Sexual and physical health after sex reassignment surgery

Arch Sex Behav. 2005 Dec;34(6):679-90. doi: 10.1007/s10508-005-7926-5.


A long-term follow-up study of 55 transsexual patients (32 male-to-female and 23 female-to-male) post-sex reassignment surgery (SRS) was carried out to evaluate sexual and general health outcome. Relatively few and minor morbidities were observed in our group of patients, and they were mostly reversible with appropriate treatment. A trend toward more general health problems in male-to-females was seen, possibly explained by older age and smoking habits. Although all male-to-females, treated with estrogens continuously, had total testosterone levels within the normal female range because of estrogen effects on sex hormone binding globulin, only 32.1% reached normal free testosterone levels. After SRS, the transsexual person's expectations were met at an emotional and social level, but less so at the physical and sexual level even though a large number of transsexuals (80%) reported improvement of their sexuality. The female-to-males masturbated significantly more frequently than the male-to-females, and a trend to more sexual satisfaction, more sexual excitement, and more easily reaching orgasm was seen in the female-to-male group. The majority of participants reported a change in orgasmic feeling, toward more powerful and shorter for female-to-males and more intense, smoother, and longer in male-to-females. Over two-thirds of male-to-females reported the secretion of a vaginal fluid during sexual excitation, originating from the Cowper's glands, left in place during surgery. In female-to-males with erection prosthesis, sexual expectations were more realized (compared to those without), but pain during intercourse was more often reported.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Coitus / psychology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Masturbation / epidemiology
  • Orgasm / physiology
  • Postoperative Period*
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Partners / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transsexualism / psychology
  • Transsexualism / surgery*