Fertility preservation for transgender patients can be a great option
Fertility Specialists of Texas is proud to help transgender patients achieve their family-building goals. Patients who are just beginning their journey to transition may want to consider fertility preservation for transgender patients. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) interferes with sperm production and ovulation. Even after discontinuing HRT, fertility may not return. That’s why our LGBT fertility clinic tells patients that egg, sperm and embryo freezing can be helpful.
Sperm freezing is one form of fertility preservation for transgender patients
Research suggests that prolonged exposure to estrogen in HRT can damage the testicles and sperm production. Sometimes, a patient’s testicular function will return on its own or with help from fertility medications after pausing HRT. However, this is not always the case. As a result, our LGBT fertility clinic team may recommend sperm freezing for transwomen.
This form of fertility preservation for transgender patients is quite simple. The patient will provide a semen sample through masturbation or sex using a specialized condom. If collection isn’t possible with these methods, our team may recommend surgical sperm retrieval.
Once the patient provides one or more samples, the andrologists in our IVF lab will go to work. They will assess the sperm to determine its quality before freezing it. From there, they will place the frozen sperm into long-term storage, where it can remain until the patient is ready to attempt pregnancy using it.
Egg freezing and embryo freezing provide family-building options for transmen
Researchers have found that taking testosterone for HRT makes ovulation and menstruation stop. While many transmen can regain their fertility and conceive using their own eggs after pausing HRT, this is not always the case. For this reason, transmen may want to consider fertility preservation for transgender patients.
The two main forms of fertility preservation for transmen are egg and embryo freezing. These options have similarities, but they are ultimately different.
- With egg freezing, the patient takes injectable fertility medications to encourage the body to produce multiple eggs. They will then have an egg retrieval procedure, and embryologists will flash-freeze the eggs.
- In the case of embryo freezing, the patient will also take fertility medications and have an egg retrieval procedure. However, instead of freezing the eggs, our andrologists will fertilize them with sperm. The endocrinologists will then freeze the resulting embryos.
Embryo freezing can be a great option for couples who want to have children together as well as for patients who want to use a sperm donor. In contrast, egg freezing is an option for people who have not yet found the person they want to have children with.
If you’d like to learn more about egg, sperm and embryo freezing, contact our LGBT fertility clinic. We can help you decide if fertility preservation for transgender patients is right for you.