Way back in 2014, 54 trans men gave birth in Australia. Although the United States doesn’t yet track births by distinguishing between trans and cis gender people, that statistic alone demonstrates that trans men want and can have their own babies.
However, if you’re considering surgery that removes your female reproductive organs, or if you’d like to delay childbearing until a later date, you may benefit from freezing your eggs to increase your odds of having a biological family. Egg freezing preserves your eggs so that, even as you age, your eggs stay young and viable.
At OC Fertility in Newport Beach, California, our fertility experts Sharon Moayeri, MD, and Nidhee Sachdev, MD, are committed to helping all LGBTQIA+ couples have the family of their dreams. Whether you’ve just started the transition process, or you’ve been a trans man for years, here’s why egg freezing may help your fantasy family a reality.
Testosterone affects egg production
If you’re taking testosterone (T) therapy to promote or keep male secondary sexual characteristics, you may be thrilled by the changes you’ve seen in your body. You’ve grown hair on your face and chest. Your muscles are now denser, stronger, and build up more easily.
You’ve also probably noticed that the T injections affect your menstrual cycle. In fact, just low to moderate injections of T can stop your period entirely within one year. If you don’t menstruate, or if you menstruate irregularly, you’re also not releasing eggs regularly or at all. Therefore, you probably can’t become pregnant or produce eggs for in vitro fertilization (IVF).
However, if you’re willing to stop T therapy for just four months, you may be able to conceive naturally, or produce eggs for IVF. In fact, one study found that the eggs produced by trans men who’d stopped T for four months were equivalent in quality and viability to those of cis gender women.
Eggs have a shelf life
Even if you’re willing to give up T injections to produce eggs and get pregnant, if you’re not ready to do it today, egg freezing is still advisable. All eggs have a shelf life and so do your ovaries.
Cis gender and trans gender women have better odds of pregnancy the younger they are. Though you're born with about a million eggs, by the time you’re 30 you only have about 10% of them left.
At 40, you only have 3% remaining, and many of them won’t be healthy enough to create a child. By age 43, your odds of getting pregnant without medical assistance fall to just 2% a month.
When you freeze your eggs, however, they don’t age, even though you do. So, if you’re now in your 20s-30s, your eggs will be in their 20s-30s, even if you use them when you’re in your 40s, 50s, or beyond. If you freeze your eggs, you also have a store to draw from if you want multiple children.
You’re considering bottom surgery
In your journey to becoming a physical man, you might also decide to remove all of your female reproductive organs. If you remove your ovaries, of course, you’re no longer able to produce your own eggs or have a biological child.
Freezing your eggs before your bottom surgery means that they’re ready for you when you’re ready for them. We inseminate your eggs with donor or partner sperm in our lab and then implant them in a surrogate womb. The resulting baby has your DNA, and is your biological child.
Don’t give up on your dreams to start a family or feel pressured to start one before you’re ready. Contact us today at 949-706-2229 or book an appointment to learn more about egg freezing and your other reproductive options for transgender parents today.