Your teen is gender non-conforming – a term that means the gender a young person feels is right for them does not match the gender they were given at birth. Do they need reproductive health services and birth control? Yes!
An article by Suzannah Weiss in Teen Vogue summarizes seven things gender non-conforming individuals should know about birth control. Although written for gender non-conforming individuals, the article is a great resource for parental caregivers who may be helping their teen find a reproductive health care provider, gender affirming therapy (hormones administered to individuals to more closely align with their gender identity), and/or birth care services.
The important takeaways are:
- Educate yourself and your teen about how to find a well-informed, culturally sensitive health care provider who can provide gender affirming therapy and/or birth care services. The article identifies resources to find doctors who are knowledgeable about gender identity.
- Talk with your teen and their health care provider about whether your teen needs gender-affirming hormonal therapy, birth control, or both. It is important to know that although many birth control methods contain hormones, they are not an alternative for hormone therapy.
- Be familiar with other uses for birth control besides just pregnancy prevention, like suppressing menstruation, which may also be appropriate for your teen’s health.
- Make sure your teen is aware that gender affirming hormone therapy does not prevent pregnancy.
- Discuss with your teen and their health care provider which types of birth control options may be best for them: ones with estrogen (the pill, patch, or ring), estrogen-free options (the Depo Provera shot, the hormonal IUD, or arm implant), or non-hormonal options (the copper IUD, condoms, spermicide).
- Talk with your teen and their health care provider about how birth control can affect hormone therapy and vice-versa.
- Provide support for your teen as they navigate different emotions and situations related to their gender identity.
All teens deserve quality, respectful, and gender affirming care. It’s important that as a parental caregiver, you let your teens know that you support them as they learn to take charge of their own health care and reproductive health.
Check out the full article by Suzannah Weiss on Teen Vogue online here: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/things-to-know-about-birth-control-trans-non-binary