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Publicly fund nonsurgical procedures for transgender, gender diverse people

Minimally invasive procedures such as hair removal and facial injectables may support the process of transition in a timely fashion; evidence supports their therapeutic benefits in the field of gender-affirming care.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels.com

To support transgender and gender-diverse people, governments should consider publicly funding hair removal and other minimally invasive procedures, authors argue in a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

“Minimally invasive procedures such as hair removal and facial injectables may support the process of transition in a timely fashion; evidence supports their therapeutic benefits in the field of gender-affirming care,” write Drs. Katie Ross and Sarah Fraser, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The 2022 World Professional Association for Transgender Health Standards of Care Version 8 (WPATH SOC8) recommends that hair removal and facial surgeries, in addition to hormone therapy, are appropriate components of gender-affirming care.

Although hormones and surgery are common in helping people transition, hair removal and facial transformation are important for many people in gender transition. These relatively low-risk options are more accessible than surgical care with long wait-lists, and can be complementary to other approaches.

“Public funding for such procedures… warrants serious consideration in all provinces and territories,” they conclude.

“Minimally invasive procedures in gender-affirming care: the case for public funding across Canada” is published this August 2023.

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