Nonprescribed hormone use and self-performed surgeries: "do-it-yourself" transitions in transgender communities in Ontario, Canada

Nooshin Khobzi Rotondi, Greta R. Bauer, Kyle Scanlon, Matthias Kaay, Robb Travers, Anna Travers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives. We examined the extent of nonprescribed hormone use and self-performed surgeries among transgender or transsexual (trans) people in Ontario, Canada. Methods. We present original survey research from the Trans PULSE Project. A total of 433 participants were recruited from 2009 to 2010 through respondentdriven sampling. We used a case series design to characterize those currently taking nonprescribed hormones and participants who had ever self-performed sex-reassignment surgeries. Results. An estimated 43.0% (95% confidence interval = 34.9, 51.5) of trans Ontarians were currently using hormones; of these, a quarter had ever obtained hormones from nonmedical sources (e.g., friend or relative, street or strangers, Internet pharmacy, herbals or supplements). Fourteen participants (6.4%; 95% confidence interval = 0.8, 9.0) reported currently taking nonprescribed hormones. Five indicated having performed or attempted surgical procedures on themselves (orchiectomy or mastectomy). Conclusions. Past negative experiences with providers, along with limited financial resources and a lack of access to transition-related services, may contribute to nonprescribed hormone use and self-performed surgeries. Promoting training initiatives for health care providers and jurisdictional support for more accessible services may help to address trans people's specific needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1830-1836
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume103
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes

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