Hormonal and surgical treatment for gender dysphoria can impact on fertility. Assisted conception techniques, such as sperm and egg freezing, can provide transgender people, and those who identify as trans, with the opportunity to create a family.
How does it work?
Is it right for me?
It is best to consider fertility preservation prior to treatment for gender dysphoria, however if you are already taking hormone therapy or puberty suppressing drugs it may be possible to temporarily reverse the effects they have on your reproductive organs in order to freeze your eggs or sperm.
Sperm can be obtained by masturbation. However, if this is something you do not feel comfortable with we may be able to offer surgical sperm retrieval (a minor surgical procedure used to harvest sperm directly from your testicles or associated tubing).
For egg freezing we use fertility drugs to stimulate your ovaries to produce a number of eggs. These eggs are harvested using a minor surgical procedure. The eggs that are mature enough for this process are frozen on the same day. The process of egg freezing will be discussed with you in-depth and counselling available to you. The doctor at your consultation will explain the hormones you will need to take and that some stages of the treatment process will involve vaginal ultrasound. We can offer egg collection with general anaesthetic if you feel this would be better for you.
If you cannot or do not wish to freeze your eggs or sperm you may wish to consider using donor gametes. These are eggs or sperm donated by others for use in assisted conception.
Firstly you will have a consultation with a fertility specialist doctor. This will involve taking a medical history, explaining the fertility preservation process and obtaining your consent to collect and store gametes and/or embryos. Before samples can be stored there will be a number of blood tests performed and some further fertility tests may also be required. You will also be offered counselling with an independent fertility specialist counsellor. If your fertility preservation treatment is to be NHS funded you will need a referral from your GP or from the Gender Dysphoria clinic. If you are funding your own treatment privately then you can self refer. We take plenty of time to explain everything and allow space for reflection so you can make your decisions in your own time.