Children’s Minnesota Gender Health program is an exclusively pediatric, multidisciplinary gender health program, and includes pediatric gender health, endocrinology and gynecology physicians.
The Gender Health program provides compassionate and comprehensive care for transgender and gender-diverse youth. We’re dedicated to serving as an essential medical partner and resource for transgender youth and families along their journey.
To learn about Children’s new health initiative, read the article featuring Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd.
What to expect
Step 1: Call us
Parents, young adults (18+), or providers may call the Gender Health Program at 612-813-7950 to schedule an initial consultation appointment with one of our providers.
Step 2: Intake with social worker
Our Social Work Program Manager will call you 1-2 weeks before your appointment to schedule a 45 minute phone or video telehealth intake to get to know your family and your needs and goals.
Step 3: Establish mental health support
Most patients who work with a therapist feel better supported in their journey. Our social worker can help make a referral to a mental health therapist who has experience and expertise in gender identity.
If pursuing gender-affirming hormones, a letter of support is required from a therapist prior to starting hormones. This may also be required prior to starting puberty suppression, depending on insurance requirements. It is helpful to start this process early.
Step 4: Initial gender health consultation appointment
Meet with one of the physicians on our multispecialty team which includes pediatric/adolescent gender health, pediatric endocrinology and pediatric gynecology specialists.
Initial gender health consultation includes:
- Discussing gender identity and medical history
- Possible physical exam (for puberty staging)
- Confidential interview for kids over age 10
- Education, resources, and parent support
- Discussion of possible treatment options
- Planning next steps for care
Step 5: Follow up with your prescribing specialist (1-2 appointments)
Meet with a gender health endocrinologist or gynecologist to establish care and discuss the process for beginning puberty blockers, menstrual suppression, and/or gender-affirming hormones.
Develop a plan and timeline for beginning gender-affirming treatment.
Process for starting puberty blockers
- Initial gender health consultation and discussion of options
- Child is physically ready to start treatment as determined by physical exam (puberty is Tanner stage 2) and family decides to pursue puberty suppression
- Meet with a gender health endocrinologist to establish care and discuss fertility preservation
- Decide on which method of suppression preferred
- Lab studies and possible bone age X-ray
- Start prior authorization process for insurance coverage of treatment (can take 4-6 weeks)
- Fertility preservation if desired
- Start puberty suppression
- Discussion near age 15/16 regarding next steps for puberty and consideration of gender-affirming hormones and/or stopping puberty suppression
Process for starting gender-affirming hormones
- Initial gender health consultation
- Letter of support from a mental health professional who affirms patient’s readiness to start transition (ideal to start this process early, may schedule next step while waiting for letter)
- Meet with gender health endocrinologist or gynecologist to establish care and discuss timeline for starting gender affirming hormone treatment
- Discussion of fertility preservation
- Lab testing and any needed follow up to determine physical readiness for treatment
- Parent(s)/guardian(s) sign consents for treatment Prior authorization process with insurance company
- Appointment to learn hormone administration/shots and get prescription
- Ongoing care and monitoring with gender health program
Step 6: Begin gender-affirming medical treatments
Begin age-appropriate gender-affirming treatments when ready.
We will ensure that you have the skills and tools you need to administer certain treatments at home.
Step 7: Ongoing follow-up and support
You will continue to have follow-up appointments with our providers to monitor your treatment.
Our Social Worker can provide parent support, education, and resources along the way.
As you get older, we will help refer you to adult transgender healthcare and other appropriate services (such as surgical care).