Mohamed, S., & Hunter, M. S. (2018). Transgender women’s experiences and beliefs about hormone therapy through and beyond mid-age: An exploratory UK study. International Journal of Transgenderism,1-10.

Little is known about transgender women’s beliefs and experiences of hormone therapy (HT), as part of their transition process, and particularly as they grow older. Aims: This study aimed to investigate: (i) transgender women’s experiences and attitudes to HT, and (ii) expectations of what might occur and/or what occurred after they reached “menopausal age.” Participants were recruited through invitations to an online survey sent to 138 Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender plus (LGBT+) support groups across the UK. Sixty-seven transgender women consented and completed the questionnaire; responses were analyzed using a mixed-methods approach. The beliefs about medicines questionnaire (BMQ) was used to assess beliefs about HT, while an inductive thematic qualitative approach was used to explore participants’ personal expectations and experiences of HT and their views about the menopause. Participants were aged on average 49 years ranging from 20 to 79 years old. Most (96%) were taking HT. BMQ scores revealed strong beliefs about the necessity of HT and some concerns. Positive views about HT were expressed, with themes including treatment importance, personal and mental health benefits, but concerns about long-term effects, side effects, and maintaining access to the treatment were also mentioned. Views about menopause included uncertainty and questioning of its relevance; some mentioned changes to HT dosage, but most expected to use HT indefinitely. This study provides exploratory qualitative and quantitative information about transgender women’s views about HT and menopause. Practical implications include improving access to HT and provision of evidence-based information about long-term use.

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