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Fertility Clinic Serving Trans People to Open Next Year in Pittsburgh

Fertility Clinic Serving Trans People to Open Next Year in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh skyline and queer couple

The clinic will help an underserved population and offer care at a lower cost than that of other providers, its founders say.

Next year Pittsburgh will become host to a fertility clinic specializing in serving transgender clients.

The Allegheny Reproductive Health Center and Mate Fertility will partner for the clinic, set to open in the spring, Philadelphia Gay News reports. Services will include sperm and egg donation, surrogacy, in vitro fertilization, hormone therapy, and some gender-affirming surgeries.

“For a lot of our clients, they’ve had massive difficulty to access these services, both from an affordability perspective but also from a safety perspective, even the basics — going into a place where they feel safe and feel like they’re in an inclusive community, because a lot of providers don’t reflect those communities,” Dr. Sheila Ramgopal, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the Allegheny center, told PGN. The Allegheny clinic provides gender-affirming care and other services to LGBTQ+ clients in parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia.

“A lot of the [fertility] services are actually very tailored for, let’s say, affluent cis white women and heterosexual couples,” Ramgopal noted. “For the nonbinary and trans community, there’s a massive gap in terms of all of us accessing care for fertility services.”

The new clinic plans to offer these services at one-third to one-half of what other providers charge, Ramgopal said. “Our goal is to make this extremely accessible for people no matter where you’re coming from and what your financial picture is,” the doctor explained.

Mate Fertility CEO Traci Keen said her clinic seeks out “markets that are what we call fertility deserts or underserved markets.”

“There’s this huge delta between the number of people in the United States who need access to care and the number of people who geographically have it or can afford that care,” Keen explained.

Trans people often also lack access to useful information about their sexual health. Either they don’t seek it out because they fear discrimination in health care, or their doctors are unprepared to provide it. “There’s a lot of different things that people aren’t getting educated on,” Keen told PGN. “I think that there are some real luminaries in the field right now that do a good job of providing more access to high-quality information. What we really want to be is that beacon for people where they can get information that’s tailored and appropriate for them.”

The partnership will answer the question of “how do we tailor our care to serve each individual or each couple for the services that they need, and normalize that in this artificial reproductive care model,” Ramgopal said. “Hopefully this partnership with Mate and our facility would then become the standard that people can utilize to expand their own services in their own facilities.”

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