TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland) have recently update their section dealing with the coronavirus to include the guidelines set by the National Gender Service (NGS) for those who self-inject hormones along with other medical advice for transgender people.
For people who administer their own hormones by self-injection, the NGS have advised that you continue to do so as normal as hormones and blockers are not expected to make you more prone to infection. However if you cannot self administer HRT and your healthcare provider who usually gives you your injection is also unavailable, you should contact the service which provides your hormones for advice on how to proceed.
If your hormones are provided by the NGS, you can contact them by phone (01 2115045) or email ([email protected]) where your needs will be accessed and dealt with on a personal basis. This may include changes to your usual routine such as switching to testosterone gels rather than injections, similarly for those using injectable blockers, alternative agents like finasteride or spironolactone may be suggested during this time.
Following the advice of the HSE, like many other organisations, the NGS is minimising its face-to-face clinical activity and have cancelled endocrine appointments for the month of March which will be later rescheduled. The NGS will issue prescriptions to those affected by the cancellations while need for clinical activity is still being reviewed, although those who receive hormones through their GP should make alternative arrangements with their GP. During this time, although the supply chain will not be interrupted, it is also likely that prescriptions will take longer to fill so it is advised you arrange an order of your prescription with your pharmacy in advance.
Trans activist Noah Halpin took to Twitter to discuss the stress that these new measures have put on the transgender community who can no longer access their hormones or GP, particularly those who receive HRT injections but have never had to self-administer before the coronavirus outbreak.
Never have I been so grateful that I had the ability to teach myself to do my own Testosterone injection from the very beginning. My heart is breaking for the sheer amount of trans people getting in touch to say that their GP’s aren’t dealing with anything non-covid 1/3
— Noah Halpin (@Noah_Halpin) March 24, 2020
It is a frightening and uncertain time for many, particularly those with specific medical needs such as the transgender community. Organisations such as TENI and the NGS are working to provide information and resources for trans people who are unsure of what steps to take in such unprecedented times, with TENI exploring the option of sharing a video tutorial on self-injection among their other services, such as online resource groups.
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