Fertility preservation is an option for transgender people who are interested in medically transitioning to affirm their gender. In this situation it is important for people to understand that they can optimize their family building options before they begin their transition.
Female Assigned At Birth (FAAB) – Transgender Family Building
For transgender people who are FAAB, it would be important to cryopreserve eggs for potential future use prior to undergoing surgical procedures that may inhibit reproductive ability. Cryopreserving eggs is a relatively more complex process compared
to cryopreserving sperm because it would require the individual to go through fertility therapy in order to generate multiple eggs for cryopreservation. This would involve working with an in vitro fertilization center with experience in cryopreserving eggs. In order to cryopreserve eggs this individual will have to go through an egg retrieval which is typically done under IV sedation. Generally, a person’s reserve of eggs is tested prior to cryopreservation to make sure these eggs can be successfully used in the future.
Male Assigned At Birth (MAAB) – Transgender Family Building
For transgender people who are MAAB, prior to any hormonal or surgical procedures that may inhibit reproductive ability, it would be important to cryopreserve sperm specimens. To cryopreserve a sperm specimen is relatively simple, you can work
through a sperm bank/fertility clinic that regularly works with individuals during the initial transition. The process of freezing sperm will involve initial semen analysis and blood work. This will allow the sperm specimen to be available for use in the future with an egg donor. The question always remains on how many sperm samples to cryopreserve. This depends on multiple factors including the initial sperm count. This should be a personal and private discussion with the fertility specialist/sperm bank who is preserving the sperm for you.
Eggs and sperm can remain cryopreserved for many years. To date, there is no known limit to how many years they can be cryopreserved. Therefore, it is available and practical for transgender individuals to protect their fertility in their late teens or early 20s and then pursue family building in their 30s and 40s with these cryopreserved materials. Certainly there are more details to this process that would be covered upon a consult with a LGBT-affirming board-certified reproductive endocrinologist with experience in cryopreservation of gametes for future reproductive use.
At CT Fertility, we believe in an individualized approach to family building and take the time to develop a treatment plan that is just right for you. Our plans are designed to give you the best chances of having the family of your dreams. For a more in
depth look at transgender family building options, call our office today at 203-373-1200.