Obstetricians-Gynecologists Address Transgender Care, Aging

Unless you are very well-connected to the transgender community, you may not be aware that we’re in the midst of a tsunami of policy and practice changes designed to stop new discriminatory treatment of transgender and gender non-conforming people and to begin to address the health disparities caused by past anti-trans discrimination and violence.

A good example of these types of changes came in December 2011, when the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued Committee Opinion Number 512: Health Care for Transgender Individuals.  The abstract of this five-page document reads:  “Transgender individuals face harassment, discrimination, and rejection within our society.  Lack of awareness, knowledge, and sensitivity in health care communities eventually leads to inadequate access to, underutilization of, and disparities within the health care system for this population.  Although the care for these patients is often managed by a specialty team, obstetricians-gynecologists should be prepared to assist or refer transgender individuals with routine treatment and screening as well as hormonal and surgical therapies.  The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists opposes discrimination on the basis of gender identity and urges public and private health insurance plans to cover the treatment of gender identity disorder.”

The statement even addresses aging, albeit quickly:  “Physical and emotional issues for transgender individuals and the effects of aging, as in all other individuals, affect the health status of this population and should be addressed.”

You can read the whole Opinion here:  http://www.acog.org/Resources_And_Publications/Committee_Opinions/Committee_on_Health_Care_for_Underserved_Women/Health_Care_for_Transgender_Individuals

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