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Trans Health Frequently Asked Questions

Medical Questions | Resource Questions | Personal Rights & Information

Medical Questions

  • What should I bring to my first visit at SHAC?
    Ideally you should have had your trans-related records sent to SHAC Health Services. Often we can continue the present hormone prescriptions as the notes and labs have already been completed. Make sure to write down your questions. Our team of nurses, medical assistants, and providers want you to be a successful, healthy student at PSU.
  • What can I expect from doctors at SHAC?
    Expect a warm college health provider who wants to hear what you need. All of the providers tend to follow the guidelines from the National Endocrine Society and WPATH standards of care. To clarify expectations students are asked to review and sign a treatment plan. Most students on hormones have already done this with their prior medical providers.
  • What are common changes that occur on hormone therapy?
  • What are the health impacts of hormone therapy?
    Many of the long term effects of hormonal therapy are not known. There is useful information at the Trans Health Network website. We also will follow up on your observations about changes in your body.
  • Will hormone therapy have an impact on potential future surgeries?
    Most often hormone replacement therapy has a positive effect on transition surgeries.
  • Is it okay to get a mammogram?
    The US preventive task force is not giving guidelines for trans care. Typically screening is for patients 50 years old and above. Some screening guidelines depend on a patient's personal and family history. Ultrasound is often used to characterize unanticipated lumps or changes in the texture of tissue.
  • Is it okay to get a pap smear?
    Pap smears are relevant if a uterus is present and the patient has had vaginal exposure to HPV. Pap smears may be indicated if unusual bleeding or if a vaginal discharge is noted.
  • What about prostate exams?
    If a patient has a prostate and is over 50, a rectal exam is useful to look for prostate lumps and to check for colon cancer - a test for blood in the stool. Recently routine Prostate Specific Antigen is not recommended unless there is a personal or family history of prostate cancer.

Resource Questions

  • Are there resources for partners of trans students?
    Gender transition can have an impact on the parents, friends, families, and partners of loved ones. Local and national resources can offer support.
  • I have trans person in my life. What are some good resources?
  • I am a trans survivor of sexual assault. Where should I go for help?
    • PSU Sexual Assault resources
    • Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project call 800.832.1901
      National domestic violence hot-line for gay men. Crisis line offers emotional support, safety planning, crisis counseling, referrals and emergency housing.
    • Sexual Minority Youth Recreation Center call 503.872.9664. This is a drop-in center for LGBT youth.
    • The Survivor Project call 503.288.3191. They Advocateor intersex and transgendered survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
  • What about legal documents or if I want to change my name?

Personal Rights and Information

  • How can I talk with a PSU Professor/Instructor
    Students have the right to be addressed by their chosen name in class and in online classroom forums. The Queer Resource Center has staff available to help students have conversation with their professors and can advocate for students who do not experience their professors to be supportive. Contact via email at, via phone at 503.725.5681 or visit the QRC at Suite 458, Smith Memorial Student Union.
  • What are my rights?
    Gender identity and expression are protected classes at Portland State University. Acts of discrimination are investigated by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. To receive support and advocacy or to learn more, contact the Queer Resource Center.
  • What about confidentiality?
    Your information cannot be shared with others due to HIPAA and FERPA, unless the information is harmful to yourself or others.