Transgender Health Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to some of your questions about transgender care at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

What steps has Dartmouth-Hitchcock taken to be welcoming to transgender patients?

We've worked with Geisel Medical School at Dartmouth to expand a transgender educational curriculum for students throughout the four years of medical school.

A coordinated and consistent educational plan of transgender educational sessions for medical providers and staff is under development.

Gender neutral/unisex bathrooms are available to patients and employees throughout the hospital campus.

We are reworking all Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (DH-H) forms to be sure they reflect a respect for a patient’s ability to be identified by their affirmed gender as opposed to their assigned gender at birth.

If I start taking hormones, will the changes be immediate?

The first changes will probably be noticeable in the first few months. Other changes may take longer. Hormone therapy affects people in different ways, depending on age and genetic makeup.

If I take a higher dose of hormones, will it help?

No. Taking high amounts may be unhealthy and won’t necessarily speed up your changes. Consult with your physician before altering your dosages.

What are the risks of hormone therapy?

Hormone therapy can permanently alter your sexual function and fertility. There may be long-term risks. Make sure your provider knows your health history and any other medications you may be taking.

If I have surgery, what kind of recovery time can I expect?

Many forms of gender-affirming surgeries are same day surgeries with patients being discharged the same day of their surgery to recover at home. More complicated surgeries may require short hospital stays.

What do I do if my child is transgender?

Here are five easy things to start with:

  • Always use the child’s preferred gender pronouns and preferred names.
  • Be your child’s advocate—call out transphobia when you see it and ask that others respect your child’s identity.
  • Educate yourself about the concerns facing transgender youth and adults.
  • Encourage your child to stand up for themselves when it is safe to do so.
  • Assure your child that they have your unconditional love and support.

Start with the Human Rights Campaign's Transgender Children and Youth Page for more information.

My insurance plan has an exclusion for transition-related care. What should I do?

There are many reasons why your plan might still have an exclusion for transition-related care in general or for a specific procedure. This does not mean that your plan will not cover your care.

Sometimes plan documents are out of date, or you can ask for an exception by showing that this care is medically necessary for you. If you get insurance through work or school, you can advocate with your employer to have the exclusion removed.

The National Center for Transgender Equality's Health Coverage Guide has more information on how to access care and remove exclusions.