ACOG: Welcome Transgender Patients
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends and encourages obstetrician-gynecologists (ob-gyns) to welcome and to offer transgender patients the same routine care and screening as given to all patients. According to an amednews.com article posted online Dec. 5, the ACOG committee opinion was released in the December Obstetrics & Gynecology. “The opinion encourages ob-gyns to add a transgender option to their patient visit records, post their nondiscrimination policy in their office and train staff to be sensitive to transgender patients,” amednews.com reports.
ACOG says basic preventive services include testing for sexually transmitted infections and cancer screening; however, when transgender-specific services are requested (for example, a hysterectomy as part of gender affirmation surgery), ob-gyns should first consult with a transgender expert before performing the procedure. As for hormone replacement therapy, ob-gyns can manage it while consulting with transgender care experts, ACOG says.
If a ob-gyn health professional is morally opposed to providing care for transgender patients, ACOG recommends referring them to another physician.
“It would be wonderful if all transgender patients had the resources to be seen in a specialized clinic, but the reality is that many forgo care because they don’t,” said Eliza Buyers, MD, a former member of ACOG’s Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women. “By increasing the number of ob-gyns providing care to transgender patients, we can help improve the overall health of the transgender community.”
Information regarding treating gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) patients is available on the American Medical Association website.