Gender Affirmation Surgery (Sex Reassignment Surgery)
In simple terms Gender dysphoria (formerly known as Gender Identity Disorder) is an intense, persistent feeling in which males not just wish to be females, but they as well strongly hate being males.
Males with gender dysphoria display an interest in activities that are generally for females like dressing up in girl’s clothes and with a deep interest in cosmetics, in jewelry and in doll play.
Dysphoric males are usually disgusted with their genitals, body hair, angularity, facial hair, musculature, and any trait that one generally identifies with “maleness”. While dysphoric females can have similar feelings with developing breasts, fuller hips, long hair, menstruation and any trait associated with femaleness. The period of adolescence when sex changes become much more obvious is not surprisingly a very difficult time for many transgender individuals.
If left untreated, individuals with gender dysphoria will have some other mental health diagnosis in their lifetime. That includes mood disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, and suicide attempts.
Gender Affirmation Surgery – Symptoms & Diagnosis
To be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, an individual must have symptoms that last for at least six months.
In young adults, these symptoms may include:
- Consistently saying they are really a girl though they have the physical traits of a boy or really a boy if they possess the physical traits of a girl.
- Strongly choosing friends of the sex with which they identify.
- Rejecting the clothes, toys, and games typical for boys or girls.
- Refusing to urinate in the way — standing or sitting — that other boys or girls typically do.
- Expressing their desire to get rid of their genitals and have the genitals of their true sex.
- Thinking that even though they have the bodily traits of a girl they will grow up to be a man, or thinking if they have the physical traits of a boy they will still be a woman when they grow up.
- Having extreme distress about the body changes that happen during puberty
In teens and adults, symptoms may include:
- The certainty that their true gender is not aligned with their body.
- Disgust with their genitals. They may avoid showering, changing clothes, or having sex in order to avoid seeing or touching their genitals.
- Strong desire to get rid of their genitals and other sex traits.
Children or adults might dress and otherwise present themselves like the sex they feel they are.
Treatment for Gender Affirmation Surgery
The objective is not to change how the individual feels about his or her gender. Rather, the objective is to manage the distress that may accompany those feelings.
Talking with a psychologist or psychiatrist is part of any treatment for gender dysphoria. The “talk therapy” is one approach to address the mental health issues that this condition can bring about. Besides talk therapy, many individuals find a way to align their physical appearance with how they feel inside. And also, they may change the way they dress or choose an alternative name. It may also take medicine or have surgery to change their appearance.
Treatment options include:
- Puberty blockers – A dysphoric, young individual may make a request to be prescribed hormones (testosterone or estrogen) that would repress physical changes. Before choosing this option, the young individual ought to talk with a pediatrician and sometimes a psychiatrist about the upsides and downsides of taking these hormones, particularly at a youthful age.
- Hormones – Teens or grown-ups may take the hormones estrogen or testosterone to develop characteristics of the sex that they relate to.
- Surgery – Some individuals opt for complete gender affirmation surgery, sometimes called sex reassignment surgery. Others may choose to have only some procedures performed to have them appear more in-sync with their feelings.
With their physicians, individuals pick the treatment that is appropriate for them in light of what they need and what they as of now look like.
An individual may no longer feel dysphoria after transitioning. Yet, the individual may need therapy.
Companions, family, colleagues, potential employers, and religious organizations may have a hard time understanding when somebody’s gender appears to change. These challenges can call for expert help.
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