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Our gender services team includes award-winning specialists who welcome people of all gender identities and expressions.
We use the latest care options, including hormone therapy and surgeries. Our experts can answer all your questions and will create a care plan personalized to your goals.
We’re by your side with personalized care for all your health needs including hormone therapy, top surgery, hysterectomies and mental health support.
Whether you’ve made the choice to start your transition or are just looking for a doctor you can trust, we can help. We’re honored to support you through your transition and help you maintain your health. Our trusted doctors provide a complete range of health care services to trans men, trans women, and people who are non-binary, agender, or questioning their gender identity.
Our team understands that people who are transgender have unique health care needs. We take time to listen to your concerns and answer your questions. We’ll work together to create a personalized plan that fits with your lifestyle and meets your goals. And with a dedicated Care Navigator on our team, we’ll make sure you have the resources, education and care coordination you need to get the right support every step of the way.
We were one of the first in the Midwest to provide gender care. Now, we continue to be one of the leaders in the region by offering the latest care options, technologies and outstanding support for the LGBTQ community. We help people of all ages feel more comfortable with their identity and get the high-quality care they deserve.
Opened in 2010, the Park Nicollet Gender Services Clinic was one of the first clinics in Minnesota that specialized in treating people who are transgender. We offer a variety of services like hormone therapy, mental health support and hysterectomy consultations. We’re honored to have helped hundreds of patients transition and feel comfortable with their gender identities.
Gender identity is our internal sense of being a man, woman, both, neither or another gender. This is different than sex, which refers to our biological characteristics, like our reproductive system. When your gender identity matches your biological sex, this is called being cisgender. But many people have gender identities that don’t match their biological sex. This is called being transgender.
Someone who is transgender might decide to take medical, social and legal steps to address their concerns or express their gender identity outwardly. This process is often called transitioning. We’re here to answer your questions about medical transitioning, help you create a transition plan, provide treatment and guide you through the process.
We’ll work with you to determine your best treatment options to meet your goals. We provide many gender services including hormone therapy, surgery, mental health support and more.
Feminizing hormone therapy uses female hormones to promote physical changes in your body that match your gender identity. Most feminizing hormone therapy uses a combination of estrogen, progesterone and androgen blockers.
Estrogen is the primary hormone used in feminizing therapy. It promotes breast growth, decreases the growth of body hair and helps change the distribution of fat on the body for a more feminine appearance. It can be taken many different ways.
- Oral estrogen
- Injectable estrogen
- Estrogen gels
- Estrogen patch
Progesterone and androgen blockers are often prescribed alongside estrogen. Progesterone is used to promote breast growth. It’s most commonly prescribed in oral medication. Most topical creams don’t contain enough progesterone, so androgen blockers are used to block the production of testosterone and are also commonly prescribed in oral pill form.
Masculinizing hormone therapy uses male hormones to promote body changes so your physical appearance can better match your gender identity. Testosterone is the primary hormone used in masculinizing hormone therapy. Testosterone can help you increase muscle mass and strength, promote hair growth on your face and body, deepen your voice, suppress or stop your menstrual cycle and enlarge the clitoris.
There are a few different ways testosterone can be prescribed:
- Testosterone injections (long-lasting and extra long-lasting injections)
- Subcutaneous testosterone implants (pellets)
- Transdermal gel
- Transdermal patches
We’ll work with you to determine which type of testosterone prescription is your best option.
Children and adolescents who are transgender might decide to temporarily pause puberty. This is called puberty suppression. The purpose of puberty suppression is to stop hormone-related changes to your body that might not match your gender identity.
If you choose to suppress puberty, we’ll prescribe a puberty blocker called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). This is a type of medicine that stops the body from releasing sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen). This prevents the development of sex characteristics like breast growth, development of facial hair and starting your period.
Suppressing puberty doesn’t cause any permanent changes to your body. It gives you and your family more time to discuss, evaluate or plan for your permanent gender transition and reduces feelings of gender dysphoria.
Doctors are available to talk to you and your family about puberty suppression at our Inver Grove Heights location.
People who are transgender are more likely to experience mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. Our gender medicine experts work closely with our team of mental health specialists. If needed, we can connect you with one of our therapists so you can get the mental health care you need.
Some people choose to have top surgery as part of their transition plans or to address dysphoria related to their chests. Top surgery is when the chest is surgically changed to achieve a more masculine or feminine body shape. There are two main types of top surgery, chest reconstruction surgery and breast augmentation.
During chest reconstruction surgery, all or some of the breast tissue is removed. Often, the size of the areolas (the darker skin around the nipple) is also reduced. Some people choose to have the chest contoured for a more masculine shape.
Breast augmentation is a procedure used to enhance the size of the breasts. This is most commonly done with breast implants. But sometimes fat is transferred from other parts of the body to the breasts. When needed, we might use a combination of both techniques.
We work closely with our team of expert plastic surgeons to help you achieve a natural look that meets your expectations.
Some people choose to have surgery as part of their gender transition. We work closely with our team of expert plastic surgeons and urologists to provide the high-quality care you deserve. And no matter what procedure you choose, we’ll answer all your questions about how to prepare, the surgery and your recovery.
Our surgeons can perform plastic and reconstructive surgery including:
- Body contouring
- Hysterectomies (removal of the uterus)
- Orchiectomy (removal of the testicles)
We’re here to help you from your first appointment, through your transition and beyond. We offer other services including:
- Wellness exams and routine care for gender transitions
- Voice therapy
- Hormone injection instruction
- Reproductive care, including contraception
- Preconception planning
- Family planning
- Sperm banking or egg preservation referrals
Knowing what to expect can help you get the most out of your visit. When you arrive, we’ll start with a review of your complete mental health and medical history. If needed, we’ll perform a medical exam and lab tests. We’ll also perform an evaluation for gender dysphoria.
Next, you’ll discuss your goals with us and review care options. We’ll help you understand the benefits and risks of each option and guide you toward the best choices for you. Then, we’ll work together to create a personalized plan that helps you meet your goals. If other services or specialists are needed, we’ll connect you.
After you start hormone therapy, you’ll probably be excited to see how your body changes. If you’re wondering how long it takes to see results, here are the general guidelines of what to expect:
Many results start to appear between one to six months after starting testosterone, including menstrual suppression. You can expect one to two years to achieve the desired results for voice deepening, clitoral enlargement and vaginal atrophy. Other changes, like fat redistribution, changes in muscle mass and facial/body hair growth can take up to five years before final results are seen.
Many changes start to appear between three to six months, including skin softening, breast growth, decreased hair growth and redistribution of body fat. However, it can take up to three years to see the final results of your changes.
Like with any other medication, there are side effects associated with both feminizing and masculinizing hormone therapies. We’ll explain all the side effects and answer any questions you have before prescribing hormone therapy.
No. Being transgender is not a mental illness. But, people who are transgender are more likely to experience emotional and mental health conditions. Our gender services team can connect you to one of our mental health specialists.
Gender services are often covered by your insurance. However, you’ll need to check with your insurance plan to learn what is covered. Our Care Navigator is available to answer your questions and find resources that can help you work with your insurance company.
If you aren’t sure what your insurance covers, call the number on the back of your insurance card.
Don’t have your card in front of you? Here are member services numbers to help you get started:
- HealthPartners: 800-883-2177
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota: 800-382-2000
- CIGNA: 800-244-6224 (insurance through work); 866-494-2111 (insurance directly or through the Exchange)
- Medica: 800-952-3455
- Medicare: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)
- PreferredOne: 763-847-4477 (in the Twin Cities); 800-997-1750 (outside the metro area)
- United Healthcare: 877-842-3210