Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Planned Parenthood of Michigan launches gender-affirming hormone therapy in Lansing

May 23, 2022
<p>Planned Parenthood had a presence at the MI BODY MI CHOICE on Oct. 2, 2021, in Lansing, Michigan.</p>

Planned Parenthood had a presence at the MI BODY MI CHOICE on Oct. 2, 2021, in Lansing, Michigan.

Photo by Jillian Felton | The State News

Planned Parenthood of Michigan, or PPMI, will now offer gender-affirming hormone therapy, or GAHT, to non-binary and transgender adults in Lansing. 

41 Planned Parenthoods in the U.S. already offer GAHT, making this addition an expansion of services in Michigan. 

GAHT can include prescriptions for testosterone, estrogen or testosterone blockers. This therapy can reduce gender dysphoria — the feeling of discomfort when one’s gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth — in non-binary and transgender people. 

PPMI Director of Gender Affirming Care Halley Crissman said that PPMI recognizes the difficulty of receiving gender-affirming care in Michigan — like lack of access and long waitlists. 

“We are stepping out and stepping up to more explicitly acknowledge that and meet the needs of our trans and non-binary community members by offering gender-affirming care,” Crissman said. “And by working hard to intentionally and explicitly make all of our care more gender-affirming, and ensure all of our services meet the needs of the trans and non-binary community.”

PPMI care providers will follow an informed consent model for GAHT, meaning patients will not need an outside referral or a therapist to receive hormone therapy through PPMI. 

“That means that we are exclusively recognizing that being trans or non-binary is not a mental health condition,” Crissman said. “We are not requiring individuals to have a letter of support to move forward with gender-affirming hormone.”

In an effort to provide a more inclusive experience, PPMI staff has been making changes, including training employees on gender-inclusive care, installing gender-inclusive signs at health centers and expanding transgender and non-binary representation on advisory boards.

PPMI’s Lansing location on 300 N Clippert St. neighbors the Michigan State University campus.

Environmental biology junior Riley Korus is the Vice President of Planned Parenthood Generation Action at MSU. He said that college can give young transgender adults the opportunity to begin or continue their transition on their own terms. 

“I began the process of getting my testosterone prescription as soon as I moved out,” Korus said. “Making GAHT more accessible to the young adults of East Lansing will support those who have been waiting for this crucial moment in their life and make the process easier.”

Korus described GAHT as “life-saving” and said it can be an integral part of transitioning. 

“Not only does GAHT cause incredible physical changes that connect trans people to their gender identity, but there are huge benefits to mental health,” Korus said. "For me, hormone therapy has improved nearly every aspect of my quality of life. My mood and anxiety have become more stable and manageable since starting testosterone, and seeing the changes in my body gives me so much euphoria.”

Patients can make an appointment to discuss gender-affirming hormone therapy at PPMI’s Lansing health center by calling 1-800-230-7526. PPMI will soon offer online scheduling options

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