Blood tests are an important part of your treatment plan.
There are three ways to arrange these:
- With your Doctor – if your doctor is able to arrange your blood tests through your public health system, the results can be securely uploaded to our Help Centre. This can be done directly by your doctor, or you can do it yourself.
- Private service – if your doctor is unable to administer your blood tests, then either our partner network of private walk-in laboratory clinics, or a local private hospital, may be able to help.
Find out more about how the blood tests work here.
Full Health Check
Full health check blood tests are needed at the start of treatment for people over the age of 60 and people of any age with existing health conditions.
They are required annually for anyone receiving any treatment. These are the tests you will need to have:
- Full blood count (FBC)
- Liver (LFT)
- Kidney (U&E)
- Diabetes (HbA1C)
- Lipids (Lipids)
A copy of this form will be emailed to you upon completion, so that you can refer back to it when arranging your blood tests, which ever route you decide to take.
To monitor your hormone levels, we recommend that testosterone and oestrogen blood tests should be carried out once every three months. However, this is not necessary if you are on blocking treatment only.
Once your hormones levels have stabilised, the frequency of these checks will be reduced.
Please note that we require these additional blood tests every three months if you are taking:
- Cyproterone – Liver (LFT)
- Bicalutamide – Liver (LFT)
- Spironolactone – Kidney incl. potassium (U&E)
We ask everyone to have their blood pressure checked once every three months. This is mandatory if you have been recommended Spironolactone.
I am unable to get blood tests
We understand that some people are unable to get blood tests. If this is the case for you, please contact us and explain your situation to a member of our Team. We will work with you to continue your treatment while keeping you safe.
More about the methods of testing
Testing at a Clinic
GenderGP works with a large blood testing service with over 170 clinics around the UK – including the South West, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Once you have identified your nearest clinic on this LIST place your order through GenderGP and you will receive an email with details of the Booking Centre at the Pathology Service. You can then call them to arrange an appointment at a convenient time.
As with all blood tests, there is a chance that the sample can fail, however, having your sample taken by a professional phlebotomist and processed on site, greatly reduces that risk.
Results will be returned to GenderGP within three working days.
Testing through your local health service
We can send a letter to your doctor to request that they arrange the tests for you. The benefits of this are that, unless local charges apply, it is free. Your doctor will be sent all the relevant information including what tests you require and how to return the results via our Confidential Information Transfer system. A link to this will also be provided.
You will also receive a copy of this letter for your records. Please note that we will contact you once we have received and reviewed your blood test results.
Important: Blood Test Contamination
Certain medications can contaminate blood tests, leading to inaccurate results.
To reduce the risk of contamination:
If using hormone gel:
- Blood should be tested 4-6 hours after gel is applied
- Apply gel to shoulders, upper arms or thighs
- Use gloves to apply gel for 3 days leading up to the test
If using hormone patches:
- Blood should be tested the day after a patch change
If using hormone injections:
- Sustanon – carry out blood test midway between injections
- Nebido – carry out blood test immediately before next injection
Please note that if the results are contaminated, we will be unable to review your treatment.
Blood Test Timings: Important Information
Timings for blood tests vary, depending on the way in which your medication is administered
Have the test carried out the day after a patch change
Have the test carried out at the midway point between injections
Have the test carried out at any time
Have the test carried out 4-6 hours after gel application
Have the test carried out immediately before your next injection