Kelly Gregory

MSc Public Health and Health Systems candidate, '22, BPH (Hons) | Bachelor of Public Health (Honours)

Experience in LGBT2SQ research

Gregory, Mielke, Neiterman (2021/in process) Building Families Through Healthcare: Experiences of Lesbians Using Reproductive Services in Ontario

Objective: The use of assisted human reproduction (AHR) represents a meaningful and important life event for lesbians who wish to create biologically related families. Despite increasing numbers of   utilizing AHR services, barriers to access continue to persist for this group who is uniquely dependent upon this service. This qualitative study investigated the perceptions and experiences of lesbians who utilized or attempted to make use of reproductive services in Ontario, Canada, since funding increases  on December 21, 2015.

Methods: Drawing on qualitative semi-structured interviews, this study applied Grounded Theory and Situational Analysis to explore the AHR experiences of 11 self-identified lesbians from communities across Southern Ontario.

Results: Findings reveal a wide range of experiences, with some very positive narratives. However,  patients desired more support from their care providers in navigating a complex and costly medical journey through a system that is largely not designed for their needs. Some mandatory provisional steps perceived as irrelevant or redundant were frustrating to lesbian patients, particularly when direct fees were incurred. Private fertility clinics as the environment for accessing publicly funded services may contribute pressure to pay out-of-pocket for add-on medical procedures.

Conclusion:  To improve the quality of care, participants recommended providing more high-level information in various formats on what to expect from the medical journey, and taking an individualized approach with lesbian patients which assumes a patient has sufficient fertility until proven.

Interest in LGBT2SQ research

My current interest in LGBT2SQ research focuses on the experiences that LGBT2SQ folk have when interacting with the healthcare system, either as patients, or workers, or in other roles.