Are you looking for information on how to start the process of sex reassignment? Maybe you want to help a family member or a friend in this situation?

Here you can find the basic information about the process.

Please, mind that this article contains only general guidelines. What you will really need is emotional and psychological support from someone near to you and/or from somebody who had the same experience and can guide you.

For more specific information and peer support please check the Trasek page (also in English)  and the Sukupuolenosaamiskeskus, they offer support and information (limitedly also in English).

But, with no further due, let’s start.

To start the process you need a medical referral to Transpoli-klinikka (a specialized department of the University Hospital in Helsinki or Tampere). You should be able to get this referral from any doctor (it is guaranteed by Finnish Law). You do not need a referral made by a psychiatrist.

Some doctor would probably try to send you to a psychiatric department, for further examinations. Remember that it is not required! No physical, nor genital investigation is required ever! You are in your own right to refuse all of these.

Now you got your referral. Getting your appointment to Transpoli could take some months but sometimes even more.*1 Trasek has a document (in Finnish) that you can bring with you to help your doctor write the referral correctly.

Here begins the diagnostic part of your journey. You will meet with a nurse, a psychiatrist, and a psychologist. You will go through your personal history with them. They will possibly want to meet your significant ones/family. In this phase, the most important thing is that you are conscious of your gender. To get to the diagnosis, the medical equipè has to rule out all possible mental diseases. Furthermore, they want to be sure that you can feel up to the process.

You can get two kinds of diagnosis here in Finland (according to  ICD-10)

  • F64.0 Transexualism.
  • F64.8 Other gender identity disorders.

Unfortunately, the F64.8 diagnosis won’t assure you access to all treatments available. I will write a different post on this specific topic.

Let’s talk about treatments and steps then.

After the diagnosis, you should be able to get a referral to officially change your name in the Digital and Population Data Service register. 

You will also get access to

  • Hormonal treatment (estrogen or testosterone).
  • Voice therapy (for feminine).
  • A tracheal (Adam’s apple) shave (for feminine).
  • Face hair laser-treatment  (for feminine).
  • Top surgery (for masculine).

It has been a long process but it isn’t over yet. If you want access to genital surgery, you need a “second opinion” by a psychiatrist. This shouldn’t take as much time and research as the previous phase, BUT you will be able to get an appointment at the earliest one year after the first diagnosis. This year is called “the real-life phase”, which will be possibly made complicated by the fact that you were entitled to change officially your name but not your gender.

After you have got the last medical referral from the psychiatrist you can (but you don’t have to if you don’t want):

  • Officially change your gender in your documents*2.
  • Get access to bottom surgery.

REMEMBER THAT TO OFFICIALLY CHANGE YOUR GENDER IN FINLAND YOU ARE STILL REQUIRED TO BE INFERTILE!

NOTES

 *1Especially if you don’t find, from the beginning, a doctor willing to write the referral.

*2In Finland, to  juridically change your gender you need

  • The official two statements we talked in this article.
  • An official statement that you are infertile.
  • To be 18 years old at least.
  • To be a Finnish citizen or to hold a permanent resident permit in Finland.