Ovary Function Conserved in Transgender Males Within a Year of Testosterone Treatment

Transgender males are potentially fertile even after a year of testosterone treatment, according to a study.

“Our research shows for the first time that after one year of testosterone treatment, ovary function is preserved to a degree that may allow reproduction,” stated the lead investigator of the study, Yona Greenman, M.D. She is the deputy director of the Institute of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Tel Aviv-Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv, Israel. “This information is important for transgender men and their partners who desire to have their own children.”

Transgender men many a time opt to take testosterone as a gender-confirming treatment. But some transgender males might want their own kids later.

“Because the long-term effects of testosterone therapy on fertility are unknown, the current recommendation is to stop testosterone at least three months before fertility treatments,” Greenman stated. She is the head at her medical center’s Transgender Health Center.

Her research group examined 52 transgender males getting testosterone therapy. Partakers were aged between 17 and 40. Seventeen of the participants were in a steady relationship, and only 7% had already undertaken fertility preservation through freezing their eggs. Nearly two out of three either stated a desire for their own children or were uncertain about parentage (50 percent), told Greenman.

Hormone levels in the blood were taken and a pelvic ultrasound performed to quantify the ovarian features that mirror fertility.

According to Greenman, despite the anticipated rise in testosterone blood levels and fall in estrogen at a year of treatment, the levels of anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) in partakers stayed in the usual range for fertility. AMH is released by small ovarian follicles. Mean AMH levels in the test group lessened only faintly.

“This level likely indicates well-preserved ovarian function,” states Greenman.

“Although there is a need to investigate the effects of testosterone on further fertility parameters such as quality of oocytes and in vitro fertilized embryos,” Greenman told, “these results are a further step toward providing transgender people basic rights such as reproduction.”

In contributors, the width of the lining of the uterus(endometrium) was also unchanged. This is significant as a thick endometrium is vital for embryo implantation and a fruitful pregnancy, Greenman stated.