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Formal diagnosis

What is a formal diagnosis?

A medical diagnosis from a specialist professional.

Why might I want a diagnosis?

You need a diagnosis to get:

With a diagnosis, it can be easier to get hormone therapy, though you can access hormones without a diagnosis.

You can get a diagnosis from a NHS gender service or a private gender service. It is quicker to be diagnosed privately, but if you have an NHS diagnosis, you can get NHS funding for:

You don’t need a diagnosis to be trans, but it can help you accept being trans, and help you explain your identity to other people.

Why might I not want a diagnosis?

Some people do not want to be diagnosed because they feel it is pathologising (that a diagnosis feels like being told your identity is a “disease”), because they don’t agree with the way the medical system works, and just because they feel it is unnecessary to.

You don’t need a diagnosis to:

Remember: you don’t need a diagnosis to be trans. Your trans identity is valid whether you have been diagnosed or not.

How do I get a diagnosis?

In the UK, diagnosis is normally made by a specialist GP, psychologist, or psychiatrist at a gender service.

To get a diagnosis in the UK, you need to either self-refer to a gender service or be referred by your GP. You can read more about how to access the medical system on the TransActual website.

What diagnosis will I be given?

The exact diagnosis given in the UK can vary, but common diagnoses include:

  • gender dysphoria
  • transsexualism
  • gender incongruence
  • gender identity disorder

Any of these diagnoses is enough to access medical treatment. These are all broadly synonymous from a medical perspective.

Errors and omissions

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