Health consultation for trans people

Psychological support serving trans people in Bulgaria
Venelin Petkov – part of the mentors in the second edition of Digital Indie Lab

Health consultation for trans people in Bulgaria

The term "transsexuality" is still accepted in Bulgarian medical practice, although it is not close enough to the term "transgender" in English.

Medicine in our country identifies transsexuality as a specific phenomenon, which is described in ICD-10 under code F64.0. The tenth revision of the ICD is the one currently used in Bulgaria and it explains the phenomenon as follows: “The person wants to live and be perceived as belonging to the opposite sex, which is usually accompanied by a feeling of discomfort from one's own anatomical sex or experience its as inappropriate. There is a desire to undergo surgery and hormonal treatment to make your body as appropriate as possible to your preferred gender. In the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, transsexuality is already excluded from the Mental and Behavioral Disorders section.

Denying the phenomenon of transsexuality is an opposition to science, including medicine. This opposition in our country hinders the provision of quality health services to people in this condition who need medical care to synchronize the anatomical with the mental gender.

In this regard, Single Step provides health consultations with a medical professional to help trans people choose the path of opportunities that lie ahead. Because the personal experience of each trans person is strictly individual, each approach can be different according to the needs and desires of the particular person. For trans people who have not reached adulthood, the health consultation is conducted with the consent or participation of a parent.

What is a health consultation:

1. The health consultation aims to establish what are the needs and desires of a trans person and what are his / her / their expectations.

2. Introduces the trans person with the individual steps in the medical transition and prepares him / her for the work with the different medical specialists.

3. The health expert directs the trans person for a consultation/s with a specialist psychotherapist, if such consultations have not already started.

4. Assists the trans person in his encounter with the health system and possible obstacles along the way.

5. Individual preparation before each examination by a specialist.

6. Directs the trans person for examination by an endocrinologist to assess endocrine status.

7. Appointment of laboratory tests, incl. hormonal.

8. Referral to other medical specialists (obstetricians, andrologists, etc.) according to individual needs.

9. Appointment of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), based on personal needs and characteristics identified during examinations.

10. Follow-up and research by a HRT specialist.

11. Support in finding opportunities for gender reassignment surgical procedures.