Endocrine treatment of transgender individuals: current guidelines and strategies

James Christopher John Prince, Joshua D. Safer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Introduction: This review summarizes gender affirming medical and surgical care available to transgender individuals, along with proposals to improve medically and culturally appropriate care. Areas covered: Transgender individuals are those whose gender identity differs from that recorded at birth (usually based on visualization of external sexual anatomy). In order to align the body with the patient’s gender identity, clinicians can provide hormone therapy (HT) to bring sex hormone levels to the range associated with the patient’s gender identity. At steady state, monitoring for maintenance of levels, as well as for known risks and complications, is required. Treating clinicians should have knowledge of trans assessment criteria, hormone therapy, surgical options, primary care, and mental health needs of transgender patients. A narrative literature review was conducted using Pubmed and EMBASE with articles then selected for relevance. The initial search terms were: androgen suppression, antiandrogen, breast development, chest reconstruction, cisgender, estrogen, fertility preservation, gender-affirming surgery, gender identity, gender incongruence, genital reconstruction, hormone replacement, hyperlipidemia, orchiectomy, prolactin, prostate atrophy, spermatogenesis, spironolactone, testosterone, thrombogenesis, transgender, and virilization. Expert opinion: Although guidelines exist and examples of training are available, systematic formal training must be implemented to truly mainstream high-quality gender-affirming health care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-403
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Hormone therapy
  • estrogen
  • gender incongruence
  • surgery
  • testosterone
  • transgender care
  • treatment guidelines


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