Embarking on a journey of transition is a deeply personal and transformative experience for many transgender individuals. Amidst the myriad of changes and challenges, fertility preservation may not always be top of mind. However, for those who hope to have biological children in the future, understanding and exploring fertility preservation options can be an empowering and affirming step in their journey. In this blog, we delve into the importance of fertility preservation for transgender patients, the available options, and the path to building a family on their own terms.

Transitioning often involves medical interventions such as hormone therapy and surgeries, which can impact fertility. For transgender individuals who desire biological children, fertility preservation offers the opportunity to retain reproductive options before beginning transition-related treatments.

Fertility preservation is not solely about the ability to conceive genetically related children; it’s about preserving autonomy and choice. It acknowledges the diverse paths to parenthood and affirms that every individual has the right to make decisions about their reproductive future.

Options for Fertility Preservation:

Transgender individuals have several options for fertility preservation, depending on their unique circumstances and preferences:

  1. Sperm Banking: Assigned male at birth (AMAB) individuals who are transitioning to female can opt for sperm banking. Sperm samples are collected through ejaculation, frozen, and stored for future use in assisted reproductive technologies (ART) like intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
  2. Egg Freezing (Oocyte Cryopreservation): Assigned female at birth (AFAB) individuals who are transitioning to male and wish to preserve their fertility can consider egg freezing as a means of preserving their fertility. This involves stimulating the ovaries to produce multiple eggs, which are then retrieved, frozen, and stored for future use.
  3. Embryo Freezing: For couples or individuals in a committed relationship, embryos can be created through IVF using sperm and eggs, with the resulting embryos frozen for future use.
  4. Ovarian Tissue Freezing: In cases where there isn’t enough time for egg retrieval or if certain transition-related treatments may impact fertility, ovarian tissue freezing offers an alternative. A portion of ovarian tissue is surgically removed and frozen for later transplantation or fertility restoration.

Fertility preservation is a deeply personal decision, and the path to parenthood may look different for each individual. It’s essential for transgender patients to have access to affirming and inclusive healthcare providers who understand their unique needs and concerns.

Open communication with healthcare providers is crucial for transgender individuals considering fertility preservation. Providers should discuss fertility preservation options early in the transition process, providing information and support to help patients make informed decisions about their reproductive health.

For more information about fertility preservation at UNC Fertility, visit our fertility preservation page! If you are interested in setting up an appointment to discuss your fertility preservation options, call our Raleigh office at 919-908-000 or contact us online today!