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Medical or surgical procedures

Not all people who undertake gender reassignment choose to undergo medical or surgical treatment. For those individuals who decide to do this, the process may involve a number of medical or surgical interventions that may last several years. This may be done either privately or through the National Health Service.

The following summarises the main stages:

  • The individual must live and work as a member of the opposite gender for at least a year. This period is called a real-life test and enables an individual to experience life as a member of the opposite gender.
  • After the real-life test, the individual may then undergo treatments, therapies or medical procedures. These could include hormone injections, hair removal, mastectomy, breast augmentation, genital realignment and cosmetic surgery.

Trans Staff and Students in Higher Education (ECU, 2010) provides more information on the process of gender reassignment.