LGBTQ people can feel shame and bias. They may find it hard to receive good health care. They may also have less healthcare options. Many may feel that health care providers do not know their health needs. The list below gives information about common health and wellness topics within the LGBTQ community. While these may not affect everyone, these are important health concerns.
The LGBTQ community experiences some cancers more often. Lesbian and bisexual women have a higher chance of getting breast cancer and some gynecological cancers. Gay and bisexual men have a greater risk of anal cancer, more so if HIV-infected. Tests can be done to check for cancer. Talk with a healthcare provider about how and when to check for cancer.
The Abramson Cancer Center provides a full range of cancer treatment. To locate a Penn cancer specialist or to schedule an appointment for cancer screening, call 800-789-7366 (PENN).
LGBTQ Affirming Services
Affirming Primary Care
Providers in Family Medicine and Internal Medicine have self-identified as culturally competent in caring for LGBTQ patients. This includes experience in transgender health care and in prescribing PrEP. Visit the Patient Services Handbook to find an appropriate provider.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Patients can work with their primary care providers or Penn Endocrinology to develop a plan for prescribing and using hormone replacement therapy.
Penn Plastic Surgery provides a number of gender-affirming surgeries, including:
- Voice gender reassignment surgery
- Facial feminization/masculinization surgeries
- Chest reconstructive surgery
- Hysterectomy, surgical removal of the cervix, uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes
- Orchiectomy, surgical removal of the testes
Visit the provider directory within the Patient Services Handbook to find an appropriate provider.
Physical Therapy and Fitness
Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Therapy and Fitness’s Pelvic Health Program offers comprehensive evaluation and treatment for patients who are experiencing symptoms such as pain in their pelvis, genitalia, hips, abdomen, thighs or lower back, as well as, addressing conditions such as constipation, incontinence, and overactive bladder. Services include evaluation and treatment for pre- and post-operative top and bottom surgeries. Let us help you return to health and wellness in an environment that is welcoming and inclusive.
Pre and Post- operative physical therapy may include, but is not limited to:
- Bowel and bladder function
- Reduce pain and appearance of scar tissue
- Reduce pelvic pain
- Improve sexual function
- Maintain healthy dilation
Learn more about pelvic health services or call 877-969-7342.
LGBTQ individuals should take care of their heart health, particularly if they smoke or use certain hormones. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to be heart healthy.
Penn Heart and Vascular Care provides medical and surgical care across the full array of heart and vascular conditions. To schedule an appointment, call 800-789-7366 (PENN).
Mental Health and Addiction
LGBTQ people may struggle with depression, anxiety, heavy drinking, tobacco use, and drug use.
Penn Behavioral Health offers treatment for many mental health concerns. For the program that best meets your needs, call 866-301-4724.
Penn's Comprehensive Smoking Treatment Program provides a team of health care professionals who help patients quit smoking. To request an appointment call 800-789-7366 (PENN).
Relationships and Family
Many LGBTQ individuals and couples across the United States are raising or want to have children. Services are available to help you start a family and deal with various relationship and family issues.
Penn Fertility Care is proud to support gay, lesbian and transgender individuals in creating families. We know there are multiple paths for starting or building a family for LGBT people, and we are here to help you achieve your goals. Options may include intrauterine insemination (IU), in vitro fertilization (IVF), gestational carriers, and fertility preservation options. Learn more about LGBTQ Family Building at Penn Medicine.
Preventative care is an important part of maintaining your health, and may include immunizations, vaccines, screenings, and regular check-ups. The Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccines are recommended for most gay and bisexual men, while the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is recommended for women and most gay and bisexual men through age 26. Speak to your provider about receiving these vaccinations.
Penn Primary Care physicians offer outstanding, personalized care, and will provide needed vaccinations for their patients. To request an appointment, call 800-789-7366 (PENN).
To reduce the risk of contracting HIV, STIs, and certain types of hepatitis, always practice safe sex by using condoms and dental dams. Men who have sex with men, transgender women and bisexuals are at increased risk for viruses that cause Hepatitis, a serious liver disease. Talk to your provider about receiving the Hepatitis A and B vaccine and being screened for Hepatitis A, B and C. If you have Hepatitis C, there are new, effective treatments with fewer side effects.
Men who have sex with men are more likely to contract HIV than other groups. However, anyone who is sexually active is at risk and should be tested annually for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you are HIV-infected, we can connect you with a skilled provider. If you are in a relationship where one of you is HIV-infected, talk to your healthcare provider about options for HIV prevention. Talk to your provider about pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, which prevents HIV infection if you are exposed to the virus. This is done by taking one pill every day. When taken every day, PrEP can greatly reduce the risk of HIV infection. Providers in our directory who prescribe PrEP have the letter P next to their name.
Penn Infectious Diseases provides primary care for patients with HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, STIs, and other infectious diseases. To schedule an appointment with a physician, call 800-789-7366 (PENN).