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Gender

The Gender Clinic provides treatment with puberty blockers and/or gender-affirming hormones for transgender and gender-questioning youth up to the age of 18.
Who we are
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In 1998, our clinic began seeing transgender and gender-questioning youth and young adults, and we now have one of the busiest clinics in North America. At BCCH, our team (Endocrinologist, Endocrine Nurse Clinician, and Social Worker/Counsellor)—working in partnership with BCCH and community mental health professionals (Psychiatrists and Psychologists), Trans Care BC and the BC Transgender Clinical Care Group—functions as a “clinic without walls” to deliver endocrine care (puberty blockers and cross-hormone therapy) to this population. As elsewhere across BC, our care is delivered according to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health's Standards of Care 7.

Getting a referral

Referrals to our clinic

To refer a patient to the Gender Clinic at BC Children’s Hospital, please follow the referral process outlined below.

Two steps are required:

  1. A referral needs to be sent to our clinic by a family physician, nurse practitioner, pediatrician, or psychiatrist. Please attach any relevant reports (labs, history). Use this referral form.
  2. An assessment needs to be completed by a trans-competent mental health professional (usually a psychologist or psychiatrist who has training and experience working with transgender and gender-questioning children/youth). For recommended practitioners, please contact us. The assessment completed by the mental health professional must be forwarded to our clinic.

Once our office has received both these items, the patient will be contacted for an appointment with the Pediatric Endocrinologist.

Mental health assessment

Our clinic, as do most clinics caring for transgender and gender-questioning children/youth in Europe and North America, follows the Standards of Care (SOC) for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People, version 7 established by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).

These guidelines recommend that a trans-competent mental health professional assess transgender and gender-questioning children/youth prior to consideration of medical treatment (puberty blockers/cross hormones) by the pediatric endocrinologist. The goals of the mental health assessment are to independently evaluate: the youth’s gender identity and the youth’s ability to consent or assent to reversible and potentially irreversible treatment prior to the possible initiation of medical treatment.

Your visit

Your first visit

You will meet the nurse and social worker, who will get some background information on your gender journey, social history, and supports, etc. You will then be seen by the clinic endocrinologist who may be assisted by a resident-in-training who will talk to you about your health and perhaps do a “physical” (check-up).

Youth and parents are welcome to see the clinic staff separately, if desired.

Based on your visit and your referring doctor’s information, the endocrinologist will discuss the next step of the process with you. Occasionally, further tests (blood tests) are done elsewhere in the hospital or possibly at an outside lab.

Your first visit will be a minimum of 2 hours. Plan on being at the hospital for at least 2½ hours. Younger siblings will find this tiring, and we highly suggest alternative babysitting arrangements to make your visit more comfortable.

If you have questions

Please let us know your questions and any way we can make this visit more comfortable for you.

What to bring

Please bring the following to each clinic visit:

  • your BC CareCard/Service Card
  • your blue BC Children’s Hospital card (if you have one)
  • If you have a number of questions, make a list to bring with you
  • At your first clinic visit, you will be asked about your medical history. It may be useful for you to bring an adult who has this information.

If you need to cancel

If you need to cancel your appointment, please contact us as soon as possible (at least 48 hours ahead of time) so that your appointment time can be used by another patient.

If you have an infection

If you have been in contact with any infectious diseases (such as chicken pox or measles) during the three weeks before your appointment, please let us know immediately. We might need to reschedule your appointment.

If you need an interpreter

If an interpreter would be helpful for you, please phone us as soon as possible and we will arrange for this.

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