Seeking an ObGyn Who is Lesbian/Queer Friendly

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Gynecologist for lesbian teen

Feb 2007

My sexually active lesbian teen needs a friendly, non-critical first gyn appointment. Does anyone have a recommendation? Thanks Her Mom

Dr. Gabriella Henisheimer, Solano Ave, Albany. Her practice is very busy, but worth the wait for your daughter. anon

I think my family doctor, Roxanne Fiscella, would be fabulous. she may be a lesbian herself, and i like her and the whole clinic. it is in that building on dwight way and milvia. laurie

I think my gynecologist Dr. Arzou Ahsan would be fantastic Gyn for a teenager. Check out her other recommendations on the BPN website and see what you think!

Looking for Lesbian-Friendly OB Gyn (TTC)

May 2007

My partner and I are looking for an OB Gyn - we've been trying to conceive for a while and want to get some tests done on my hormone levels. We're non-Kaiser insured. In the short-term, I need someone I can trust that knows about fertility and ideally also the challenges of using frozen sperm, and can interpret test results in a not- freaking out kind of way. Ideally, we could find someone now that could be our long-term OB once I'm definitely pregnant if we decide to go the OB route. We're looking for someone who will be respectful of our relationship and both our roles. In an ideal world, we would find someone who is supportive of home birth with a midwife for low-risk pregnancies, and at a minimum someone who is willing to keep their interventions in hospital-based labor/birth at the bare minimum. Thanks for any information you can provide! Michelle

I can't explicitly say he is lesbian friendly as my partner is male, but my OB when TTC was Dr. Hambrick. He is gay himself so I would guess he would be supportive of lesbians. He was very helpful while we were TTC and supportive through the first half of our successful pg (by natural means) after which I changed medical plans and had to find another doc for delivery. Anyway, we both really liked him, he remembered us from one appt to the next and listened to our WHOLE selves as we explored our procreation attempts. I recommend him to anyone. mom of two now!

I delivered two daughters at California Pacific Med in SF. My OB/GYN Katherine Hsiao is an excellent doctor and she is a fertility specialist, I believe. I have her as my regular OB/GYN and do not see her as much since my youngest will be 3 this June. I am sure she can talk to you and your partner. Good luck! Her office number is 415-876-8500 Amy

my neighbor is Dr. Arzou D Ahsan, and when i planned a homebirth, she was one of the few people i knew who didn't blanche at the very thought! she herself is a mother of twins, with her partner, so i assume she should be both knowledgable and respectful about your situation. my good friend sees her as her OB, and has been very happy with the care she has received. my friend's pregnancy (which was IVF, through ?pacific fertility in the city) went late, and Dr. Ahsan did not push for induction ASAP, as some do, but did monitor the amniotic fluid and recommended induction at the point where she felt the fluid was too low (?4.something, at 41w5d). my friend had had a previous pregnancy of twins with a loss of one at 37 weeks (with emergency c/s too late to save the one twin, but the other ok), so there was some extra caution indicated, and she was hoping for a VBAC, which Dr. Ahsan was supportive of; there was no pressure at all to schedule a c/s. Dr. Arzou D Ahsan Obstetrics and Gynecology 2915 Telegraph Ave Ste 200 Berkeley, CA 94705 (510) 845-8047 anon

Lesbian/queer friendly ob-gyn?

Oct 2006

My partner and I are hoping to conceive this fall. Can anyone recommend a lesbian/queer friendly ob-gyn in the East Bay? Thanks! Hannah

My best friend and I, both queer moms, love our ob-gyns at Berkeley-Orinda Women's Health. Mine is John Girard. He's kind of old-school, but I love him. Very relaxed and funny. I'm a very low-maintenance patient, so I can't say how he would be with a person who asked a lot of questions, etc., but he was always very supportive about my fertility stuff. Jill Foley is my friend's ob-gyn, and she did the insemination that resulted in the birth of my daughter (now 3). Kurt Wharton (now with a different practice) delivered my daughter, and he is absolutely wonderful, too. You can check the archives for reviews of Drs. Girard, Foley and Wharton . . . I wrote one back in June 2005 as well. Hope this helps! Grateful for My Great Ob-Gyn

