Gender and Sexual Health Services for Children, Teens, and Young Adults
Gender and Sexual Health Services at Lifespan provides care for the growing population of children and adolescents who are transgender, gender diverse, or otherwise exploring their gender identity.
We are here to meet your unique health needs and provide education, resources, support to you and your family as you explore your growing gender and identity. Our goal is to help you be authentic and true to yourself in a safe and healthy way.
The Gender and Sexuality Program at Rhode Island and its Hasbro Children's Hospital provides a safe environment, education, and access to specialty medical care drawing upon current evidence-based practices and the unique needs of each individual child.
Gender (how we identify as male, female, both, neither and otherwise) and sexuality (who we are attracted to, who we love and who we have sexual activity with) are two different core aspects of growing up and maturing into a healthy adult.
Gender and sexuality can be a part of every persons growing self identity; people identify with and express gender in a wide variety of ways, and gender and sexuality may be fluid and change over a person’s lifetime.
We believe that exploring gender and sexuality is a normal and potentially lifelong process. Our goal is to support you and your vision of yourself in a safe and healthy manner.
Our program offers services based on taking a careful history, conducting a thorough interview and then offering a menu of options for care. We use a patient centered consent based process for better understanding our patients' gender and sexual health care needs and goals.
Our perspective is that exploring gender and sexuality can be very individual and a potentially lifelong process. We provide a range of medical and mental health services in a sensitive, accepting environment, including:
- Thorough medical and psychosocial evaluation
- Recommendations and support for social affirmation, puberty blockers, gender affirming hormones, and letters and support for gender affirming surgeries
- Initiation and continuation of gender care and hormone therapy
- Referrals to specialty providers, surgeons, and community resources
Our team creates an individual treatment plan that is as unique as you are. Depending on where you or your family are in your experience of gender, we will design a plan of care that meets your needs.
For New Patients
The Gender and Sexuality Program at Hasbro Children's Hospital is accepting new pediatric, adolescent, and young adult patients. Call 401-444-4712 to make an appointment.
Check our new patient information page to learn what information is needed for your appointment.
For Current Patients
Providers: Refer a Patient
To refer a patient, please fax a referral to 401-444-3873.
Affirmative Approaches to Gender
We offer a wide range of both medical and non-medical gender supportive services. These medications and therapies are consistent with standards of care and with the 2018 American Academy of Pediatrics policy on care of transgender and gender diverse youth.
- For younger children who are not near the age of puberty we can offer advice and resources for continued gender exploration and/or social affirmation.
- For patients closer to puberty, patients and their families might choose to begin puberty blocker therapy to simply delay puberty, so that the body does not change in ways that are not in line with a patient exploring their gender and identity. Puberty blockers are completely reversible and often a very safe and healthy first step for medical options.
- For teens and adults, gender hormones such as estradiol and testosterone can be used safely to help continue to affirm a person's unique gender identity.
We take a holistic approach to your overall health, supporting a safe and healthy plan for gender confirmation. We continue to follow the emerging science very carefully and over time in order to make safe and healthy recommendations.
What to Expect
New patients with parents, please plan to spend approximately one to three hours during your first visit to our clinic, since we have a lot of ground to cover. We will have time to meet with you as a family and separately and privately: one on one with both youth and parent to create safe spaces to discuss gender. We will ask questions about many areas of your life, including:
- Personal and family health history
- Social life, friends and relationships
- Gender experience: Who are you? Who do you want to be?
Based on your needs, we will also discuss lab tests, physical exams and choices for care. We work with you and your family at your own pace, and are sensitive to your concerns. Whatever your vision for your future, we can help you get there in a safe, healthy, successful way.