New healthcare guidelines encourage inclusivity for Trans patients

The recommendations have the greatest effect on Trans and non-binary people accessing obstetric and gynaecological services.

Doctor reading new healthcare guidelines.
Image: Pexels

The UK-based Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has issued new healthcare guidelines that encourage greater inclusivity for Trans and non-binary patients. The document, which has been put out for consultation until September 6, makes a series of recommendations to help improve the care of gender-diverse patients.

The guidelines have the greatest effect on Trans and non-binary people who are hoping to conceive children, with the RCOG encouraging healthcare professionals to advise their queer patients on fertility preservation when considering gender-affirming surgeries or hormone therapies.

The organisation recommends that individuals taking masculinising hormones who are hoping to become pregnant should come off their treatment three months prior to conception. Additionally, if a person becomes pregnant while taking these hormones, that individual should stop the treatment “as soon as possible”.

Before a baby is born, the RCOG also suggests that Trans men should be asked about their preferred manner of feeding. Those who choose to chest-feed should be offered “chest-feeding support in the same manner as for cis-women,” the organisation adds.

Furthermore, the draft document outlines the barriers that Trans and non-binary people face when accessing healthcare services in the UK and globally, and encourages professionals to take steps to ensure “easy access to care without their gender being questioned or their confidentiality breached”. Medical officials are also being urged to address people by their preferred title, name, pronouns and familial relationships.

“This is an important guideline which aims to improve the care and experiences of Transgender and gender-diverse individuals accessing obstetric and gynaecological services,” says TCOG president Edward Morris.

“Sadly, Trans and gender-diverse individuals say they often feel judged and misunderstood by the health service. This can act as a barrier for them when it comes to accessing vital care and we as healthcare professionals have a role to play in making them feel listened to and recognised.

“This draft guideline is our first attempt to ensure we are providing personalised care for all our patients,” he adds. “We welcome feedback on this draft to ensure the guideline is the best as it can be for clinicians and the Trans and gender-diverse individuals who use our services.”

Clare Ettinghausen of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority added to this statement, saying: “There is a lot of work to be done to ensure healthcare is fully inclusive and the development of this draft guidance is a welcome step towards this.”

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.