Fertility treatment for the transgender community: a public opinion study

J Assist Reprod Genet. 2017 Nov;34(11):1457-1467. doi: 10.1007/s10815-017-1035-y. Epub 2017 Sep 12.


Purpose: The purposes of this study were to evaluate public opinion regarding fertility treatment and gamete cryopreservation for transgender individuals and identify how support varies by demographic characteristics.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional web-based survey study completed by a representative sample of 1111 US residents aged 18-75 years. Logistic regression was used to calculate odd ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of support for/opposition to fertility treatments for transgender people by demographic characteristics, adjusting a priori for age, gender, race, and having a biological child.

Results: Of 1336 people recruited, 1111 (83.2%) agreed to participate, and 986 (88.7%) completed the survey. Most respondents (76.2%) agreed that "Doctors should be able to help transgender people have biological children." Atheists/agnostics were more likely to be in support (88.5%) than Christian-Protestants (72.4%; OR = 3.10, CI = 1.37-7.02), as were younger respondents, sexual minorities, those divorced/widowed, Democrats, and non-parents. Respondents who did not know a gay person (10.0%; OR = 0.20, CI = 0.09-0.42) or only knew a gay person without children (41.4%; OR = 0.29, CI = 0.17-0.50) were more often opposed than those who knew a gay parent (48.7%). No differences in gender, geography, education, or income were observed. A smaller majority of respondents supported doctors helping transgender minors preserve gametes before transitioning (60.6%) or helping transgender men carry pregnancies (60.1%).

Conclusions: Most respondents who support assisted and third-party reproduction also support such interventions to help transgender people have children.

Keywords: Assisted reproduction; Fertility preservation; Trans health; Transgender; Transitioning.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cryopreservation
  • Female
  • Fertility / ethics*
  • Fertility / physiology
  • Fertility Preservation / ethics
  • Fertility Preservation / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Opinion*
  • Religion
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transgender Persons / psychology*