When it comes to gender-affirming care we work in a person-centred, multidisciplinary manner with other health professionals. We can coordinate with GPs, psychologists, counsellors, endocrinologists, fertility specialists and other surgeons but ultimately, a care plan depends on an individual person’s needs and transition goals.
Opting to have gender-affirming surgery privately can accelerate progress towards a desired gender expression. COGA’s doctors are credentialed to operate in all of Christchurch’s private hospitals.
Hysterectomy - removal of the uterus (womb)
These days a hysterectomy can be conducted in a minimally invasive way by gynaecologists, through a laparoscopic procedure. Under either local or general anaesthetic, a laparoscope and operating instruments are inserted through 3 or 4 small cuts in the abdominal wall and your uterus is removed using these instruments. The fallopian tubes and sometimes the ovaries can be removed as part of the same procedure.
It can take slightly longer than an abdominal hysterectomy but the recovery time is quicker due to the cuts being small.
In this procedure a cut is made across your abdomen just above the pubic bone and the uterus is removed through the incision. Occasionally a vertical cut toward the tummy button is needed too.
The recovery time is longer for an abdominal hysterectomy because of the larger cut – around 4 – 6 weeks – and scarring can be similar to that of a caesarean section.
The uterus can also be removed through the vagina, although this isn’t an option for everyone, particularly if the uterus is large, if you have had pelvic surgery previously or if you haven’t had children before. The recovery time is fast with this procedure.
Oophorectomy - removal of the ovaries (and fallopian tubes)
Again, this is a commonly conducted procedure, often used in the treatment of endometriosis or as a preventative measure for people with ovarian or breast cancer in the family.
An oophorectomy is the removal of one or both ovaries and a salpingo-oophorectomy removes the fallopian tubes as well as the ovaries.
Transgender fertility preservation
Right now you might be uncertain about wanting to have a family, however we can consult around options to keep choices available for the future.
Eggs (and sperm) can be frozen before gender-affirming hormone treatment (GAHT) or surgery so it’s best to have a conversation about fertility with your doctor early in the process.
(also known as egg banking) involves a person with a uterus choosing to have eggs retrieved from their ovaries. The eggs are then frozen and stored until they are ready to use in the future with in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment. COGA doctors work closely with Fertility Associates and can advise on methods for preserving your fertility.
are also possible for couples or individuals seeking to grow their family.
What to expect
We want people, most of all, to feel comfortable and safe when they visit us. Our medical practitioners are experienced and trustworthy. We aim to stay informed about the needs of our gender-diverse community – but we are human, so if we get something wrong a correction is always welcome.
We will check that our records are using your preferred name, gender and pronouns, and ensure that our communications use them.
Depending on individual needs and transition goals, we can recommend specialists and refer to our wider healthcare network including counselling, voice therapists, endocrinologists and other surgeons.
Our gynaecologists are some of the most experienced microsurgery specialists in Christchurch.
For further reading see our Knowledge Hub
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