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

India launches 'Modicare', world's biggest health scheme

September 23, 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched the world's biggest health insurance scheme, promising free coverage for half a billion of India's poorest citizens ahead of national elections next year.

Alcohol responsible for one in 20 deaths worldwide: WHO

September 21, 2018
Alcohol kills three million people worldwide each year—more than AIDS, violence and road accidents combined, the World Health Organization said Friday, adding that men are particularly at risk.

Patient-centered visual aid helps physicians discuss risks, treatments with parents

September 21, 2018
A series of illustrations and charts designed as decision aids for parents of children with minor head injuries helped them communicate with emergency medicine physicians and make informed decisions about their child's care, ...

Smart pills dumb down medical care, experts warn

September 21, 2018
Enthusiasm for an emerging digital health tool, the smart pill, is on the rise but researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have published a paper in the American Journal of Bioethics that cautions health care ...

Crunched for time? High-intensity exercise = same cell benefits in fewer minutes

September 20, 2018
A few minutes of high-intensity interval or sprinting exercise may be as effective as much longer exercise sessions in spurring beneficial improvements in mitochondrial function, according to new research. The small study ...

China's doctor shortage prompts rush for AI health care

September 20, 2018
Qu Jianguo, 64, had a futuristic medical visit in Shanghai as he put his wrist through an automated pulse-taking machine and received the result within two minutes on a mobile phone—without a doctor present.

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.