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Mental Health Treatment California

Gender Dysphoria Mental Health Treatment Center Orange County California

Gender dysphoria refers to a condition where a person may feel severe discomfort about the gender and sex assigned at the time of birth. Sex refers to the physical attributes of a person related to their reproductive organs, based on which the category of ‘male’ or ‘female’ is assigned at birth. Gender refers to the social system that is based on assumptions about roles and characteristics which are perceived as masculine or feminine.

Transgender people typically experience this condition at some point during their lifetime. In severe cases of gender dysphoria an individual may wish to be rid of the physical sex attributes to redefine their identity.

To clarify, identifying with a different gender than the one assigned at birth is not a mental disorder. It is only when an individual experiences severe discomfort and significant distress leading to difficulties to function normally in their daily lives, they are considered as having gender dysphoria disorder.

Clinically Reviewed by: Charee Marquez, LMFT

Symptoms of Gender Dysphoria

  • Aversion or loathing for one’s own sexual body parts
  • Inner (and expressed) conflict between gender identity and sex characteristics
  • Disinclination to dress in traditional gender-based attire
  • Desire to cross-dress, or dress in clothing meant for the opposite sex
  • Strong desire to be rid of their physical sex attributes
  • Significant distress in social settings regarding their assigned identity

Causes of Gender Dysphoria

No specific causes are known for gender dysphoria, however it has been observed that they are commonly reported by affected children between the ages of 2 – 4 years, although most of them no longer report it when they reach adolescence. Adults and young adults may experience gender dysphoria during puberty or early adulthood.


Research shows that all babies start out with female sex chromosomes (X) inherited from the mother, and only after the eighth week of pregnancy the father’s contribution of chromosomes become active. If the father’s contributions are Y chromosomes the testosterone and other male hormones makes it a male. There are several causes that could create gender identity differences after birth.


If the hormones that are supposed to trigger the development of sex and gender during pregnancy do not function correctly this could lead to a difference between how they relate to their sex versus their gender, which could be a factor leading to gender dysphoria.

Estrogen Enhancing Drugs

Exposure to drugs during pregnancy that may enhance progesterone or other estrogen related hormones may have an influence on gender based identity.

Intersex Conditions

In some rare cases, babies may be born with both male and female sex parts which may create a crisis in gender identity.

Treatment of Gender Dysphoria

Gender confirmation surgery is offered to patients with intersex conditions after they grow up and choose their own gender.

Hormone therapy and gender confirmation surgery are options for those with severe cases of gender dysphoria however they are not guaranteed to cure the distress.

Therapy and family counseling are the most recommended options to help understand and overcome symptoms of distress and learn to manage their emotions in social settings.

Does Insurance Cover Gender Dysphoria Treatment?

Insurance coverage for gender dysphoria treatment can vary depending on the individual’s insurance plan, the specific services needed, and the policies of the insurance provider. Gender dysphoria is a condition where an individual’s emotional and psychological identity as male, female, or another gender does not align with their assigned sex at birth.

Here are some considerations regarding insurance coverage for gender dysphoria treatment:

  1. Type of Insurance Plan:

    • Different types of insurance plans, such as private insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare, may have varying levels of coverage for gender dysphoria treatment.
  2. In-Network vs. Out-of-Network Providers:

    • Insurance plans typically have a network of preferred providers. In-network providers are often covered at a higher rate than out-of-network providers.
  3. Verification of Benefits:

    • It’s important to contact the insurance provider to verify specific coverage details for gender dysphoria treatment. This includes checking copayments, deductibles, and any out-of-pocket expenses.
  4. Medical Necessity:

    • Insurance coverage is often tied to the medical necessity of the treatment. A healthcare professional may need to provide documentation demonstrating the necessity of specific treatments or therapies for gender dysphoria.
  5. Preauthorization:

    • Some insurance plans may require preauthorization or approval before certain treatments or therapies are covered. Understanding and following the preauthorization process, if required, is essential.
  6. Coverage Limits:

    • Insurance plans may have limits on the number of therapy sessions, the duration of coverage, or the types of treatments covered for gender dysphoria.
  7. Parity Laws:

    • Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) in the United States may apply to ensure that coverage for mental health conditions, including gender dysphoria, is comparable to medical and surgical coverage.
  8. Individual Plan Details:

    • Each insurance plan is unique, and coverage details can vary widely. Understanding the specific terms and conditions of the individual’s insurance plan is crucial.

Laws and regulations related to gender dysphoria treatment coverage may vary by location, so it’s important to be aware of the specific legal requirements that may apply in your area. Individuals seeking gender dysphoria treatment should work closely with healthcare professionals and the insurance company to navigate the coverage process.

Seeking Treatment? We Can Help!

At California Prime Recovery, as an in-network provider we work with most insurance plans, such as:

If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health challenges or substance abuse, reach out to California Prime Recovery today. Our team of compassionate professionals is here to support your journey towards lasting well-being. Give us a call at 866-208-2390

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