Fertility is important for transgender people as well: Study

Washington D.C. [USA], April 3 : For majority of people, having kids of their own is very important, even for the transgender couples! A team of Canadian researchers found that most of the transgender people lack knowledge regarding reproductive options, suggesting that before undergoing a hormone therapy, they should have a detailed discussion with their health care professionals about fertility preservation, so as to access the available reproductive options.

"Modern techniques allow people of transgender experience to have biological children by freezing their sperm or eggs before hormone treatment," said study's senior investigator Adam Millar from the University of Toronto.

Adding, "This option was not offered to transgender people 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.

The team surveyed transgender patients, attending routine medical visits at three medical centers in Toronto, about their knowledge and beliefs regarding fertility.

They analysed 213 adults, ages 17 to 69, who completed the written questionnaire - 108 who were assigned male at birth and 103 were assigned female.

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

The results indicated that 78 percent of participants had already undergone hormone therapy or gender transition surgery.

Among the childless respondents, 21 percent (40 of 187) expressed the desire to have children in the future.

The study found, out of the 64 respondents who said they lacked knowledge about their fertility options, 49 said they never discussed this subject with their health care provider.

Only three percent of participants (seven) had sperm or eggs banked before hormone treatment. The most commonly noted barriers to fertility preservation 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).

The results were presented at the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Florida..

Source: ANI