Faculty Profile: Robert Roman, MD

Robert Roman

Dr. Robert Roman found himself drawn to the field of obstetrics and gynecology by the opportunities to develop meaningful relationships with patients. “I really enjoy the ability to empower patients to make informed decisions about their reproductive planning,” he says. As he went through his OBGYN residency training at the University of Tennessee, Dr. Roman became especially interested in the subspecialty of reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI) — in particular, the chance to use his clinical expertise in areas such as in vitro fertilization and fertility options to help LGBTQ+ patients reach their family-building goals.

Dr. Roman, who joined the UCLA OBGYN faculty as an assistant clinical professor in July 2023 after completing his REI fellowship training at the Medical College of Georgia, sees patients at the UCLA Fertility and Reproductive Health Center, including LGBTQ+ individuals interested in having children. These patients have many more options than in the past, Dr. Roman notes. Same-sex couples can consider third-party reproduction of eggs, sperm, or embryos for in vitro fertilization. Same-sex female couples can undergo donor intrauterine insemination procedures or reciprocal in vitro fertilization, where one partner undergoes ovarian stimulation and the other partner carries the pregnancy. Dr. Roman also works with same-sex male couples who would like to build their families with a donor egg and a gestational carrier. Transgender and gender-diverse persons who wish to preserve their fertility can freeze their eggs if they have ovaries, or sperm if they have testes.

UCLA is an ideal place to offer LGBTQ+ family-building services, Dr. Roman says. The inclusive and welcoming environment at UCLA also offers the opportunity to reach individuals who, in many cases, have faced past discrimination in other health care settings. Beyond his collaborations with other REI specialists at the Fertility and Reproductive Health Center, Dr. Roman works closely with the multidisciplinary UCLA Gender Health Program, which provides compassionate, inclusive and equitable care for people who are transgender or gender diverse. Dr. Roman often receives referrals from the program’s patients who want to consult about their fertility-preservation options before gender-affirming hormone therapy or surgery. “Regardless of where you are in your transition journey, we can discuss your options regarding family building,” he says.

“Within the LGBTQ+ community, there is this concept of chosen family. This often refers to non-biological friendships for mutual support, respect, and love,” Dr. Roman adds. “It is extremely rewarding to help these folks continue to expand their chosen families and reach their family building goals.”