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Offering Gender-Affirming Health Services

UMass Memorial has a number of providers with experience serving the LGBTQIA+ community, including support and care for individuals undergoing gender affirmation. Some specialty areas collaborating to coordinate comprehensive gender-affirming health care for transgender and gender-diverse adults, adolescents and children are highlighted here. 

Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine 

Adolescence is a time of rapid development and many changes. Gender identity (one’s inner sense of being female, male or another gender) and sexual identity (to whom we are attracted to romantically and/or sexually) are part of what individuals explore during adolescence. For transgender and nonbinary adolescents, early gender-affirming care is crucial to their overall health and well-being.  Not only is gender-affirming care essential to building confidence, navigating social interactions and accessing medically necessary care, but it is also vital that your medical providers understand your unique challenges. UMass Memorial specialists are here to provide medical care, education and support as you express your gender identity and sexuality in a way that is authentic to you. 

Behavioral Health

Like all people, LGBTQIA+ people may struggle with mental health issues, and these challenges can be heightened as they explore their gender identity and sexuality. Coming out or sharing such personal information with family and friends can be difficult.  You may worry about how loved ones will react or you may feel lonely because you don't want to tell anyone, even those closest to you. You may have experienced rejection or discrimination. You may experience depression, anxiety and even thoughts about harming yourself. You may self-treat these symptoms with substances like tobacco, marijuana, alcohol and other drugs. UMass Memorial has trained professionals who can help you live your best and healthiest life by guiding you through life’s daily challenges, substance use disorder issues, and gender identity issues (which some may experience gender dysphoria).

Dermatology

Transgender patients may present to dermatologists for various skin health and/or cosmetic issues, including but not limited to unwanted hair, hair loss and skin changes related to hormone use. Laser hair removal from the face and body, hair growth treatments and skin resurfacing are among the types of procedures that can help create a gender-affirming physical appearance.  

Otolaryngology/Ear, Nose and Throat

Our otolaryngologists provide medical and surgical services for patients to achieve their desired gender presentation. This can include Wendler glottoplasty, Adam’s apple reduction and gender-affirming vocal modification/voice therapy, the latter of which is managed by a voice therapist.

Endocrinology and Metabolism

Many transgender and non-binary people take hormones to develop a more masculine or feminine appearance. Gender-affirming hormone therapy can be provided and/or coordinated by your primary care doctor, or it may be provided by endocrinologists specializing in hormone management. Whatever you are looking to achieve, our endocrinology team will work with you to find the appropriate hormone therapy for you. We can also assist with other general endocrine health needs, including thyroid, weight management and adrenal disorders.

Infectious Disease

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can affect people regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Practicing safe sex can limit your chances of getting or passing on an STI. While symptoms may be scary, it’s crucial that you get medical care right away and not put off a visit to your health care provider because you're embarrassed or fear judgment. UMass Memorial providers are trained to help their patient learn about PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), a powerful prevention tool that can help reduce the risk of acquiring HIV infection. They also have expertise in caring for pregnant people with HIV in partnership with the patient’s Ob/Gyn provider. While HIV is just one STI, our infectious disease specialists are here to help you prevent and manage the full range of STIs.

Obstetrics/Gynecology

Obstetrics and gynecology (Ob/Gyn) providers can help you with routine health screenings (pap smears, STI screenings, general pelvic health), pregnancy prevention, menstrual suppression, family building and pregnancy care. Our physicians also provide gender-affirming surgical procedures, including hysterectomy  (uterus removal) and oophorectomy (ovary removal). 

Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility

Many individuals everywhere on the gender and sexuality spectrum have a desire to start a family. Today, many options are available to help LGBTQIA+ patients interested in family building and fertility preservation. However, because gender-affirming medical and surgical treatments affect an individual’s reproductive potential, it’s important that you understand how these treatments may impact your options for building your family in the future. Because of this, we recommend you seek the expertise of a reproductive endocrinology and fertility specialist who understands your specific needs and plans. UMass Memorial’s IVF Center is the only location in Central Massachusetts to offer comprehensive infertility services. Learn more.

Surgery

Not every person experiences the same gender affirmation journey. To feel comfortable with their gender identity, some feel it’s important to align their physical appearance with their gender identity.  While surgeries are not required for gender affirmation, many patients choose to undergo one or more surgical procedures. We’re here to guide you through the process and help you achieve a place where you can feel most comfortable in your body. 

UMass Memorial specialists in plastics and reconstructive surgery, urology and obstetrics and gynecology perform procedures such as top surgery, body contouring, facial reconstructive surgery, gynecological gender-affirming surgery and Adam’s apple reduction. 

Looking for LGBTQIA+

We’ll connect you with providers who can help you live your healthiest life.

  • Call 855-UMASS-MD to be connected to a provider with expertise 
  • Use the Find a Doctor link on the right to search for providers who have indicated that they welcome, have an interest in, and/or experience working with LGBTQIA+ patients. More providers are being added regularly.