Transgender Reproductive Issues (Medical & Emotional)

Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews Dr. Samuel Pang, a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist at IVF New England, where he also serves as the Director of its LGBTQ Program. Also joining is Dr. Jamie Joseph, a Certified Transgender Therapist who works with children, adolescents and adults dealing with LGBTQ concerns.

Hit the Highlights
  • Transgender people are people whose gender identity, their innate knowledge of who they are, is different from the gender they were thought to be at birth. A transgender woman lives as a woman today, but was thought to be male when she was born. A transgender man lives as a man today, but was thought to be female when he was born. Some transgender people identify as neither male nor female, or as a combination of male and female. There are a variety of terms that people who aren’t entirely male or entirely female use to describe their gender identity, like non-binary or genderqueer or queer. Trans is often used as shorthand for transgender.
  • What is the difference between transgender and intersex? Is an intersex child more likely to be transgender? While it’s possible to be both transgender and intersex, most transgender people aren’t intersex, and most intersex people aren’t transgender.
  • What are some of the typical reproductive health issues facing transgender men and women?
  • Many transgender men who have sex with men are at risk for unintended pregnancy. How important is birth control and a frank discussion about birth control for transgender people?
  • What are some of the typical reproductive health issues facing transgender women?
  • Risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Issues for transgender people wanting to become parents.
  • Many trans people undergo certain medical procedures in order to transition. What are some typical things that they might do or have done that need to be considered if they want to become pregnant?
  • Hormone treatment for MTF transition is less reversible than hormone treatment for FTM transition.
  • Would a transgender man have to stop taking hormones during pregnancy?
  • How common is it for a trans man to want to become pregnant? What factors influence the decision to become pregnant?
  • What are the psychological implications of doing something so inherently female, such as pregnancy and giving birth, when you identify as male?
  • Considerations for fertility preservation before the procedures of gender transition because these might cause temporary or permanent sterility. Research found that about 40% of trans people utilize fertility preservation during transition.
  • If a trans woman has gone through surgery to remove external male genitalia, is there any way for her to be able to get sperm to be able to be used for an insemination?
  • Even without surgery, do other treatments render the trans person infertile?
  • What about fertility preservation for prepubescent children?
  • Do transgender people face prejudice in the mental community?

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National Center for Transgender Equality

US 2015 Transgender Survey

Image credit: Alessia Cross