Purpose of review
Discussion of short and long-term issues of cross-hormone treatment of transgender
individuals in the light of recent literature.
Gender nonconformity has been depathologized and replaced by gender dysphoria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Safety of cross-sex hormone treatment is still a matter of debate, but the latest findings in literature are quite reassuring about short-term and long-term effects. No dramatic changes in recommendations for treatment have emerged in the past years, and for the most part, clinical work is based on Endocrine Society Clinical Guidelines published in 2009.
Most recent findings agreed on the importance of maintaining cross-sex hormone serum concentration within the physiological range, avoiding or limiting maximum peaks and troughs.
Treatment must be highly individualized and transitioning patients need to be engaged in a ‘clinical contract’ with the physician in order to ensure compliance with prescribed treatments.
Although overall mortality appears to be higher among transgender individuals, this in not attributed to hormonal treatment but to other causes mostly related to lifestyle habits.