Seeking health care for problems related to your menstruation can feel private and be sensetive, especially if you don't identify as a woman. We list some supportive tips for trans people seeking care and some important things to remember when you work as a care giver.
- Bring a friend. You are in your right to bring someone that can help you feel safe and secure when visiting any healthcare facility. Talk to this person beforehand about how they can support you the best. Maybe you want help to describe how you want to be addressed? Maybe you prefer the person to just sit there as support?
- Use comfortable words. Tell staff what words you prefer. Perhaps what words you are using for your underwear, yourself, your bodily functions. Maybe you want them to say "bleedings" and not "menstruation"? Maybe you are not comfortable with "uterus".
- Pronouns. Maybe you are identifying with another name than that in your ID card? You can ask the staff to make a note about this for future visits, so that you won’t have to repeat yourself every time. Nothing prevents the staff to use the words and pronoun of your choice. Actually, it's part of the job to give you a positive experience.
If you don't want to bleed
A gynecologist or a doctor specialised in hormones can help you find a suitable way to avoid bleedings. Two alternatives are hormonal IUD or pills.
Tips for healthcare providers!
Examinations that relate to another sex than what you are identifying as can be extra challenging. Especially for guys and non-binary people that need to go through gynecological examinations. As a healthcare provider, it's important to listen to the person's wishes and to respect them.
Keep in mind:
- Some words are gendered. WWhen it comes to choosing your words, it's usually best to ask; do you call these panties or underwear? You can also say the words you usually use and ask if that would be ok. Try to find solutions with the patient.
- If you have to use a specific word, maybe to ensure the best possible care, you can show your consideration by phrasing yourself "what in medical terms is called..." or "what we doctors call a uterus".
- Be present in the meeting. Listen to the patient's needs and be transparent. If you are not sure, say that and that you are going to read up on the matter. Don't treat your patient as an encyclopedia and don't expect all trans people to know everything about trans.
- It can also be a good idea to give the meeting a little bit more time than usual.
- It may help some patients to de-gender certain words, like testosterone and estrogen. They don't have to be called female or male hormones - all people have them.