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Formal diagnosis

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
  • transsexualism
  • 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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