Researchers have reported two cases in which young transgender women
attempted to recover their fertility after stopping gender-affirming
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that one
transgender woman was able to produce viable sperm after a few months of
discontinuing her puberty-halting medication whereas a different
patient on hormone therapy could not produce sperm during the time she
could psychologically tolerate being off her medication.
interested in examining the timeline for getting viable sperm after
stopping masculinity-suppressing medication,” said lead author Hanna
Valli-Pulaski, Assistant Professor at Magee-Womens Research Institute.
on and off gender-affirming medications can cause psychological
distress in this population and it’s important patients have a
discussion with their health care provider before starting or stopping
any treatment,” Valli-Pulaski added.
For the study, the research
team examined medical records of two transgender women who tried to
preserve their sperm after stopping hormone therapy and compared their
semen quality against eight other transgender women who elected to
preserve their sperm before beginning therapy.
All of the participants came through the Fertility Preservation Program in Pittsburgh between 2015 and 2018 as young adults.
of the patients who elected to preserve their sperm after beginning
therapy had been taking the drug Lupron — a sex hormone blocker that
halts puberty when taken in adolescence — for six months. She elected
to stop taking Lupron to attempt sperm cryopreservation.
months later, she was able to produce a sperm sample comparable to those
collected from the eight transgender women who saved their sperm prior
to undergoing treatment.
According to the researchers, for male-to-female transgender individuals, facial hair can start to sprout and the voice begin to deepen after just a few months of stopping medication. It’s possible to reverse these effects, but it would take time.