Hysterectomy for Gender Affirmation or Transition Surgery
We get a lot of inquiries about having a hysterectomy as a way of transitioning or gender affirmation. Unfortunately, this is not as simple as it seems, therefore, we are unable to assist in most cases. Hysterectomy is a major, life-altering surgery, therefore, it is something you cannot take lightly, especially if you are under the age of 35.
Technically, you can consent to a hysterectomy at any age, however, it has to be medically justified. It is very unlikely a doctor will do one unless it is absolutely necessary for your well-being and all other options have been exhausted. One of the main reasons is due to the possible physical and emotional risks associated with it, not to mention the complications that can occur.
Complications could include infection, hemorrhaging, bladder and/or bowel damage. These are normally short term risks, however, there are long term risks that physicians are most concerned with. Having a hysterectomy can increase your chances of stroke, bone loss, heart attack, urinary issues and early onset menopause for younger women. It can impact sexual interest as well as the ability to have a biological pregnancy, which can cause depression or psychological stress down the road, as it is not a reversible procedure.
In Canada, there are no facilities that offer a private hysterectomy. This is something you would have to go to the US for. The US has strict guidelines in who they will perform a hysterectomy on because there are great legality risks if they do a hysterectomy without a medical reason to do so. Wanting to have a hysterectomy for gender affirmation or transition does not fall in that category unless you have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria. It is the only option for someone to have a hysterectomy if they do not have a medical reason such as having bleeding, fibroids, cancer, etc. to do so. It also has to be performed by a specialized surgeon who works with gender dysphoria.
Getting the diagnosis gender dysphoria can take time and you must meet specific criteria. It is a complex process that involves multiple medical, psychiatric and psychological evaluations, medical therapies and behavioral trials with a specialized surgeon. This is to ensure that surgery is an appropriate treatment choice for the individual. The process can take 6 months to 2 years and beyond.
If this is something you are interested in doing on a private basis, there are facilities in the US that can assist you. Keep in mind that it will take time and can be a long, expensive and emotional process. If you do decide to proceed, surround yourself with those that care about you and your well-being, and possibly join a support group such as The Canadian Centre for Gender + Sexual Diversity: https://ccgsd-ccdgs.org/. It will make all the difference having someone on your side for the process.