Overview

Whether you're a trans-man, trans-woman, identify as non-binary or describe your gender in another way, it's important you're aware of which screening services you're eligible for.

Community Health Index (CHI) number

Your Community Health Index (CHI) number:

  • is a record of your date of birth
  • identifies you as male or female
  • is unique to you

All NHS screening programmes in Scotland identify people who're eligible for screening through their CHI number.

Changing your CHI number

We understand that you may or may not wish to change your CHI number and have provided information to help you make an informed choice around accessing screening.

If you'd like to change your CHI number, speak to your GP.

CHI changes before 14 June 2015

It isn't always possible to identify people who've moved to Scotland or transitioned before 14 June 2015.

You won't be automatically called for screening if you changed your CHI to reflect your gender transition before 14 June 2015. If you transitioned after 14 June 2015 you will be automatically called.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening

The aorta is the main artery that supplies blood to your body. It runs from your heart down through your chest and abdomen (tummy).

As some people get older, the wall of the aorta in the abdomen can become weak and balloon out to form an aneurysm. This is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

To find out if someone has an AAA, a health professional will take an ultrasound scan of the abdomen (tummy).

Eligibility

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening is for all males aged 65 as they're at higher risk of having an AAA.

If you're over 65 and never been for AAA screening you can request a scan.

Trans-women

If you're a trans-woman aged 65, you're still at higher risk of having an AAA and are eligible for AAA screening.

You'll be automatically invited if you:

  • haven't changed your CHI number to reflect your female gender
  • have changed your CHI number to reflect your female gender after 14 June 2015

You won't be automatically invited if you've changed your CHI number to reflect your female gender on or before 14 June 2015. You should contact your local AAA screening centre for a self-referral.

Trans-men

You're less likely to have an AAA if you're a trans-man aged 65.

If you've changed your CHI number, you'll be automatically invited and can choose whether you'd like to attend.

Further information

Our AAA screening section has more information about this screening service, including:

  • why you should have the test
  • what the test involves
  • the possible results and treatment

Bowel screening

The aim of bowel screening is to find bowel cancer at an early stage when it can often be cured.

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland. Around 4,000 people in Scotland get bowel cancer every year. It’s more common in people over 50 years of age, especially males.

Eligibility

Bowel Screening is offered to all males and females aged 50 to 74 every 2 years.

As bowel screening applies to both male and female, you'll be automatically sent a home screening test even if you've changed your CHI number.

Further information

Our bowel screening section has more information about this screening service, including:

  • why you should have the test
  • what the test involves
  • the possible results and treatment

Breast screening

Breast screening is a test for breast cancers that are too small to see or feel.

Breast screening doesn’t prevent cancer but can detect cancer early and reduce the number of women who die from it. Breast screening saves 130 women's lives each year in Scotland.

The most effective way of testing for breast cancer is using breast X-rays (mammograms).

Eligibility

Breast screening is offered every 3 years to all females aged 50 to 70 as the risk of developing breast cancer increases with age.

Trans-women

If you're a trans-woman and taking hormones, the development of breast tissue means that you may be at risk of developing breast cancer.

You'll be automatically invited for breast screening every 3 years if:

  • you're between the ages of 50 and 70
  • you've changed your CHI number to reflect your female gender

You won't be invited if you haven't changed your CHI number to reflect your female gender. However, you can still have breast screening by arranging an appointment with your local breast screening centre.

Trans-men

If you're a trans-man and haven't had your breasts removed you may be at risk of developing breast cancer.

You'll be automatically invited for breast screening every 3 years if:

  • you're between the ages of 50 and 70
  • you haven't changed your CHI number to reflect your male gender
  • you have changed your CHI number to reflect your male gender after 14 June 2015

You won't be invited if you've changed your CHI number to reflect your male gender on or before 14 June 2015. However, you can still have breast screening by arranging an appointment with your local breast screening centre.

Breast removal surgery (mastectomy)

If you're a trans-man and have had a bi-lateral mastectomy (both breasts removed):

  • you're less likely to develop breast cancer as there'll be little breast tissue left
  • you won't be eligible for breast screening

You should remain breast aware and contact your GP if you notice any unusual changes.

If you decide not to take the test, you should let the screening centre know in plenty of time. You'll be invited for screening again in 3 years. If you don't want to be invited again, please ask the screening centre for a disclaimer form so that your name can be removed from the system.

Further information

Our breast screening section has more information about this screening service, including:

  • why you should have the test
  • what the test involves
  • the possible results and treatment

Cervical screening

The cervical screening test is designed to check cells from your cervix (neck of the womb) for any changes so they can be monitored or treated. Without treatment, these changes can sometimes develop into cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in females aged 25 to 34 in Scotland.

Eligibility

Cervical Screening is routinely offered to all females aged 25 to 49 every 3 years. Females aged 50 to 64 are invited every 5 years.

Trans-women

If you're a trans-woman you:

  • won't have a cervix
  • aren't at risk of cervical cancer
  • don't need to attend for cervical screening

You'll be automatically invited if you've changed your CHI number to reflect your female gender after 14 June 2015. However, you won't need to be screened as you don't have a cervix. If this applies to you, contact your GP.

You won't be invited if you haven't changed your CHI number to reflect your female gender.

Trans-men

If you're a trans-man and still have your cervix (entrance to the womb from the vagina) you're at risk of developing cervical cancer and are eligible for cervical screening.

You'll be automatically invited if you haven't changed your CHI number to reflect your male gender.

You won't be automatically invited if you've changed your CHI number to reflect your male gender on or after 14 June 2015. Contact your GP to make sure you're included in the cervical screening programme.

Gender reassignment

If you're a trans-man and have had a total hysterectomy you:

  • won't have a cervix
  • aren't at risk of cervical cancer
  • don't need to attend for cervical screening

You'll be automatically invited if you haven't changed your CHI number to reflect your male gender on or after 14 June 2015. However, you won't need to be screened as you don't have a cervix.

If this applies to you, contact your GP.

You won't be invited if you've changed your CHI number to reflect your male gender.

Further information

Our cervical screening section has more information about this screening service, including:

  • why you should have the test
  • what the test involves
  • the possible results and treatment

Further information

If you're unsure about what you're eligible for, what you will or won't be automatically invited for or have any questions about the screening service phone:

National Gender Identity Clinical Network

You can also visit the NHS Scotland National Gender Identity Clinical Network website for more details about NHS gender services, and help and support for trans and non-binary people in Scotland.