Gender Health Center

Our Services

We offer holistic services with integrated medical care, mental/emotional health care, social work assistance for practical needs, and opportunities for community connection. Services are individualized to meet the needs of the person. 


    Currently, we offer gender-affirming services for patients under 18 and collaborate closely with your primary care pediatrician to ensure holistic care. For patients needing to establish comprehensive primary care as well as gender-affirming care, we will work with you to identify an appropriate primary care pediatrician. We will be moving toward providing primary pediatric care within the Gender Health Center in the future.

    CHILDREN (AGES 5 AND UP)

    We aim to provide care which centers the needs of your child, based on their emotional and developmental stage. We understand that each child is unique and our goal is to be respectful and thoughtful about your child's individual needs.

    Prior to puberty, children who are transgender or gender non-conforming don't need medical intervention; like all kids, they need plenty of love and understanding. In this age range, our initial visits are really about getting to know your child and supporting them.

    Medical interventions (and consideration of puberty blocking medication) may occur with the start of puberty.

    ADOLESCENTS /TEENAGERS

    We offer a safe environment where teens are welcomed and respected. While our program focus is gender, we remember that our real focus is you as a whole person and supporting you to live your happiest, healthiest life!

    In your initial visits, we will spend time getting to know you, your goals and any concerns you may have. We also look forward to meeting and supporting your parents or guardians if you would like.

    If your goals include gender-affirming medications (such as, puberty blockers, anti-androgens, testosterone or estrogen), we will address these possibilities in the first couple visits. Prior to starting these medications, our practice is to gain informed consent from you and any legal guardians. Currently, we also ask for a brief supporting letter from a therapist or counselor before initiating gender-affirming medications. Our mental/emotional health team can work with you to provide this letter and/or ongoing gender-affirming mental/emotional support.

    INTEGRATED PRIMARY CARE & GENDER-AFFIRMING HORMONAL CARE

    We provide comprehensive medical care, from immunizations to ongoing treatment of chronic conditions. Gender-affirming hormonal care is an integrated part of our holistic care model and all our providers are trained in hormonal management. However, if you have a primary care provider you would like to keep, management of gender-affirming care alone is also an option.

    For medical services outside of primary care, we are building an expanding network of affirming specialists. If you need care outside of our clinic (for example, a neurologist, dermatologist or cardiologist) we will make every effort to find an affirming provider.

    • Testing and treatment for HIV infection
    • Testing and treatment for other sexually transmitted infections
    • PrEP and PEP (medications to prevent HIV infection
    • Sexual health counseling with a focus on TGNB/GE bodies and communities
    • Pelvic wellness exams (PAP tests)
    • Routine and advanced gynecological care
    • Contraceptive/Family planning assistance, including:
      • Oral and injectable contraceptive medications
      • Nexplanon implantation
      • IUD insertion
      • Fertility counseling
      • Pre-natal care

    Gender-affirming surgeries currently offered at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center include:

    TOP SURGERIES:

    • Masculinizing chest reconstruction for transmasculine/non-binary people assigned female at birth
    • Breast augmentation (breast implants) for transfeminine/non-binary people assigned male at birth

    BOTTOM SURGERIES:

    • Orchiectomy/orchi (removal of testosterone producing external genitalia, also known as testes)
    • Hysterectomy/hysto (removal of internal reproductive organs, also known as uterus/ovaries)

     

    We are able to provide referrals for additional procedures, including:
     

    • Bottom surgeries

      • Vaginoplasty
      • Phalloplasty
      • Metoidioplasty
    • Facial gender-affirming surgeries (also known as, FFS, FGCS)
    • Facial hair removal (electrolysis and laser hair removal)

    The referral process and requirements for surgery may differ based on your insurance. The requirements are typically based on the WPATH Standards of Care 7 (https://wpath.org/publications/soc). Most surgeons require at least one letter from a licensed mental health provider for top surgeries and two letters for bottom surgeries. Our mental/emotional health team can provide letters of support as needed.

    We offer a range of mental/emotional support services. Our providers are skilled at gender exploration as well as caring for general mental/emotional healthcare needs, which may be experienced differently by people of trans/gender non-binary experience. Services include:

    • Counseling
    • Medication management
    • Support planning and letters of support for gender-affirming surgeries

    Appointments can be scheduled with a mental/emotional healthcare provider in one of three ways:

    1. Establishing primary care at the Gender Health Center- your primary care team will refer and schedule you with our mental/emotional health providers as needed
    2. If you have a primary care provider elsewhere- please have your primary care provider fax a referral to: 408-977-8716
    3. If you unable to get a referral from your primary care provider and do not want to transfer primary care to the Gender Health Center - you can request a call back from our team for further assistance.

    SOCIAL WORK

    The role of the Medical Social Worker (MSW) is to assist the patient in removing social/practical barriers to healthcare and to empower patients to connect with resources they are entitled to. Areas of assistance provided by the MSW can be, but are not limited to: assessing qualifications for financial benefits, transportation assistance, referrals to legal resources, assistance with name/gender corrections, food resources and referrals to community agencies around other specific needs identified.

    MEDICAL-LEGAL PARTNERSHIP

    We realize that a lot of what affects your health and wellness does not happen in a clinic! We have partnered with lawyers to help our patients with a variety of legal issues from name and gender marker changes to employment discrimination. These services are free of cost to those who qualify. Click the link below for more information on available services. (Link to MLP flyer)

    SUPPORT AND EDUCATIONAL GROUPS

    In the coming months, we will be offering support and educational groups at the Gender Health Center. So, stay tuned!