3 Minute Read:
Gender-affirming surgeries have been steadily on the rise.
One study found that these surgeries rose fourfold from 2004 to 2014. The next observation came in 2016 when gender-affirming surgeries were reported to have increased by 19 percent in just one year. As society becomes more educated and accepting of transitioning individuals, people finally feel safe enough to get the procedure(s) to make them feel comfortable in their own skin.
Here are four tips for things you should prioritize before getting a gender-affirming male-to-female surgery:
1. Understand Your Goals
First, it is important to understand what you want out of the transition. A gender-affirming surgery doesn’t look the same for every patient. Many individuals only select a few procedures versus every surgery needed for a full “transition.”
Commonly, most transitioning individuals choose from breast surgery, female feminization, removal of the Adam’s apple, forehead contouring, and jawline contouring.
One way to better understand what you want at the end of our transition is to talk to people who have transitioned already. They may be able to share what they liked, anything they would have changed for their transition process, as well as some general advice.
Additionally, it is important to seek professional advice from a psychologist, do some research, and find a support system through friends and family.
2. Work With an IVF Specialist
Next, consider finding an IVF specialist to work with. You may want to preserve your ability to reproduce before you continue hormone replacement therapy. While hormone replacement therapy is not included in cosmetic treatment, it is a natural step in the gender-affirming process.
The nice thing about working with an IVF specialist is you are not stuck in your decision. You can choose to use your specimen and have kids later on, or you can leave it and never have kids. Your options are still yours.
3. Have Realistic Expectations
In today’s fast-paced world, it can feel frustrating when things don’t happen quickly. Our third tip is to have realistic expectations.
This transformative journey will require a lot of time, energy, patience, good health, and financial resources.
Of course, it’s all worth it when you get to finally see your true self in the mirror, but it will take a lot, and it won’t happen overnight. Understanding that this is a process will help you avoid frustration.
4. Work With a Qualified Doctor
A gender-affirming surgery is incredibly complicated.
The doctor and patient have to come to a clear understanding of what is wanted and the best course of action. It’s so crucial to find a doctor you can trust. One of the most important steps will be following the doctor’s directions before and after the procedures for a healthy and quick recovery.