February 17, 2020 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

COLUMN: Things to Consider Before Gender Confirmation Surgery

By Dr. Minh N. Ho, M.D., F.A.C.O.G, Medical Director, Reproductive Endocrinologist at Reproductive Sciences Medical Center

As more people are coming out as transgender at earlier ages, interest in fertility preservation for this population is rising, experts say. For young people who know they want to transition and that they want to have genetically related children in the future, it best to take steps to preserve their fertility before beginning hormone treatment for their transition.  

Transgender individuals may choose to build their family through adoption or surrogacy. However, many are not aware that there are fertility preservation options (egg and sperm freezing) that allow them to have children on their own. Many transgender adults believe that fertility preservation should be discussed with and offered to them. Knowledge of the effects of medical treatments on fertility, familiarity with available fertility preservation options, and a discussion of potential ethical issues are all necessary when counseling patients before their transition. 

Reproduction Options for Transgender Women

The most common fertility preservation option for transgender women is sperm cryopreservation, also know as sperm freezing. 

Prior to transitioning, a transgender woman can freeze her sperm. This can be done at most fertility clinics. In rare cases, surgery is required to retrieve the sperm.

Once the sperm is collected, it will be frozen using cryoprotectant, which is used to protect the sperm from potential damage during the freezing process. The frozen sperm is then stored in a lab until the patient chooses to use it.  This gives a transgender woman the option to have biological children in the future.  

When she is ready, her sperm can be used to fertilize her partner’s egg or a donated egg. This can occur even after she transitions, though her gender confirmation surgery will not allow her to carry a pregnancy.

Reproductive Options for Transgender Men

The most common fertility preservation option for transgender men is egg freezing. The eggs would be extracted prior to hormone treatment, frozen and stored. They can later be used when he is ready to start a family. 

A transgender man who wishes to freeze his eggs will receive ovulation stimulating hormones that stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. This is done to ensure that the maximum number of eggs are retrieved for preservation. 

After receiving hormones for 10 to 12 days, the eggs are collected via a brief surgical procedure and then frozen and stored (cryopreservation). When the patient is ready to start his family, the frozen eggs can be thawed and fertilized with sperm using in vitro fertilization (IVF). The resulting embryos can then be transferred into the patient’s uterus, a female partner or a gestational carrier.

Embryo freezing

Embryo freezing is an option for both transgender men and transgender women. This is a way for couples to preserve their fertility before one member begins transitioning.

The embryos will be created via IVF, and then frozen and stored for future implantation. 

Reproductive Sciences Medical Center is proud to offer comprehensive fertility treatment to patients, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status, with success rates that are well above the national average. We are committed to providing a safe space dedicated to LGBTQ fertility care, with expertise in providing gay, lesbian, and transgender patients access to care in a professional environment.

Related Posts

Addressing LA’s Increase in Syphilis

February 14, 2020

February 14, 2020

Legislation introduced to allow expanded rapid testing By Chole Marie Rivera February 4, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced legislation...

Honoring National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day at the ONE Archive

February 4, 2020

February 4, 2020

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is on Friday, February 7. In the LGBTQ+ community, HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects gay black men...

Public Outcry Temporarily Saves Los Angeles LGBT Center’s STD, HIV Services

January 28, 2020

January 28, 2020

The temporary agreement restores funding through the end of March. The Los Angeles LGBT Center announced today that it has...

HEALTH FEATURE: Need a Podiatrist?

January 26, 2020

January 26, 2020

Dr. Steven L. Rosenberg treating foot injuries with traditional, regenerative and homeopathic medicine.  By Staff Writer If you suffer from...

New CA Bill to End the Epidemics of HIV, Hepatitis C and Other STDs in LGBTQ+ Community

January 18, 2020

January 18, 2020

Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) recently introduced a bill that would require state agencies to create and enforce a master...

VIDEO: Grand Opening of Los Angeles LGBT Center’s New Campus in South LA

January 15, 2020

January 15, 2020

‘Center South’ will provide HIV testing; access to PrEP and PEP services; housing case management; mental health services; a computer lab; and...

Three CA Bills for the LGBTQ+ Community to Keep An Eye On

January 6, 2020

January 6, 2020

Three key pieces of California legislation that were tabled last year for various reasons will see the floor in 2020. ...

Open Letter to FB Demands Removal of “Factually Inaccurate” Lawsuit Ads Attacking HIV Medication

December 14, 2019

December 14, 2019

Dozens of LGBTQ+, HIV and public health organizations have signed an open letter calling on Facebook to remove law firm...

HEALTH FEATURE: Preventing Sudden Hearing Loss at Alexander Audiology

December 9, 2019

December 9, 2019

Santa Monica’s Dr. Melissa Alexander discusses sudden idiopathic hearing loss Sudden idiopathic hearing loss, or sudden deafness, is an unexplained...

HEALTH FEATURE: Holistic Rehabilitation with Gyrotonic at Body Rhythm

December 2, 2019

December 2, 2019

Master Trainer Shevi Baruch helping patients with range of injuries  With more fitness programs and classes available than ever, it’s...

Big Queer Convo Takes on Tobacco Smoking Plight LGBTQ+ Community Faces

November 22, 2019

November 22, 2019

New findings from #Out4Mental Health Statewide Community Survey and UCLA’s LGBTQ Tobacco Study interviews show how factors including homophobia and...

22 Trans Lives Lost to Violence This Year

November 20, 2019

November 20, 2019

One this day 21 years ago, Gwendolyn Ann Smith founded Transgender Day of Remembrance to memorialize the vicious murder of...

City of WeHo Survey Seeks Public Feedback to End HIV Stigma

November 16, 2019

November 16, 2019

The City of West Hollywood needs the public’s health recording data on HIV stigmatization.  “Stigma and discrimination are potentially the...

Trump Administration Attacks LGBTQ People Yet Again with HHS Proposed Rule

November 4, 2019

November 4, 2019

To kick off Trans Awareness Month, the Trump Administration has outdone itself in trampling over LGBTQ+ folks’ rights. Today, the...

Walking for a Cure

October 17, 2019

October 17, 2019

Lace up your sneakers, Los Angles. The annual AIDS Walk is back and ready to get some steps in. The...