Coming Out to Your Provider

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Why is sharing your sexual orientation or gender identity important?

Having open conversations with your doctor allows them to understand your health goals and health information, so they can provide you with personalized care.

We’re dedicated to creating a safe place for all to find quality health care. Your confidentiality is a top priority at Main Line Health, and there are laws in place, such as HIPAA regulations, to protect your privacy.

Serving you better

While the decision to share personal information is completely up to you, there are medical reasons that telling your doctor you’re a member of the LGBTQ community could be important.

When your physician knows your sexual orientation or gender identity they can offer more personalized care, such as:

  • Include your partner or spouse in discussions, especially if you’re hospitalized
  • Offer guidance that is unique for LGBTQ people on topics such as adoption and artificial insemination
  • Stop asking you about birth control if irrelevant to you
  • Dispel common myths about LGBTQ health
  • Discuss health-related legal issues that affect LGBTQ couples
  • Have a better understanding about your long-term goals and build a more honest provider-patient relationship

Ways to come out to your provider

Your sexual orientation and gender identity are just a part of who you are, but specific LGBTQ+ health issues may need to be addressed throughout your health journey. Starting a conversation with your healthcare provider about personal matters can seem a little awkward, but there are ways to share social information to make it feel more comfortable.

You may choose to:

Supply the information on your patient profile form

  • Update your provider during the history-taking part of your exam
  • Mention your orientation or gender identity when asked about your sexual activity
  • Bring it up when you’re asked about any other health concerns
  • Reveal the gender of a partner or spouse when asked about family

If you don’t feel an opportunity has been offered to share this information with your provider, it’s okay to mention it’s something you’ve been thinking about and would like to be considered in your plan of care.

Finding inclusive care you deserve 

It’s normal to feel nervous about the response you might get after sharing your sexual orientation or gender identity. If your provider doesn’t respond the way you would have hoped, we can help you find a provider who you feel safe openly discussing health topics with.

If you aren’t sure what your sexual orientation or gender identity is, that’s okay, too. You don’t need to have all the answers when discussing your health concerns with your doctor, but being honest about your feelings means your doctor can help create a plan of care that meets you where you’re at. A trusted provider will understand that what’s true for you in your teens may not be true in later years, and can respond to your questions with support as your needs change.

If you have questions or feedback and would like to leave a secure message, we’re here to listen.

Call 484.337.LGBT (5428) or email [email protected]