Talking to health care professionals

The amount of contact you have with healthcare professionals such as your GP and your hospital IBD team will depend on the severity of your IBD and your response to treatment.

If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, you may worry about interacting with medical and nursing staff, particularly if they don’t know your sexual orientation. But healthcare practitioners, including IBD nurses, receive guidance about the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, so should understand how to support you.

You may feel nervous about being open about your sexual practices or sexual orientation, especially as you may feel very vulnerable if you are unwell. However, if you can be open at the beginning of your relationship with healthcare professionals, it may make your future experiences with them easier.

Whatever your sexual preference, you may find having your partner with you during appointments may help to make you feel more supported, and they can remind you afterwards of what was said.