are off license use and unlikely to be licenced for this indication in the future. Prescribing off license medication GMC Guidance;
“Most of the medications used for the treatment of gender dysphoria are not licensed for this specific indication, although GPs will be familiar with their use in primary care for other purposes.”
Close liaison with the specialist clinical team and the GP is essential and we thank you for your support with this.
Fertility Preservation / Gamete Storage:
We would advise that patients should be offered the choice of referral to a provider to store gametes before they engage in any self-prescribed, private or NHS prescribed hormone treatment. This referral can be made directly by the GP. Further information can be found here at the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority: https://www.hfea.gov.uk/treatments/fertility-preservation/information-for-trans-and-non-binary-people-seeking-fertility-treatment/
Other Commonly Encountered Hormone Dilemmas:
GPs are faced with difficult clinical decisions, when trans people request prescription of hormone treatment, outside of NHS specialist pathways or while facing a long wait for assessment within an NHS specialist pathway. The main challenges arise when there is no documented specialist NHS assessment and gender dysphoria related diagnosis. We have a number of documents to help support you with these difficult clinical decisions:
Hormone Equivalent Doses and Shortages:
We are told that there is not a shortage of Sustanon at present but we do seem to have multiple parties contacting us with difficulty obtaining this. We would recommend a switch to Testosterone Enanthate at the same dose and frequency that you were receiving Sustanon.
Troubleshooting and FAQ for hormones:
– Requests for HSBO (Hysterectomy and salpingo oophorectomy – historically transmen receiving testosterone were advised to have this surgery. There is currently no evidence for an increased risk of endometrial or ovarian cancer with testosterone treatment, but any symptoms which could suggest a problem with these organs, particularly vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain or abdominal bloating should be investigated further. The WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) recommend against routine oophorectomy or hysterectomy solely for the purpose of preventing ovarian or uterine cancer for transgender and gender diverse people undergoing testosterone treatment and who have an otherwise average risk of malignancy.
Advice and Guidance Service:
We understand that GPs may feel that they have limited experience with cross sex hormones and feel uncertain about prescribing them. There are long waits for our hormone appointments, and we aim to offer support, advice and guidance for GPs who are looking after patients who have been discharged from the hormone clinic.
If you have a clinical query that is not answered by the above information, we are happy to respond to these on receipt of a written email or letter from yourselves to our inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org . In order for us to respond to this in a safe and timely fashion, please include an update on the problem the person is experiencing with their hormones, your query, an up-to-date medical summary including patient details, what hormones they are receiving, medications, allergies, their most recent blood tests (and how this was times in relation to their hormones) as well as a BMI and blood pressure reading. We cannot arrange to review these patients in clinic, but we can offer further advice and support.
If you would like to organise further training for your practice to improve your knowledge and confidence with hormone prescribing, please contact Leeds GIS and we will do our best to facilitate this.
– Screening information for transgender people: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nhs-population-screening-information-for-transgender-people/nhs-population-screening-information-for-trans-people
– Live through this Cancer Charity supporting and advocating for LGBTIQ+ people affected by cancer: cervical screening campaign: https://livethroughthis.co.uk/removethedoubt/
– Endometrial Screening: There are no clear guidelines for management of abnormal uterine bleeding or endometrial surveillance in this population. There is a theoretical concern of endometrial pathology based on data of increased risk with increased serum androgens in cis post-menopausal women. Current data from a trans male population suggests trans men are at no increased risk of endometrial cancer. Longer term studies are lacking. The WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) recommend health care professionals apply the same respective local screening guidelines (including the recommendation not to screen) developed for cisgender women at average and elevated risk for developing ovarian or endometrial cancer in their care of transgender and gender diverse people who have the same risks. Some UK services undertake a 2 yearly transvaginal ultrasound to assess endometrial thickness, but the Leeds service does not recommend routine screening only prompt investigation if concern.
Sexual health and Contraception:
– FSRH: Contraceptive Choices and Sexual Health for Transgender and Non-Binary People: https://www.fsrh.org/documents/fsrh-ceu-statement-contraceptive-choices-and-sexual-health-for/
– Cancer in Trans and Non-Binary Individuals – UK Cancer and Transition Service: https://www.wearetransplus.co.uk/uk-cancer-and-transition-service-for-professionals/
– Bone Health – Consider BMD/DXA if additional osteoporosis risk factors
Thank you for your support and continuing to work with us.
If you have any additional feedback or would like to see some further information, please contact the hormone team via email@example.com
Surgical and hair removal information
When you and your clinical team agree that you are ready for surgery, the Gender Dysphoria National Referral Support Service (GDNRSS) will process your referral to your chosen surgical provider. The GDNRSS team have Clinical Nurse Advisors who can provide information on the following:
- Surgical techniques used by various providers and surgeon teams
- Typical recovery times following surgery
- Potential post-surgical complications
- Surgical eligibility criteria, where providers have these in place
- Waiting times for surgical providers
- Supporting patients to change provider
They can provide virtual consultations and also have a Single Point of Access support line that you can call for information about your referral, the status of your chosen provider and practical information such as travel and parking, who can accompany you, what to take with you and where to report to when you get there. For more information about this service, download this leaflet.
You can contact the Gender Dysphoria National Referral Support Service by calling 01522 857799 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students, placements and training opportunities
The Leeds Gender Identity Clinic has students and health care professionals who attend to gain experience and knowledge about the service. Unfortunately we are limited as to how many health care professionals can access the service due to capacity and time available.
We have an established relationship with a number of universities in Leeds and York and have allocated placements each year for occupational therapy students, nursing students and medical students.
If you are part of a healthcare professional body and would like the opportunity to spend a day with the service we would ask that your course tutor or professional manager write to our service outlining the reasons for your visit and the benefits you will gain. We will try to accommodate day visits where appropriate however this may not always be possible.
If you are interested please email email@example.com
Get in touch
The Leeds Gender Identity Service is based at The Newsam Centre and can be contacted by Calling 0113 8556346.
This number is answered between 10am and 2pm Monday to Friday. Unfortunately we are unable to respond to voicemail messages.
We do also have our email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please do not send personal information through this email address without completing a permission form, which can be attached to your email. If you choose to not complete this form, you need to be aware that, if your email address is outside of the NHS that we cannot guarantee the security of any communication sent to us via email, and that communication via email is entirely at your own risk.
You can join our Facebook communities to find out more about what our Gender Outreach workers are doing in your area:
How to find us
If you come to us for a face-to-face appointment, you might be wondering where we are and how you get to us.
This video will help you find us and familiarise yourself with our location and the area.