The new method is critical because trans men may wish to avoid fertility treatments because they require stopping gender-affirming hormone therapy and undergoing potentially uncomfortable procedures such as female hormone therapies & vaginal exams.
Combining two currently-used methods
Some cancer survivors have already used egg retrieval to have babies. Furthermore, the so-called “three-parent technique” has been used to help people avoid passing genetic diseases to their babies and to increase fertility.
According to this new study, these techniques could be combined to increase a trans man’s chances of using his eggs to create a healthy embryo and becoming a parent without the need for conventional fertility treatments.
According to Antonia Christodoulaki of Ghent University in Belgium, who presented her research at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Milan, Italy, last month, “everyone should have the right to reproduce.” She continues by saying that this approach might give trans men more options, particularly for those who want to have babies using their own eggs.
According to Suzannah Williams, a researcher at the University of Oxford who was not involved in the study, “It’s an additional option to enable people to have their own biological children.” It’s a great possibility that you end up with a three-parent family, though.
Conventional methods are unpleasant both physically and mentally
Trans men who want to have biological children and are thinking about gender-affirming treatments are advised to have some of their eggs collected and frozen because these treatments may affect fertility.
For instance, testosterone therapy is thought to affect egg production. Some individuals might also choose to have their ovaries completely removed.
Contrarily, fertility preservation procedures may cause a trans man to experience uncomfortable side effects like breast tenderness & cramping. In women’s health clinics, vaginal examinations could be upsetting for someone who does not identify as female. If you’re a trans man, egg collection is regarded as being extremely uncomfortable and unpleasan, physically and mentally, according to Williams.
Although the procedure has not yet been applied to a transgender person, Christodoulaki and her associates believe it might help trans people become parents. The method was tested by the research team using trans men’s donated ovaries.
According to Christodoulaki, “We still don’t know the long-term effects on the babies [that would be] born.” “It’s a technology with a lot of potential. We are not, however, prepared for clinical [use].”
The results, according to Jess Cadenas, a postdoctoral reproductive biologist at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen who wasn’t involved in the study, are encouraging. The study is a small-scale one, he adds as a warning. Regardless, he acknowledges that it’s too early to offer this technique as a fertility treatment for trans men.