What is a formal diagnosis?
Getting diagnosed by a specialist medical professional.
Why might I want a diagnosis?
You need a diagnosis to get:
Most people who want hormone therapy will get a diagnosis to make this simpler, 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 “really” trans, but you might want a diagnosis to convince you and other people what you’re feeling is real.
Why might I not want a diagnosis?
You can do these now without a diagnosis:
You don’t need a diagnosis if you only want to do these things. Remember, not having a diagnosis doesn’t make you any less valid.
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.
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 - read how to do this on our Getting a Referral page.
What diagnosis will I be given?
The exact diagnosis given in the UK can vary, but common diagnoses include:
- gender dysphoria
- gender incongruence
- gender identity disorder
These are all broadly synonymous from a medical perspective, though you may prefer a diagnosis of “dysphoria” as it is less pathologising and does not imply a binary identity. Any of these diagnoses should be as good as any other for accessing treatment.
Errors and omissions
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