4 Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) About Voice Dysphonia and Gender Confirmation Voice Therapy

Picture of a patient talking to his doctor

How you communicate is an important part of life. If you feel that your voice does not align with your gender identity or expression, it may lead to dysphonia or a general state of uneasiness. Voice care can help to confirm sex. Below, we outline four of our frequently asked questions Gender Care Clinic Patients have to their doctors.

1. Is it possible to change my voice?

yes. Nebraska Medicine’s Gender Clinic offers many services to help people develop more gender-specific voice and communication styles. These services include:

  • Voice Training for Gender Confirmation – This type of non-invasive intervention can help modify the gender aspects of a person’s voice, ideally helping to maximize flexibility
  • Laryngologist – laryngologist, also known as Ear, nose and throat doctor or ENT, a multidisciplinary assessment and interventional audio services tailored to meet the individual needs of the person moving
  • Speech and Language Pathology – A Speech and language pathologist Gender-affirming voice and communication training professionals can help individuals find their voice by addressing factors such as speech and communication style.
  • Surgery – surgery is done to change the pitch, and is used as a last resort because it scars the vocal folds

Before undergoing any gender confirmation service, you should be evaluated by an otolaryngologist to assess any voice impairments that need to be treated.

The otolaryngologist will check:

  • pitch – how high or low your voice is, measured in hertz (Hz)
  • Intensity – how loud your voice is, measured in decibels (dB)
  • Resonance – how your sound waves resonate in your head/neck (this is not a quantifiable sound, and can be subjectively described as the brightness of the sound)

Depending on your goals and the current flexibility of your voice, our team will work with you to determine the best course of action. After your evaluation, an otolaryngologist can refer you to a voice care specialist.

2. What kind of doctor should I see for sex confirmation voice care?

Otolaryngologists, also called otolaryngologists, and speech-language pathologists can help.

The following specialists provide gender-confirming voice care through our Gender Care Clinic:

  • Christopher Bingkang, MD Dr. Bingcang is board certified in Otolaryngology and has completed fellowship training in professional voice and laryngology.
  • Jaime Dowdal, MD – Dr. Doudal is Board Certified in Otolaryngology with Fellowship Training in Laryngology and Professional Voice
  • Amber Koch, MS, CCC-SLP As a speech-language pathologist who specializes in voice and upper airway disorders, Koch provides gender-confirming voice services at the Loritzen Outpatient Center and Village Point Health Center

We know that seeing a new healthcare provider can be a stressful situation for anyone, but this burden is especially felt by the LGBTQA+ community. You may have concerns about discrimination or misunderstanding. You don’t have to worry about this when you visit your healthcare provider in Nebraska Medicine. The experts who support our Gender Care Clinic work with LGBT people every day. And the Nebraska Medicine is named the 2022 Leader in Healthcare Equity by the Human Rights Campaign. We are committed to providing proven healthcare and are continually working to remain a healthcare home for all.

3. Does the health insurance cover gender affirmation voice services?

Although gender confirmation services are increasingly recognized as a medical necessity, insurance coverage often varies between providers. The short answer is to check with your insurance provider to see what they will cover.

4. Do I need a referral for gender confirmation voice services?

Anyone can refer themselves to a gender care clinic, but most insurance companies require a referral from a health care provider.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 800.922.0000.

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