According to a recent survey study, a majority of transgender youth are not interested in delaying the start of hormone replacement therapy in order to preserve their fertility.
The study, which was presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) 2018 meeting in Toronto showed that a mere 5% out of 66 transgender-identified youth surveyed at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Gender and Sexuality Development Clinic agreed with the statement, “I would choose to delay hormone therapy to undergo fertility preservation if asked today.”
Additionally, only 33% out of 52 parents stated they would choose to delay hormone therapy to undergo fertility preservation on behalf of their children.
Of those who were not interested in fertility preservation, 70% of those surveyed said that it was their discomfort with their sexual organs that influenced their decision.
“While hormone therapy has drastically improved the lives of countless transgender and gender non-conforming youth, its impact on fertility can unfairly force individuals to decide at a very early age whether or not they should preserve the ability to be a biological parent one day,” said Rebecca Persky, MD, lead author on the study in a release put out in advance of the presentation.
The youth studied were largely assigned female at birth, and of an average age of 16. The parents averaged at 48 years old.
Additionally, 20% of the youth and 12% of the parents did agree that it was important to have biological children or grandchildren. Of those who did say they would be willing to wait, most felt their parents would find it important.
For parents, they largely felt that there was an overall lack of information into the effects of hormone replacement therapy in regards to biological fertility, but a majority (62%) felt that their children would be the ones to “make a meaningful decision about taking steps to preserve fertility at this point in (his/her/their) life.”
One of the limitations of this study was that all of the participants have already made this decision: every participant is already taking a hormone replacement therapy regime.