COVID-19 Update

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UPDATE 27th March

Further Information on Self-Injection

Your hormone replacement therapy should not be interrupted during the COVID-19 crisis, and if you have any issues obtaining your medication or someone trained to help with your injection you should contact your GP or your prescriber if possible

If you are unable to find a nurse, doctor, or pharmacist who can help you with your usual injections  due to COVID-19 and need to self inject without prior training, the National Gender Service has recommended the following resources to help you do this safely.

  • Sustanon: This video is a good demonstration on safe intramuscular (IM) injections. The ideal needle is 22G (blue), do not use smaller (yellow or orange) needles and the syringe should be 1ml or 2ml.
  • Zoladex: NEVER inject Zoladex into a muscle.  This is a difficult one to inject one as it requires a bigger needle, and ideally should be done by someone who knows what they are doing. Here is some information on how to do it safely.

  • Nebido & Decapeptyl: Only inject into the buttocks by another person, trying to inject yourself can result in permanent nerve damage. Get another person to help, ideally a healthcare worker who is trained in the injection. For these injections you need to use 18G (green) needles and 5ml syringes. Note that syringe sizes for Decapeptyl may vary depending on how often you inject, so use the syringe that comes with your pack or ask a pharmacist.
    Here is a video on how to locate the spot for injection:

UPDATED 25th March 18:08

Self-injection 

If you administer your own hormones by self-injection, the National Gender Service have advised the following:

  • If you self inject continue to do so.
  • If you cannot self inject AND the healthcare provider who normally gives you your injection is not available then get in touch with the service that prescribed your hormones for advice.

For people who were prescribed hormones by the National Gender Service (NGS), they should contact the NGS at 01 2115045 or nationalgenderservice@hse.ie. Each person will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, but some of the options that can be considered are:

  • for people on injectable testosterone, conversion to testosterone gels.
  • for people on injectable blockers, conversion to alternative agents like finasteride or spironolactone.

TENI is exploring the option of sharing a video tutorial on self-injection, but, understandably, given the current crisis, it is proving difficult to find an appropriate medical professional to help us with this. We will share updates and information as soon as we have them.

We’re all anxious about COVID19. We know many people in our community may have some added worries so here are some trans-specific issues & myths and information to ease those worries a bit.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and Blockers
Hormones / blockers are not expected to make you more prone to infection or the most serious complications of COVID19.

Binding is not expected to put you at higher risk of infection. However, if you become infected, binding or wearing anything that can restrict your breathing, could accelerate the symptoms and infection. This is not proven to be the case but is reasonable to assume. Therefore, if you bind and you develop symptoms of COVID19, the safest thing to do is to avoid binding while you have symptoms. Symptoms of COVID19 & general advice on self-isolation etc. can be found on the HSE website. 

Appointments & Prescriptions
For now, the National Gender Service is minimising face to face clinical activity in line with HSE advice. Endocrine appointments in March are being cancelled. The National Gender Service will be in touch with those affected to rearrange appointments.

The National Gender Service (NGS) will issue prescriptions to cover those affected by cancellation while they are waiting for their next appointment. They will review plans for clinical activity week by week. If you have any queries then please contact the National Gender Service at 01 2115045 or nationalgenderservice@hse.ie

While supply chains will not be disrupted, it is likely to take longer to fill prescriptions so call your pharmacy in advance to arrange your prescription being ordered in.

If you need to have your hormones administered by your GP, call ahead to check that your GP is seeing patients as some are not and you may need to make alternative arrangements.

If you are having any issues with the NGS or your medication, contact us.

Support groups will continue to take place at their regular times through conference calling and video chat using Zoom where possible. For details of support groups in your area check out  www.teni.ie/supports. If you’d like more information, please contact keeva@teni.ie.

TransParenCI’s support groups for families of trans people will also run online. For details contact hannah@teni.ie.

We know many people are feeling lonely right now.  Reach out and speak to someone.

The LGBT Helpline is available on 1890 929 539.
Monday to Thursday: 6:30pm to 10:00pm
Fridays: 4:00pm to 10:00pm
Saturday and Sunday: 4:00pm to 6:00pm

The Gender Identity Family Support Line is available 01 907 3707
Sundays 6pm to 9pm
Tuesdays, 10am to 12pm

We are here if you need us. Pop us an email at office@teni.ie or leave us a message at 01 873 3575 and we’ll get back to you.