We like to think of America as a civilized first-world nation where our medical needs are taken care of, but many of us know that not to be true. And now, the reality is hitting the LGBT community directly as a shortage of estrogen is currently plaguing the United States.
From Refinery29: "18 months ago, a shortage of injectable estrogen at the 40-mg dosage occurred and has yet to return to market. This is the highest dosage available and the one most frequently prescribed to trans women." More specifically: "Doctors have had increasing problems obtaining the 20-mg dosage of Delestrogen and its generic counterpart, estradiol valerate, the injectable estrogen hormones used by trans women."
Anthony Vavasis, director of medicine at Callen Lorde, a community health center, had this to say on the issue:
"We’re worried about safety implications. If you look at the history of trans medicine, hormones were readily available on the street, but you never knew what you were getting. Patients would report how they felt on [street] injections and it was very suspicious that it may not have been what they thought it was ... The trans community has faced so much marginalization, historically, that we don’t want this to become another way that happens.”
“It speaks to the disparity of how we as a community understand the importance of hormones for trans people,” Vavasis says. “What if tomorrow we announced, ‘there’s no more insulin available for diabetics?’ How would that play?”
The shortage is expected to last until at least October, but some doctors are suspicious about that as well.