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What Is Gender-Affirming Healthcare and Why Is It Important?

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Access to gender-affirming healthcare can be lifesaving for transgender, gender diverse, and nonbinary people.

Gender-affirming healthcare is care that focuses on transgender people’s physical, mental, and social health needs and well-being while confirming their gender identity. It aims to validate transgender as an identity, rather than a disorder.

Transgender may be used as an umbrella term that describes people whose internal sense of gender is different than that which they were assigned at birth or who surpass traditional expectations of gender identity or expression.

Transgender people often experience considerable health disparities stemming from discrimination, ignorance, and systemic biases on top of less access to healthcare.

Until recently, little gender-affirming healthcare existed. But research strongly suggests that limiting gender-affirming medical care for people can have wide-ranging negative effects on their health.

Gender-affirming healthcare is patient-centered and works to align a transgender individual’s outward, physical traits with their gender identity. It may include a combination of medical, surgical, mental health, and other services.As of 2022, this type of healthcare is coded in the 11th edition of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11) under the term, or diagnostic category, “gender incongruence” in the chapter “conditions related to sexual health.”It’s now clearer that […]

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