People with gender dysphoria who self-prescribe cross-sex hormones: Prevalence, sources, and side effects knowledge
Mepham, Nick; Bouman, Walter P.; Arcelus, Jon; Hayter, Mark; Wylie, Kevan R.
Walter P. Bouman
Professor Mark Hayter M.Hayter@hull.ac.uk
Kevan R. Wylie
Introduction: There is a scarcity of research into the use of non-physician-sourced cross-sex hormones in the transgender population. However, when medication is not prescribed by health professionals, users' knowledge of such medication may be adversely affected. Aims: This study aims to define the prevalence of Internet-sourced sex hormone use in a population attending for initial assessment at a gender identity clinic, to compare the prevalence between gender-dysphoric men and women, and to compare knowledge of cross-sex hormone side effects between users who source cross-sex hormones from medical doctors and those who source them elsewhere. Methods: In the first part of the study, a cross-sectional design is used to measure the overall prevalence of sex hormone use among individuals referred to a gender clinic. The second part is a questionnaire survey aiming at measuring sex hormone knowledge among individuals referred to this clinic. Main Outcome Measures: Main outcome measures were (i) categorical data on the prevalence and source of cross-sex hormone use and (ii) knowledge of sex hormone side effects in a population referred to a gender clinic. Results: Cross-sex hormone use was present in 23% of gender clinic referrals, of whom 70% sourced the hormones via the Internet. Trans men using testosterone had a sex hormone usage prevalence of 6%; one-third of users sourced it from the Internet. Trans women had a sex hormone usage prevalence of 32%; approximately 70% of users sourced hormones from the Internet. Cross-sex hormone users who sourced their hormones from physicians were more aware of side effects than those who used other sources to access hormones. Conclusion: One in four trans women self-prescribe cross-sex hormones before attending gender clinics, most commonly via the Internet. This practice is currently rare among trans men. Self-prescribing without medical advice leaves individuals without the knowledge required to minimize health risks.
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Publication Date||Dec 16, 2014|
|Journal||The journal of sexual medicine|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|APA6 Citation||Mepham, N., Bouman, W. P., Arcelus, J., Hayter, M., & Wylie, K. R. (2014). People with gender dysphoria who self-prescribe cross-sex hormones: Prevalence, sources, and side effects knowledge. The journal of sexual medicine, 11(12), 2995-3001. doi:10.1111/jsm.12691|
|Keywords||Gender Dysphoria; Transsexualism; Transgender; Cross‐Sex Hormones; Prevalence; Internet|
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