Jess can’t afford privacy, so he says, “I did an online search to find everything I could.” She has purchased unregulated hormones for the past 10 months and she is talking on the forums to chat with other transgender teens about her experience of purchasing hormones online. say. She is aware of the dangers and she admits that “word-of-mouth” is the only way she knows about the safety of what she is taking. The NHS says that if a drug purchased online comes from an unregistered website (a website that does not allow the sale of the drug), it may become outdated, diluted, or counterfeited. It warns that it may be dangerous.
• Little evidence of puberty suppressant use
• Puberty inhibitors: NHS establishes independent review group
In the UK, there are two clinics under the age of 18 in London and Leeds, known as the Gender Identity Development Service (GUI) operated by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. There are seven other adult clinics. The London Under 18 Clinic website states that it contains reservations for people introduced in October 2017. That is, people have been waiting for more than three years.
Alex, 18 years old, who was 17 years old at the time of shooting, was one of them. He spent almost two and a half years on the waiting list before he and his mother Kelly decided that the best option was to go private. At the time of recording, he was taking testosterone for 6 weeks. The monthly cost of private treatment is over £ 100, which means Kelly has made a move to pay for it, but she prefers it to Alex dare to use an unknown drug from the internet. Is called.
‘[Self-medication] knocks me out. Rather than letting Alex take something that could really hurt his health, I want to go without doing anything, “says Kelly. “It’s a medicine that helps my son stay in his right body. It’s very easy.”
I feel like I’m disappointed with my son
However, taking hormones not prescribed by the NHS GP is costly, whether from a private clinic or from the black market. Alex’s hormones come from another source, so his doctor doesn’t do the blood and hormone level tests needed to make sure he’s healthy at the dose he’s taking. .. This means that a blood test costs £ 250 a year and a hormone test costs £ 50 four times a year.
For Alex, the problem wasn’t just financial. She experienced a setback when she finally made an appointment with a sex clinic after 30 months on her waiting list.
“It’s not the NHS protocol to use testosterone, so I advised you to stop and take puberty suppressants instead, in which case she can use testosterone,” Kelly explains. Or wait 18 months for a referral to an adult service.
“But he’s starting to see the changes that suit him, so there’s no option to quit. [To keep me secret] Thinking about the next few years to find money can help me. I can’t argue because I can’t, and I can’t help Alex, but I feel like I’m failing my son. ”
The reason Alex is advised to stop taking hormones is that the NHS protocol provides psychological help to children under the age of 16 and sometimes provides puberty inhibitors (drugs that stop the onset of puberty). .. Medically … often because gender behaviors and emotions disappear when a child reaches puberty. ”
According to the NHS website, people aged 16 and 17 can take cross-sex hormones, but only after taking sunscreen for 12 months. At the age of 17, Alex did not take blockers and went private about hormones. That is, she had to wait until she was 18 to be seen on the NHS Gender Identity Service.