"I think transwomen, and trans people in general, show everyone that you can define what it means to be a man or woman on your own terms. A lot of what feminism is about is moving outside of roles and moving outside of expectations of who and what you’re supposed to be to live a more authentic life.”
What is Informed Consent Hormone Therapy (HRT)?
Canopy Medical provides Gender-Affirming Hormone Therapy (GAHT) to transgender and gender diverse individuals using the informed consent model. This means that individuals seeking transgender hormone care do not need to see a therapist before seeking out care at Canopy. "Informed Consent" means you have the cognitive ability to understand the risks, benefits and changes you will experience while on hormones. After we review all of the information regarding hormones, you get to decide if you are ready to get started. The informed consent model for gender-affirming treatment seeks to better support your right to personal autonomy and encourages shared decision making between yourself and your provider. Our HRT providers who prescribe hormones will work with you to create a custom plan for your transition.
What can I expect at my first visit?
An initial informed consent visit will take approximately 1 hour. All risks and benefits of hormones will be explained to you and you will have ample time to ask questions. A thorough health history and exam is also completed. Starting HRT usually has a positive impact on overall mental health, however hormones can affect your mood and how you feel. We can give you referrals for Gender-Affirming therapists if needed. We may recommend baseline lab work be completed. We also recommend routine health prevention at every visit, which includes STI/HIV screening, immunizations, yearly exams, etc.
Once hormone therapy has been started, check-up visits occur every 3 months for the first year. Lab work will be completed at these visits to ensure you are absorbing the hormones and they are within safe and effective ranges. These visits also help us determine if you are moving towards your goals. Visits can then be spread out to monitor your transition.
How old do I have to be to start hormones?
Our providers typically see individuals 18 and older. However, we can discuss starting hormones at age 16 with parental consent. There are many factors to consider when starting hormones, including the stage of puberty an individual has reached by age 16. Depending on your health history and developmental stage of puberty, we may refer you to a local pediatric specialist to continue to discuss gender affirming hormones and medical interventions available to affirm your gender.
Do I have to go to therapy to start hormones?
No, unless you are unable to provide informed consent. We encourage all our patients to seek out support and therapy while transitioning, but we respect that not everyone needs or wants to. We can always provide referrals and recommendations to affirming therapists if needed.
I am non-binary, can I still start hormones?
Yup! We understand that gender does not exist on a binary, and we are happy to discuss your HRT goals. We can customize your hormones to levels you are comfortable with.
I don't live in Fargo, what options are available to me?
Trans HRT appointments can be completed via telehealth! These are appointments using video software. You will need a computer, tablet or phone that has a camera, microphone and internet connection/cell service. For your routine lab work, you will go to a clinic or lab near you to get your blood drawn (no appointment needed for this) and we will receive the results. Telehealth services are currently available for North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota residents.
Will my insurance cover HRT?
Many insurance companies cover transgender hormone therapy. Canopy accepts most major insurances. Telehealth appointments are typically covered the same way as an in-person appointment. Contact your insurance for more information about your specific coverage.
For uninsured patients, Canopy does offer payment plans and same-day payment discounts. We are happy to work with you regarding payments. We firmly believe that everyone should have access to quality healthcare, and we never want cost to be a barrier for transitioning.
Do you offer the Power's Method of HRT?
Many patients ask if we can provide transgender hormone therapy using the Power's Method. While Dr. Powers' method is heavily based in theory (currently no evidence-based research), we do not see anything harmful with this HRT approach. All individuals respond uniquely to hormones and there are many factors that may influence your transition. These include genetics, age, body type, etc. Some individuals may choose to have surgical or aesthetic procedures to meet their goals. As long as your hormones are within safe ranges, we work with you to find the best hormone options to reach your goals.
Please visit our resources page for affirming healthcare related services in our area. You can also contact our LBGTQ+ Care Coordinator.