Many transgender individuals consider their fertility important, survey shows

April 2, 2017, The Endocrine Society

Nearly one-fourth of transgender individuals in Toronto, Canada, regard their own fertility as important, but most lack knowledge regarding and access to reproductive options, a new survey finds. Results of the survey will be presented Sunday at the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

"Modern techniques allow people of experience to have biological children by freezing their sperm or eggs before hormone treatment," said the study's senior investigator, Adam Millar, M.D., an assistant professor at the University of Toronto and an endocrinologist at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto. "This option was not offered to in the past, but our study shows that 97 percent of transgender individuals feel that the option to freeze sperm or eggs should be offered to them prior to treatment that may affect their fertility."

Millar said it is important to study transgender people because they have traditionally been excluded from population health and sexuality research. He and his co-workers surveyed attending routine medical visits at three medical centers in Toronto about their knowledge and beliefs regarding fertility.

A total of 213 adults, ages 17 to 69, completed the written questionnaire: 108 who were assigned male at birth and 103 assigned female. Most participants (78 percent) had already undergone or gender transition surgery, according to the study abstract.

Reported survey findings included the following:

  • Among the childless respondents, 21 percent (40 of 187) expressed the desire to have children in the future.
  • Of the 64 respondents who said they lacked knowledge about their fertility options, 77 percent (49) said they never discussed this subject with their health care provider.
  • Only 3 percent of participants (seven) had sperm or eggs banked before hormone treatment.
  • The most commonly noted barriers to were cost (44.1 percent), lack of awareness of the option (21.6 percent) and not wanting to delay starting hormone therapy (19.7 percent).

"Early discussions with about fertility preservation before commencing gender transition-related therapies may improve awareness of and access to available reproductive options," Millar said.

Explore further: Are military physicians ready to treat transgender patients?

Related Stories

Are military physicians ready to treat transgender patients?

March 13, 2017
A small survey of military physicians found most did not receive any formal training on transgender care, most had not treated a patient with known gender dysphoria, and most had not received sufficient training to prescribe ...

Endocrinologists want training in transgender care

January 10, 2017
Four out of five physicians who specialize in treating hormone health conditions have never received formal training on care for transgender individuals, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal ...

Transgender women who begin hormone therapy more likely to quit smoking

October 5, 2016
While there has been much concern about the potential harm from transgender medical intervention (hormone therapy), a new study has found that transgender women who receive hormone therapy are more likely to quit or decrease ...

Study finds hormone therapy in transgender adults safe

February 24, 2015
In the most comprehensive review to date addressing the relative safety of hormone therapy for transgender persons, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that hormone therapy in transgender ...

Study shows positive psychological effects of hormone therapy in transgenders

February 9, 2016
Transgender individuals may experience significant improvement in psychological functioning after as little as 3-6 months of hormone therapy, with improved quality of life reported within 12 months of initiating therapy by ...

Training needed to increase physician comfort level with transgender patients

February 29, 2016
George Washington University (GW) Researcher Michael S. Irwig, M.D. published a first-of-its-kind survey assessing the attitudes and practice patterns of transgender care by endocrinologists, who often treat transgender patients ...

Recommended for you

New research suggests possible link between sudden infant death syndrome and air pollution

April 20, 2018
A study led by the University of Birmingham suggests a possible association between exposure to certain pollutants and an increased risk of so-called 'cot death'.

For heavy lifting, use exoskeletons with caution

April 20, 2018
You can wear an exoskeleton, but it won't turn you into a superhero.

Male contraceptive compound stops sperm without affecting hormones

April 20, 2018
A new study published today in the journal PLOS ONE details how a compound called EP055 binds to sperm proteins to significantly slow the overall mobility of the sperm without affecting hormones, making EP055 a potential ...

A dose of empathy may support patients in pain

April 20, 2018
Research published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine suggests that empathic, positive messages from doctors may be of small benefit to patients suffering from pain, and improve their satisfaction about the care ...

New device to help patients with rare disease access life-saving treatment

April 19, 2018
Patients with a rare medical condition can receive life-saving treatment at the touch of a button thanks to a new device developed by scientists.

Age affects how we predict and respond to stress at home

April 19, 2018
A recent study finds that older adults are better than younger adults at anticipating stressful events at home - but older adults are not as good at using those predictions to reduce the adverse impacts of the stress.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.