Increasing rates of people identifying as transgender presenting to Endocrine Services in the Wellington region

N Z Med J. 2018 Jan 19;131(1468):33-42.


Aims: Overseas clinics specialising in management of transgender people have noted a marked increase in the numbers of people requesting therapy in the last few years. No data has been presented for New Zealand. We therefore reviewed the number of transgender people seen in the Wellington Endocrine Service to assess if the pattern was similar and assess any potential problems for service delivery.

Methods: Using hospital records, we reviewed the new appointments of people who were referred for advice on gender reassignment and seen in the Wellington Endocrine Service from 1990 to 2016.

Results: In total, 438 people who identified as transgender attended the clinic at least once in this period. There has been a progressive increase in number of people identifying as transgender presenting to the clinic, particularly since 2010. In addition to increasing overall numbers, there has been in particular increase in referrals for people under age 30, as well as an increasing proportion of people requesting female-to-male (FtM) therapy so that it is now approaching the number of people requesting male-to-female therapy (MtF).

Conclusion: The pattern observed is comparable to changes reported overseas. These changes have practical consequences for the delivery of both secondary and primary level healthcare, requiring an increased focus on clinical coordination between the relevant medical services and their links to the primary services sector.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Referral and Consultation / trends*
  • Transgender Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Transsexualism / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult