Here’s a quick update to where I’m at with my trans healthcare journey in the UK; questioning whether I should cut off my balls or wait for adequate treatment.
So for those who have not kept up to date with my personal healthcare woes via Twitter or wherever; I finally got an NHS prescription last year. That’s right! Over 10 years of fighting and I am finally prescribed oestrogen by an NHS doctor and I can just stroll into a pharmacy and buy it like anyone else picking up a prescription.
In short, this came about as a result of my GP repeatedly refusing any shared care with private clinics on trans healthcare after initially agreeing. A couple of years of back and forth and I finally managed to get them to cave by providing them with two prescription recommendations from two separate NHS gender specialists.
One included the anti-androgen I have requested whereas the other didn’t. My doctor went with the one that didn’t – and the specialist recommends that the oestrogen ought to be enough to lower my T levels down to essentially nothing. This is something E can do, but my GP is unreliable and I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to take the medication consistently enough for that effect to manifest.
Not that I can check – the specialist who said they would take over my care hasn’t responded to an email I sent recently nor have they requested bloods from me at the 3 month mark like they said they would. It seems like they’ve just given me a prescription and are now ignoring me which is not super.
All of which leads me to the question in the title; should I cut off my balls? The procedure is called an orchiectomy or orchidectomy – often referred to as an orchi in the trans community. They are the largest producers of T in my body and if I cut off my balls it would solve the problem of doctors not having prescribed me an anti-androgen like how I asked them to.
I am almost positive I cannot achieve this via the NHS and would have to go private for it. As much as I phrase this as “should I cut off my balls” I do not condone or endorse self-surgery of any kind! Genderkit estimates the cost of such a procedure to be between £3000 and £4000. That’s roughly about the same as 3 years of anti-androgen prescriptions, which I spent 10 years paying for privately already.
Its all seeming so idealised until my little bodily autonomy warrior brain kicks back in and says “hey wait just a ball cutting minute here”. Because I don’t actually want an orchi, I don’t want to cut off my balls. I’m pretty happy with how things are down that way and not looking to making any renovations any time soon. What I want is an effective method of blocking my testosterone.
But that’s the position the NHS and its inaction on trans healthcare is putting trans people like me in. We’re genuinely sitting here considering surgeries we don’t actually want because the NHS simply refuses to acknowledge our autonomy and respect our agency over our own bodies
I shouldn’t be considering whether I should cut off my balls. I should just have access to anti-androgen medication and regular blood monitoring to ensure my health. I shouldn’t have to write an article using the phrase “cut off my balls” to get people’s attention about the dire state of trans healthcare in the UK – because it shouldn’t be so dire.