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Endocr Pract. 2013 Jul-Aug;19(4):644-50. doi: 10.4158/EP12170.OR.

Endocrine treatment of transsexual persons: extensive personal experience.

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  • 1Division of Endocrinology, Albany Medical College, Albany, New York 12208, USA.



The Endocrine Society's recently published clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of transsexual persons acknowledged the need for further information on transsexual health. We report here the experience of one provider with the endocrine treatment of transsexual persons over the past 2 decades.


Data on demographics, clinical response to treatment, and psychosocial status were collected on all transsexual persons receiving cross-sex hormone therapy since 1991 at the endocrinology clinic at Albany Medical Center, a tertiary care referral center serving upstate New York.


Through 2009, a total 192 male-to-female (MTF) and 50 female-to-male (FTM) transsexual persons were seen. These patients had a high prevalence of mental health and psychiatric problems (over 50%), with low rates of employment and high levels of disability. Mental health and psychiatric problems were inversely correlated with age at presentation. The prevalence of sex reassignment surgery was low (31% for MTF). The number of persons seeking treatment has increased substantially in recent years. Cross-sex hormone therapy achieves very good results in FTM persons and is most successful in MTF persons when initiated at younger ages.


Transsexual persons seeking hormonal therapy are being seen with increasing frequency. The dysphoria present in many transsexual persons is associated with significant mood disorders that interfere with successful careers. Starting therapy at an earlier age may lessen the negative impact on mental health and lead to improved social outcomes. However, significant barriers exist, such as insufficient insurance coverage, which limit comprehensive care.

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