Some trans men opt to maintain fertility

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Research shows that transgender men can remain fertile after even one year of testosterone treatment.

NEW YORK — Those transitioning from female to male face issues around future fertility. But new research suggests children in the future are a real possibility for these transgender men, HealthDay reports

Now, research shows that transgender men can remain fertile after even one year of testosterone treatment.

It’s common for transgender men to undergo testosterone therapy as a gender-affirming treatment. But some may later want children through their own pregnancy or via surrogate, the Israeli researchers said.

“Because the long-term effects of testosterone therapy on fertility are unknown, the current recommendation is to stop testosterone at least three months before fertility treatments,” said lead investigator Dr. Yona Greenman. She heads the Transgender Health Center at Tel Aviv-Sourasky Medical Center, HealthDay reports. 

The study included 52 transgender men, aged 17-40, who received testosterone therapy over 12 months. They had the expected increase in testosterone blood levels and decrease in estrogen, but their levels of anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) remained in the normal range for fertility, HealthDay reports.

AMH levels are used to appraise remaining eggs in the ovaries. Average levels in study participants decreased only slightly, suggesting their ovarian function was well-preserved, according to Greenman.

Participants also showed no changes in the thickness of their uterine lining. A thick lining is crucial for embryo implantation and a successful pregnancy.

The findings were to be presented today at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting, in New Orleans, HealthDay reports.

“Our research shows for the first time that after one year of testosterone treatment, ovary function is preserved to a degree that may allow reproduction,” Greenman said in a meeting news release. “This information is important for transgender men and their partners who desire to have their own children.”

She said more study is needed to examine the effects of testosterone on other benchmarks of fertility, including the quality of eggs and embryos fertilized in vitro, HealthDay reports.

“These results are a further step toward providing transgender people basic rights such as reproduction,” Greenman said.

Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal, HealthDay reports.

Published at Sun, 31 Mar 2019 02:30:18 +0000