The UCLA Gender Health Program’s pediatric practice provides a multidisciplinary and family-centered approach to healthcare for children and adolescents who are transgender or gender-diverse that is sensitive to everyone’s individual needs.
Our services include:
Case Management / Care Coordination: At the UCLA Gender Health Program’s pediatric practice, we understand the unique challenges that gender-diverse patients and their families face when searching for health care. Providing personalized care involves collaboration between specialty physicians, which is why we have a Care Coordinator as the first point of contact. Our dedicated Care Coordinator provides our gender-diverse patients and their families with:
- Assistance in navigating the UCLA Health system.
- Taking an initial intake assessment in order to understand each person’s health care needs and goals.
- Identifying appropriate providers and coordinating referrals.
- Coordinating insurance and benefits coverage.
- Advocacy within UCLA Health in all aspects of care.
- Providing linkages to UCLA and community-based resources, including youth and family support groups.
Primary Care: Our primary care doctors have particular expertise in gender-related concerns, and how these issues may impact your health and healthcare experience. We provide full primary care services to patients of all ages, including:
- Preventative care screenings
- Annual wellness exams
- Reproductive and sexual health concerns
- Chronic disease management, and referrals to specialists where appropriate
- Acute care
- Assessment of medical readiness for gender-affirming treatments, including hormones and surgical procedures
Gender-Affirming Hormone Management: Hormone treatment can reduce the distress from having a body that does not fully match one’s gender identity. Our primary care team works collaboratively with experienced endocrinologists to help each family make the best decision for their child. Treatment options may include:
- Puberty suppression therapy: For people who have not yet completed puberty, medications may be used to pause puberty. This is a reversible intervention that can allow more time for exploration of gender-related goals, while preventing further physical changes. People may then choose whether to start hormone therapy, or stop the puberty suppression and allow the body’s own puberty to proceed.
- Initiation and management of hormone replacement therapy: This typically involves using medications to reduce the body’s own hormone production and replace this with the hormones consistent with the affirmed gender.
- Other medication interventions: For people who are not ready for hormonal transition, a number of other options can manage distressing symptoms – for instance reducing or stopping menstrual periods, or reducing hair growth.
Behavioral Health: Our interdisciplinary team of psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers partner with our pediatric doctors to support the overall wellbeing of our young people by providing the following services:
- Individual therapy: We provide assessment, intervention and referrals as needed for behavioral health concerns such as anxiety, depression and social difficulties.
- Group options include UCLA’s EMPWR Program:
- EMPWR (“empower”) is a joint initiative of the UCLA Division of Child Psychiatry and the UCLA Division of Population Behavioral Health designed to promote well-being and resilience in LGBTQ youth. EMPWR offers LGBTQ-sensitive interventions based on the most up-to-date research.
- Child and adolescent psychiatry
- Resources for schools to support transitioning students
- Assistance with documentation that may be needed for gender-affirming procedures.
Gender Affirmation Surgery: At UCLA, we understand that gender-affirming surgical procedures can be an important step in a young person’s transitioning process. Our UCLA Gender Health Program team offers a wide array of procedures. Most surgical procedures are not recommended until adulthood. Our team can help each patient and family to plan which interventions to pursue, and when. We can also assist with investigating insurance coverage, and any behavioral health documentation that may be required for these procedures.
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