A lot can be said about gender health and wellness. It opens up the discussion on how we can better take care of ourselves. Different gender identities, particularly those from the LGBTQ+ community, need a space where they can address their healthcare needs in an environment that encourages support and guidance from trusted professionals.
This is one of the reasons why The Medical City decided to launch its Center for Gender Health and Wellness, a program designed to provide holistic gender-sensitive health care to the LGBTQ+ community to support their overall health, psychological well-being, and self-fulfillment. Miss International Queen 2012 and LGBTQ+ advocate Kevin Balot recently visited the clinic to share her journey with transitioning and find out more about the program. Here's what she learned:
Gender health and wellness is something we all need to pay attention to.
“I already knew that I wanted to be a woman at a very young age but I grew up in a province where people are very close-minded when it comes to these things,” Kevin shares. For her, it was the encouraging words from friends that helped her go through her transitioning phase. “It’s difficult to reverse some of the changes. There are physical changes—it’s harder to build muscles, your body hair becomes thinner, and your voice will change.” She also adds that she became more emotional and sensitive.
One of her biggest concerns was that she simply did not have access to a safe, respectful, and positive environment where she could ask questions and get answers from a health professional. “My friends told me which pill to take if you want to look like a woman or want to look beautiful, but I found out later on that it’s wrong [to take that approach]. That pill was meant for women who don’t want to get pregnant. It’s really important to consult a doctor,” she says.
The clinic's transgender package can give a lot of support to those transitioning.
The Center for Gender Health and Wellness Program offers gender-affirming therapy and hormonal treatment. It also does monitoring and testing for other medical conditions and effects of the therapy. The clinic aims to address the needs of transgender and gender-expansive patients and also help ease their worries by providing quality and stigma-free health care. They want to advocate gender sensitivity by having staff that undergo LGBTQ+ cultural competency training.
Everyone can benefit from the clinic's services.
There are different packages that help address different needs. Sexual wellness covers counseling, testing, and treatment for common sexually transmitted infections. The Hypogonadism Treatment helps investigate and treat the causes of incomplete physical sexual development for adults. Women can learn more about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) with a package that helps provide risk assessment and treatment if they’re struggling with this hormonal disorder. They can also consult the clinic for concerns about fertility and menopause.
It's important to have a reliable source for when you want to ask questions.
Kevin stresses, “It’s 2020! We have doctors who are knowledgeable. Don’t be afraid to seek help. Just simply taking a blood test to know the right amount of estrogen and anti-androgen that you have to take is really important.”
Her advice to those who want to work on their gender wellness? “Everyone’s journey is unique and different. Hearing clear answers to your questions will make you feel lighter and hopefully more confident with your decisions.”
The Medical City Center for Gender Health and Wellness is located at 6/F, Wellness & Aesthetics Institute, Podium Building, The Medical City Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City, Metro Manila. For prices and more information about the program, visit www.themedicalcity.com or call +632 8999 1000 / +632 8988 7000 ext 6576