The uterus in transgender males

Psychologic and medical reasons may lead many transgender men to request hysterectomy. It is crucial that all gender-affirming treatment options are discussed with the patient and his multidisciplinary team.

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VOLUME 116, ISSUE 4, P931-935

Authors:

Marie Carbonnel, M.D., Lea Karpel, Ph.D., Bernard Cordier, M.D., Paul Pirtea, M.D., Jean Marc Ayoubi, M.D., Ph.D.

Abstract:

Transgender males experience a disharmony between their birth sex and their intimate sense of gender belonging. Gender-affirming hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgery (GAS) are often inherently part of the gender-affirming process. In this context, we should ask whether it is better to keep or remove the uterus. Keeping the uterus and ovaries avoids a surgical procedure and a pubic scar that often results and preserves fertility and the possibility of carrying a baby. On the other hand, keeping the uterus is often psychologically unbearable for transgender males and the long-term effects of androgens on the uterus and ovaries remain uncertain. Conversely, hysterectomy and oophorectomy as part of the GAS process are part of gender reassignment. New mini-invasive surgery procedures for hysterectomies decrease the risks and limit the likelihood of scars to a minimum. In practice, the data suggest that very few transgender males carry a pregnancy and/or use their oocytes after gender-reaffirming treatment. Clinicians should counsel their transgender male patients on the definitive infertility consequences of hysterectomy and oophorectomy and discuss fertility preservation options before GAS. Individualized approaches must be preferred to systematic procedures regarding the personal decision to keep or not keep the uterus and ovaries.

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.