What is gender dysphoria?

Gender dysphoria refers to the distress or discomfort a transgender or gender-expansive person may feel if their birth-assigned sex does not align with their gender identity.

  • Birth-assigned sex—also known as birth-designated sex or natal sex—is the sex (male or female) assigned to a child at birth, most often based on the appearance of the child’s external genital organs.
  • Gender identity is a person’s internal sense of being male, female, neither male nor female, or a combination of both male and female.

Gender dysphoria often begins during childhood or adolescence but can occur at any stage of life, even in older age. The level of distress varies and can impact social and occupational function and other important aspects of life.

People who are significantly affected by gender dysphoria may choose to undergo medical and/or surgical treatment to transition physically and socially to the gender role they feel to be their true selves. A diagnosis for gender dysphoria was created to help people access the health care, treatment, and support they may need.

Comprehensive options for treatment of gender dysphoria

The Comprehensive Gender Care Program at Main Line Health offers a complete array of medical, surgical, behavioral health, and support services to serve the diverse needs of individuals with gender dysphoria. The program provides a safe, welcoming space where people with any degree of gender-related distress can find the support and specialized care that they need.

If you or a loved one is experiencing gender dysphoria, our gender services nurse navigator can help direct you to appropriate services.

To learn more about the Main Line Health Comprehensive Gender Care Program or to schedule an appointment with a gender care specialist, please call 484.337.5329 for a consultation.