Trans Healthcare and COVID-19

The strain on the healthcare system as a result of COVID-19 is contributing to stress and worry for some members of the trans community. We understand that this is a difficult time and we care about your health and safety.

Our friends at TENI (Transgender Equality of Ireland) have provided us with information to share with you at this time.

Information

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and Blockers
Hormones / blockers are not expected to make you more prone to infection or the most serious complications of COVID19.

Binding is not expected to put you at higher risk of infection. However, if you become infected, binding or wearing anything that can restrict your breathing, could accelerate the symptoms and infection. This is not proven to be the case but is reasonable to assume. Therefore, if you bind and you develop symptoms of COVID19, the safest thing to do is to avoid binding while you have symptoms. Symptoms of COVID19 and general advice on self-isolation etc. can be found on the HSE website. 

Self-injection
If you administer your own hormones by self-injection, the National Gender Service has advised the following:

  • If you self-inject then continue to do so.
  • If you cannot self inject and the healthcare provider who normally gives you your injection is not available, then get in touch with the service that prescribed your hormones for advice.

For people who were prescribed hormones by the National Gender Service (NGS), they should contact the NGS at 01 2115045 or nationalgenderservice@hse.ie. Each person will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, but some of the options that can be considered are:

  • for people on injectable testosterone, conversion to testosterone gels.
  • for people on injectable blockers, conversion to alternative agents like finasteride or spironolactone.

Appointments & Prescriptions
For now, the National Gender Service is minimising face to face clinical activity in line with HSE advice. Endocrine appointments in March are being cancelled. The National Gender Service will be in touch with those affected to rearrange appointments.

The National Gender Service (NGS) will issue prescriptions to cover those affected by cancellation while they are waiting for their next appointment. They will review plans for clinical activity week by week. If you have any queries then please contact the National Gender Service at 01 2115045 or nationalgenderservice@hse.ie

While supply chains will not be disrupted, it is likely to take longer to fill prescriptions so call your pharmacy in advance to arrange your prescription being ordered in.

If you need to have your hormones administered by your GP, call ahead to check that your GP is seeing patients as some are not and you may need to make alternative arrangements.

If you are having any issues with the NGS or your medication, please contact TENI. 

Support

This pandemic is an unusual reality that can affect people physically and psychologically. Some people are experiencing feelings of loneliness, anxiety and depression as our everyday lives change around us. If you are feeling lonely, isolated or need to talk during this difficult time, we strongly encourage you to ask for help.

Our Youth Workers are here for you offering text, phone and email support five days a week. 

Talk to a Youth Worker

 

  • Call the LGBT Helpline on 1890 929 539 – Monday to Thursday, 6:30-10pm, Fridays 4-10pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 4-6pm. 
  • Visit lgbt.ie to access their instant messaging support service from 6:30-10pm, 7 days a week. 
  • Outhouse will be taking calls on 01 8734999 from 12-3pm Monday to Friday to provide signposting and information 
  • Text LGBTI+ to 086 1800 280 and chat in confidence, 24/7 with a trained crisis volunteer over text. Standard SMS rates may apply.