Saturday, April 2, 2016

Transgender Men and Pregnancy

Transgender people have experienced significant advances in societal acceptance despite experiencing continued stigma and discrimination. While it can still be difficult to access quality health care, and there is a great deal to be done to create affirming health care organizations, there is growing interest around the United States in advancing transgender health. 

The focus of this commentary is to provide guidance to clinicians caring for transgender men or other gender nonconforming people who are contemplating, carrying, or have completed a pregnancy. Terms transgender and gender nonconforming specifically refer to those whose gender identity (e.g., being a man) differs from their female sex assigned at birth. Many, if not most transgender men retain their female reproductive organs and retain the capacity to have children. 

Review of their experience demonstrates the need for preconception counseling that includes discussion of stopping testosterone while trying to conceive and during pregnancy, and anticipating increasing experiences of gender dysphoria during and after pregnancy. The clinical aspects of delivery itself fall within the realm of routine obstetrical care, although further research is needed into how mode and environment of delivery may affect gender dysphoria. Postpartum considerations include discussion of options for chest (breast) feeding, and how and when to reinitiate testosterone. 

A positive perinatal experience begins from the moment transgender men first present for care and depends on comprehensive affirmation of gender diversity.

Full article at:

1Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
2Department of Gynecology, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, CA, USA
3National LGBT Health Education Center, The Fenway Institute, Boston, MA, USA
4Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
Harvey J Makadon, National LGBT Health Education Center, The Fenway Institute, 1340 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, USA

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