One of the biggest questions people have about the FTM transition process is whether or not a person will be able to have children after their surgery. Reproduction may be affected by hormonal therapies and the surgeries used during a gender transition.
Understanding what your options are helps you make the right decisions early. You can store your sperm and eggs to be used at a later date if you decide to have children. But there are considerations you need to know about before you move forward.
Understanding the Reproduction Options
Fertility becomes limited due to the therapeutic hormone treatments that are involved during the FTM transition process. This makes it especially important to make the right decisions as soon as possible.
FTM patients can use embryo or egg freezing to ensure that they can reproduce after their hormone therapy and surgical procedures have taken place. Having them stored allows you to use a surrogate mother to carry the child through delivery.
This option is also available for patients who have not decided whether or not they want to have children in the future.
In vitro fertilization can be used before any hormone therapies are applied. The embryos can then be frozen and then carried by a surrogate mother or a female partner.
Storing eggs requires patients to undergo an IVF treatment cycle as a way to increase egg production. Consulting with your doctor is the best way to evaluate your options.
When harvesting eggs, hormones are used to induce the development of the follicles of the ovaries. The following are the hormones typically used during this process:
These hormones mature the eggs, which are then harvested from the ovaries. The maturity of the eggs can affect its survival rate. Immature eggs are able to withstand the cryopreservation storage. In contrast, mature eggs may have a lower rate of survival in comparison to younger eggs.
Harvesting Considerations after FTM surgery
There are several options that can be used once the eggs have been retrieved. Eggs may be transferred to a surrogate mother or implanted into the patient in certain cases.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) can be performed in cases where a heterosexual trans man has a cisgender partner who is female.
If the initial IVF cycle doesn’t work, any remaining eggs can be saved using egg vitrification processes. These can be used for implantation or fertilization in the future when the individual is ready.
Egg harvesting provides FTM patients with the ability to have children after they have completed the gender transition process.
There are many things to consider in order to choose the best option. Understanding the process gives you the resources you need as you progress through your transition.