Access, barriers, and decisional regret in pursuit of fertility preservation among transgender and gender-diverse individuals

One-third of transgender individuals felt inadequately counseled on family planning. Survey respondents highlighted barriers to proceeding with fertility preservation and indicated an interest in referral to reproductive endocrinology.

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VOLUME 115, ISSUE 4, P1029-1034

Authors:

Nina Vyas, M.D., Christopher R. Douglas, M.D., M.S., Christopher Mann, M.S.W., A.S.W., Amy K. Weimer, M.D., Molly M. Quinn, M.D.

Abstract:

Objective

To query transgender and gender-diverse individuals on their desire for fertility preservation, perceived barriers to access care, and decisional regret.


Design

Cross-sectional.


Setting

Not applicable.


Patient(s)

A total of 397 gender-diverse individuals undergoing intake to the University of California Los Angeles Gender Health Program from January 2018 to March 2019. Seventy participated in a follow-up survey from September to October 2019 clarifying reproductive desires or intentions.


Intervention

Multiple-choice questionnaire.


Main Outcome Measure(s)

Perceived barriers to access fertility preservation and decisional regret surrounding choice to pursue fertility preservation as measured with the use of the validated Decision Regret Scale (scored 0 to 100).


Result(s)

Barriers to accessing care were primarily cost of treatment (36%), discontinuation/delay of hormonal therapy (19%), or worsening of gender dysphoria with treatment/pregnancy (11%). Respondents indicated that their family planning goals were addressed by primary care providers and/or medical endocrinologists (multiple responses allowed), but 37% stated that their family planning goals were not adequately addressed. Those who had made a firm decision to pursue or not pursue fertility treatment had mild decisional regret. Moderate-to-severe decisional regret was noted in those who were undecided regarding the pursuit of fertility perseveration before transition and in those who were interested in referral to reproductive endocrinology.


Conclusion(s)

Consultation with a reproductive endocrinologist may reduce decisional regret as well as clarify perceived barriers to fertility preservation in transgender and gender-diverse individuals interested in fertility preservation.

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.