As a student who identifies as part of the transgender community, you have all the stressors of other students at UCSD, however, you may also be coping with discrimination, the effects of hormones and passing.
At UCSD Student Health Services we want you to know that we care about your health and safety and are sensitive to how difficult it can be to access care.
- We believe everyone has a right to be treated with care and respect. We encourage you to be open and honest with us so we can assist you in getting the best care possible.
- UC SHIP has transgender insurance benefits which include both hormone therapy and surgical reassignment surgery.
Here are answers to frequently asked questions about these services:
Can I begin transgender transition services at UCSD Student Health Services? Yes.
- Please be aware that certain providers have more experience in transgender care, therefore please indicate that you are interested in obtaining transgender care when you make your appointment.
- Please contact our appointment scheduler at (858) 534-5571 or (858) 822-5926.
Can Student Health Services prescribe hormone therapy for me? Yes.
- For students who want hormone therapy, several visits are required, which will include reviewing and completing the hormone therapy consent form, a full physical exam, and laboratory studies before hormone therapy can be started.
- Students who are not currently working with a mental health provider can first meet with a CAPS counselor to determine where to receive care. You may be referred off-campus to get written support from a psychologist trained in transition issues, and who can provide professional input and documentation regarding your emotional readiness for hormone therapy. Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) can be reached at: (858) 534-3755.
- Students may also wish to contact the UCSD LGBT Center on campus for support and information. The LGBT Resource Center phone number is (858) 822-3493.
- After the initial visits, exam, labs, and letter of readiness are complete, you may either be referred off-campus or scheduled with an SHS provider to initiate hormone therapy. This process may take a few months if you are not currently connected with a mental health provider.
Can I continue transgender services at Student Health Services if I've already started elsewhere? Yes.
- If you have been started on hormone therapy elsewhere, having your records sent to Student Health Services before you are seen will facilitate continuation of care at Student Health. We generally require the psychological evaluation as well as any physical exam records and labs. Students continuing on hormone therapy can also call the appointment scheduler at (858) 534-5571 when documentation has arrived and is complete.
How often will I need to be seen at Student Health after starting hormones?
- Patients initiating hormones will need to be seen at 4 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months after starting therapy, and every 6-12 months thereafter (more frequently if any problems arise). We will assess how well the hormones are working for you, check for any negative effects, adjust the dose of your medication as needed. We will also include all other preventive care as indicated.
How can I access the surgical benefit for UC SHIP for surgical reassignment of gender?
- Students who are interested in surgery need a written referral from their Student Health provider to see a surgical specialist off campus. Currently, in order to seek coverage through our insurance, letters from two medical and/or mental health professionals are needed. The procedures and protocols to access surgery largely follow the current WPATH requirements, although flexibility for safety issues and being able to pass are being considered. All surgery must be preauthorized by the insurance underwriter, Anthem Blue Cross, before being approved.
Refer to the Cost of Services page for fee schedules.