The physical therapy department at Brigham and Women's Hospital is raising money to cover out of pocket costs associated with pelvic health physical therapy for transgender and gender diverse patients. These funds will specifically cover the full cost of dilators, which are medical devices used immediately following gender-affirming vaginoplasty (creation of a vaginal/genital canal). Dilators are also indicated in many cases for treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction in patients born with vaginal/genital canals. A dilator set for post surgical patients costs $200 and non-surgical sets range from $40 to $100, none of which are covered by insurance.
The pelvic health team at BWH is acutely aware of the financial burden of accessing adequate healthcare for many transgender and gender diverse patients. According to the 2015 US Transgender Survey 19% of the 1,195 respondents in Massachusetts did not seek medical care in the last year due to cost. Twenty eight percent of the same respondents experienced problems with insurance coverage due to their gender identity. These funds will allow BWH to continue to provide affirming and accessible treatment to patients seeking pelvic health care. We will continue to raise funds as needed to provide for our patients.