LGBTQ+ Gynecologic Services
A quick look at LGBTQ+ gynecology
- Our physicians and staff provide essential preventive and reproductive care for the overall well-being of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and gender nonconforming individuals can all be affected by human papillomavirus (HPV), regardless of who their partner is, and should receive preventive treatments and regular screenings for cervical cancer.
- Breast exams and mammograms are also a vital preventive health screening for LGBTQ+ individuals.
- Our gynecologists provide compassionate care for heavy periods, pelvic pain, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, pain during sex, fibroids, polyps, and other conditions that can affect LGBTQ+ individuals.
- At CU Rocky Mountain OB-GYN, birth control management, surgical treatment of complex conditions, fertility and pregnancy care are available to all patients.
Preventive care and gynecologic exams for LGTBQ+ patients
Regular gynecologic appointments and exams are an important element of preventive care for individuals who have a uterus, cervix, vagina, ovaries and fallopian tubes. During an exam, our gynecologist will evaluate the overall health of the breasts, pelvis, and reproductive organs. Different examinations may be required based on the patient’s needs.
We advise that patients who are sexually active – regardless of who their partner is or how that person identifies – receive regular exams. Sexually transmitted infections and human papillomavirus (HPV) can affect all patients.
Annual exams can provide us with an opportunity to discuss with patients a number of issues related to their reproductive health including:
- Menstruation, period problems and pelvic pain.
- Birth control.
- Plans for future pregnancy.
- Presence of gynecologic conditions, such as issues with menstruation or pain during intercourse.
- Sex and sexuality.
- Breast health.
- Menopause symptoms.
During an annual exam we will also discuss sexually transmitted infections (STIs), a concern for all sexually active people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all sexually active adults receive periodic STI testing.
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HPV prevention & Pap testing
HPV spreads through skin-to-skin contact with someone who already has the infection. It is the most common sexually transmitted infection – so common that most sexually active people will have HPV at some point in their lifetime.
Many of these infections go away on their own but two types of HPV can cause genital warts and at least a dozen types of HPV can increase the risk of irregular cell growth or cancer of the cervix.
The HPV vaccine offers nearly 100% protection against cervical precancers and cancers, plus protection against genital warts associated with HPV. We recommend that children receive the series of HPV vaccinations beginning at age 11 or 12. Women under the age of 27 should receive the vaccine if they did not receive it as a girl, and it can be given through age 45.
The use of condoms during intercourse can prevent the spread of HPV. But nothing is as effective as being vaccinated against HPV.
Women and transgender men should receive a Pap smear beginning at age 21. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that patients age 21-29 receive a Pap test every 3 years. Patients who have retained their cervix, including patients who have had a partial hysterectomy, will need to receive a Pap test and/or HPV co-testing until they are 65 years or older, depending on their previous testing history.
Birth control management
All of our patients have access to an array of birth control options to prevent pregnancy or treat painful or irregular periods.
Though testosterone therapy reduces the likelihood of pregnancy in transgender men, it does not eliminate the possibility. Transgender and gender nonconforming patients may want to consider discussing birth control with one of our OB-GYNs to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
Patients interested in becoming pregnant should consult us to discuss their health history and identify any issues that could make conceiving difficult. Our physicians can provide fertility testing if infertility is suspected and refer patients to infertility specialists, if needed.
We are proud to provide comprehensive and compassionate pregnancy care to individuals and their partners throughout their pregnancy, and into their postpartum care.
Additional resources for LGBTQ+ patients
Our experts strive to help each of our patients reach optimum wellness. At times this can mean referring them to a provider who can best address their needs, whether that’s surgical expertise in gender affirming surgery or specialized treatment for transgender adolescents.
UCHealth Integrated Transgender Program
UCHealth offers a number of services to individuals looking to transition. These include gender affirming therapies and surgeries, culturally sensitive primary and mental health care, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) care, fertility preservation and surgical care.
University of Colorado Advanced Reproductive Medicine
Advanced Reproductive Medicine offers LGBTQ+ patients fertility counseling, fertility preservation and an array of fertility treatment options. Patients have access to donor sperm and eggs as well as gestational carrier (surrogate) services through CU ARM.
Pediatric and adolescent gynecology at Children’s Hospital Colorado
In partnership with providers from University of Colorado OB-GYN & Family Planning, Children’s Hospital Colorado provides high quality and family centered care to children and teens in need of gynecologic care regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Patients in need of long-term reproductive care can continue their adulthood care with the same health provider.
Denver Health has a number of affirming primary care physicians, HIV care and PrEP, which is pre-exposure prophylaxis that involves people at high risk for HIV taking preventive medications. Denver Health also offers plastic and gender affirming surgical expertise.
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
Planned Parenthood centers provide services to patients of all gender identities and sexual orientations. Patients seeking STI testing, birth control, emergency contraception and other reproductive health services can receive care at Planned Parenthood. Some centers can also provide hormone treatment for trans individuals.