Apr 052016


Open Minded Health is temporarily going to a biweekly post schedule. That is, posts will go from once a week to once every two weeks.

This is for a few reasons. My second year of medical school is coming to an end. I begin prepping for the first, and biggest, of the board exams next week. And I’ll be going into my clinical years in June. The clinical year is one of the busiest years in medical education, only surpassed by residency (the “internship” of medicine).

Going to a biweekly update schedule means updates can still come at regular intervals. I will do my best to make the posts more in depth so the wait is worth it.

I’m also working on a full update to Trans 101. I’ll let you all know when that’s done.

Thank you for continuing to read Open Minded Health!


Trans 101 for Trans People


This is not your average transgender 101. I will not go over the basics of what gender and sex are. I will not define the word “transgender” here. There will be no gender unicorns here. If you’re looking for that, check out my Gender and Sexual Minorities 101 slides. This is a transgender 101 for trans people!

Transition can be complicated and confusing. Accurate and understandable information is rarely all in one place. There are a lot of “trans 101” articles out there for cis people, but not so many to help trans people through transition. This is my attempt to remedy that. It’s my attempt to pull together as many answers to as many questions as I can. I hope they’re helpful.

Just a friendly reminder — I am not your physician and cannot give medical advice on the internet. If you have questions or concerns about your health in particular, please do give your doctor a call. If you’re in the market for a doctor, please either contact your local trans organization or take a look through the lists that WPATH and GLMA maintain of trans-friendly providers.

This is a living document. I will continue to update it as I publish more parts and as I receive feedback from the community. Content will change over time.

This document was last updated on October 13, 2017.

CC BY 2.0 flickr user kristiand

Table of Contents

General Questions

General Medical Questions

General Hormone Questions

General Surgery Questions

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Jan 102011

A new study has found that circumcised men transmit HPV to women less frequently than uncircumcised men in a 2-year period (SourceStudy). This was a statistically significant difference (it probably wasn’t caused by chance). Also, when circumcised, it lessens the risk of phimosis. Individuals who aren’t circumcised might experience pain in their foreskin; this might be a sign that he has phimosis. Check with a physician to discuss phimosis and phimosis cure to help you. The authors go on to suggest that circumcision should thus be used to prevent the spread of HPV, with a warning that it’s only a partial protection (a 23% difference between the groups). The study was published in The Lancet

After reviewing the study, although it mostly seems sound, I have one objection: couldn’t the statistical difference come from a change in sexual behavior and not the procedure? A circumcision requires healing time and may affect sexual response, which may lead to a change in sexual habits. The authors tracked number of sexual partners, but not the activities themselves. It strikes me that the activities should have been tracked, even by a self-reported estimate.

I also question the conclusion: wouldn’t it be better to vaccinate the population, instead of risking infection and sexual side effects? However, I am biased about this subject.

Research Citation:

Effect of circumcision of HIV-negative men on transmission of human papillomavirus to HIV-negative women: a randomised trial in Rakai, Uganda (Link)
Prof Maria J Wawer MD,Dr Aaron AR Tobian MD,Godfrey Kigozi MBChB,Xiangrong Kong PhD,Patti E Gravitt PhD,David Serwadda MMed,Fred Nalugoda MHS,Frederick Makumbi PhD,Victor Ssempiija ScM,Nelson Sewankambo MMed,Stephen Watya MMed,Kevin P Eaton BS,Amy E. Oliver BA,Michael Z Chen MSc,Steven J Reynolds MD,Prof Thomas C Quinn MD,Prof Ronald H Gray MD
The Lancet – 7 January 2011
DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(10)61967-8