Five Mistakes Transgender Patients Should Be Aware Of And Avoid When It Comes To Seeking Healthcare

Transgender patients may face some unique challenges when it comes to getting the healthcare they need to achieve optimum health. There are several healthcare mistakes transgender patients should be aware of and avoid so that they can stay healthy and satisfied with the medical care options available to them.

The following are five mistakes transgender patients should be aware of and avoid when it comes to seeking healthcare. 

Being unaware of the unique health issues to which they are susceptible

Transgender patients are statistically at higher risk of experiencing certain health problems than cisgender patients. Transgender patients should be aware of the unique health challenges they face so they can be vigilant and recognize when they need to seek out healthcare or make lifestyle changes.

As a minority, transgender patients are more likely to experience emotional abuse and sexual violence. They also may be at higher risk of mental health issues and substance abuse problems due to the stress they experience. 

Assuming specialized healthcare isn't available for their needs

By doing a little research, transgender patients can usually find healthcare practitioners in their area who either have experience meeting transgender healthcare needs or specialize entirely in treating transgender concerns. Patients therefore shouldn't assume that transgender care isn't available in their area. 

Neglecting to explain their transgender status to their general practitioner

It's important that a transgender patient's general practitioner is aware of the patient's transgender status. Patients need to make sure that their physician is aware of their full medical history, including past treatment related to their transgender status.

Patients who are undergoing hormone therapy or who have undergone surgical transitioning in the past should let their physician know. Such procedures can impact medications a general physician prescribes or medical procedures a physician recommends for an individual patient. 

Neglecting routine screenings

Both cisgender and transgender patients need to make sure they are getting all recommended screenings for their age.

Depending on a transgender patient's anatomy and age, screenings for breast, cervical, prostate, and colon cancer may be needed to maximize the chances that cancer will be detected as early as possible. Transgender patients may also need to undergo routine HIV and hepatitis screenings depending on lifestyle factors. 

Failing to research healthcare insurance coverage options for which they are eligible

Transgender patients may want to seek out specialized health insurance that covers procedures they may need.

Not every health insurance policy will cover treatments such as hormone therapy that transgender patients may need. However, increasingly more health insurance policies cover these procedures and thereby make it more affordable for transgender patients to get insurance coverage for treatments. 

For more information on transgender healthcare, contact a professional near you.