All newborns are assigned a gender after birth determined by the newborns genitalia. Gender identity is the personal perception of one’s own gender. Recently it has come to an understanding, that gender identity involves more than the anatomical setting – it involves the inner knowledge and outer expression of one’s sex.
Presenting with gender dysphoria refers to people experiencing their body so differently than the assigned gender at birth, that is causes discomfort and torment. Several initiatives may be commenced to diagnose and treat this discomfort; Counseling and guidance, long-term therapeutic conversations, hormone therapy and for some gender reassignment surgery (GRS) in the time of adulthood.
Options for psychological treatment of gender dysphoria:
- Changes in gender expression and role, i.e. dressing or behaving as another gender role consistent with one’s gender identity
- Psychotherapy to explore gender identity, role and expression. It is offered as individual, couple, family or group therapy depending on the individual.
Options for medical/surgical treatment of gender dysphoria:
- To feminize or masculinize the body, hormone therapy is offered to the patient. This is often offered before any surgical procedures.
- To change the primary and/or secondary gender characteristics, surgery is offered, e.g. removal of breasts, external and/or internal genitalia and some facial features.