Are you looking for an OB/GYN for fertility evaluation or more basically insemination? I would recommend At Home Fertility for insemination (with a caveat that I sometimes work for them and am biased). They provide inseminations of fresh or frozen sperm in your home, based on your own decisions regarding timing. Michelle Edgar, who is also a midwife, is the owner of this practice. It is the most queer friendly service out there, as well as being kind, professional, and skilled. Just a thought Michelle

Choosing a health plan for donor insemination

November 2001

I'm one-half of a lesbian couple. My partner and I are thinking about trying to get pregnant in about a year, and are trying to decide which health plan to go with. Our choices through my new job are Blue Cross PPO and Kaiser. The main questions for us are a) whether either of these plans (for some miraculous reason) covers some part of donor insemination and b) what people's experiences have been during pregnancy and birth at Oakland Kaiser and/or with other Berkeley/Oakland physicians' groups. We may want to go with a midwife -- any thoughts on Kaiser v. Blue Cross in that regard? Any thoughts on the two plans in terms of fertility treatments? (I'm certainly not planning on having fertility problems, but what with exclusions for pre-existing conditions, etc, I feel like I should choose the health plan I'll be with for the duration.)

I guess our first question is simply whether to go with Blue Cross or Kaiser, and our 2nd question is much more detailed -- who have you gone to for pregnancy and/or birth, and how did you feel about your choice? Any and all comments are appreciated! Isobel

Editor note: see also Kaiser vs. Other HMOs and Midwives and Kaiser

I, too, am one-half of a lesbian couple, and I used Kaiser through pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, delivery and now baby care (our daughter is now one). Overall, we've been very happy with Kaiser.

When I told my regular ob/gyn nurse-practitioner that I was a lesbian planning to have a baby, she referred me to the fertility department for exams (ultrasound, hysterio-something) and to meet with a reproductive endocrinologist, even though I had no reason to believe I would have fertility problems (though I was almost 35 when I started the process). The one hitch in Kaiser's otherwise wonderful treatment of us was that, contrary to what we initially were told, Kaiser refused to do the insemination (with fresh sperm from our (known/friend) donor). I called a bunch of other places, and the only place willing to do it was Rainbow Flag Health Services (or something like that -- I think their web site is We ended up figuring something out for ourselves (there are legal reasons for using a doctor for the insemination, especially when the donor is not anonymous).

My partner accompanied me to all my pregnancy check-ups, Kaiser's childbirth classes and, of course, the labor and delivery, and there was never any issue about us being gay. We had a good birth experience at Alta Bates; it was similar to the many discussed recently here. We didn't use a mid-wife or doula, so I can't comment on that.

Finally, I'd STRONGLY recommend considering and addressing, BEFORE you get pregnant, what kind of legal protections you want to put in place to protect your and your partner's parental relationship with the future baby. Robin

I do not know about Blue Cross PPO but at my work, Kaiser was the only one of four health plans that covered any fertility costs. My partner tried for several years to get pregnant, and all visits and medications were covered at her usual co-pay ($10 each). When I got pregnant, I had the same coverage. The only cost not covered was the sperm samples. We live in the East Bay, but found we preferred the services at Kaiser S.F. They have about a 6 month wait list at S.F. and shorter in Oakland. You can start at one and switch later if you want.

I understand not everyone with a Kaiser plan receives the same benefits, but you should be able to ask plan representatives during open enrollment or while signing up.

For legal reasons, only insemination procedures with samples from a licensed sperm bank can be done in the doctor's office. The Kaiser docs were willing to do a work up and instructions for us if we choose some other type of donor.

We were happy with the care we got at the fertility clinic and with our doc for pregnancy-- both health wise and as a lesbian couple.