Clare Antonioli, DPT
It is difficult for most of us to discuss health issues related to pelvic health. Not only does pelvic health encompass traditionally uncomfortable topics such as urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, pelvic pain, sexual dysfunction and many other diagnoses but it also requires the observation of “private areas” of the perineum.
For people in the trans community, this reticence is magnified by issues of gender dysphoria (psychological distress that results from an incongruence between one's sex assigned at birth and one's gender identity), provider discrimination and a general lack of knowledge on the healthcare needs of the trans community.
I have found, through discovering and pursuing pelvic health as a profession, that my community is often a force for bringing a voice to those who are marginalized.
Here are the facts regarding discrimination in heathcare:
Not only does the research show healthcare disparities but also the benefits when people are provided proper healthcare. Gender affirming surgeries are linked to improved mental health in the transgender community. Recovery from these surgeries, like many surgeries, can be met with complications and can be significantly improved through seeing and working with a physical therapist.
I remember seeing these types of statistics and thinking I needed to do my part in closing this gap. I needed to seek out education and help create a safe space for all individuals. I have had many rewarding experiences treating people within the LGBTQIA+ community and specifically in the trans community. I hope to continue my education and bring the best healthcare possible to this community
I believe that everyone should feel safe and welcomed in their healthcare settings.
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