Transgender Visibility In Reproductive Health

Transgender Visibility In Reproductive Health

Transgender individuals may undergo treatments that impact their fertility, but there are options to preserve it

When it comes to a family planning, everyone has different hopes and desires. Some people want children, others don’t. Some want biological children, while others prefer to adopt. This is no different for transgender individuals.

Maddie, a consultant, transgender advocate, and an Out in Tech mentor says that “Transition is often about taking the steps to align self. In this transformation we naturally prioritize self. Beyond our transition, we look for the same human experiences as others. If life allows, I think transgender humans should have access to the same experience.”

In the event a transgender individual wants to have biological children or the option to have them in the future, it’s important that they understand the impact of their treatment on their fertility and options to preserve it. Gender-affirming hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgery may pose risks to fertility potential and outcomes.

Organizations like the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) and the Endocrine Society both recommend that transgender individuals be counseled on the impact of their treatment on their fertility as well as on fertility preservation options. However, too often transgender individuals are not counseled or educated on this, and in some cases, they lose their ability to preserve their fertility for future use.

Ever, a Care Coordinator at Included Health, a concierge healthcare platform focused on raising care equality for LGBTQ+ employees, describes this loss by saying, “I think fertility or lack of access to fertility options has, in many parts of the trans community, become another loss that feels like simply the cost of doing business, and is, just like so many other losses trans people face, devastating.”

In addition to the education and awareness component, there are a number of other barriers of entry to sperm banking for the transgender community. These barriers of entry include the sperm bank deposit experience and the high cost of storage fees, which often add up to thousands of dollars.

Sperm preservation affords the opportunity to preserve fertility for the future, and some have been turning to innovators in the fertility space for an alternative to the traditional sperm banking experience and for lower costs. Maddie, for example, turned to the Dadi Kit because “Dadi made the process of preserving fertility simple, very affordable and private.”

The Dadi Kit allows individuals to collect a deposit from the comfort of home, which is then shipped to their lab for semen analysis, and includes a free year of sperm storage for a significantly lower cost than the traditional industry. Their sperm banking is priced at $99/year, after the first free year, which allows for a more affordable long-term storage option for individuals who may not want to have kids for many years, or who want the option to at a later date.

With access and affordability comes empowerment. Isaac, a Care Coordinator at Included Health, thinks that “it’s all too common in the trans community that we are used to just ‘settling’. We’ve become so accustomed to this narrative that being trans means going without, or suffering, or sacrifice, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Having access to services like Dadi is a huge step towards health equity for the trans community. As a trans person, being able to take agency in your life over something as important as building a family is incredibly important. It’s not just about educating people about their options, but empowering them by ensuring that they have easily accessible (and affordable) services like Dadi.”

Maddie is helping to spread awareness about accessible solutions for fertility preservation, and is helping to ensure that no trans individual is left without knowing all of their options. Maddie knows that others will do the same. “Whether it’s adoption, fostering or having genetic children, transgender people want to give back after making progress on their journey.