Semen Parameters Among Transgender Women With a History of Hormonal Treatment

Urology. 2019 Feb;124:136-141. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2018.10.005. Epub 2018 Oct 10.

Abstract

Objective: To report on the semen quality parameters in transgender women who pursued semen cryopreservation either in the presence or absence of gender-affirming hormonal medication.

Materials and methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted as a chart review of consecutive transgender women presenting for semen cryopreservation between January 1, 2012 and March 31, 2018. Demographic data and semen parameters were assessed. Primary outcomes were the semen parameters in subjects with either no exposure, previous exposure or current exposure to gender-affirming hormonal medication.

Results: Twenty-eight patients presented for semen cryopreservation and produced 69 specimens. Using a Kruskal-Wallis test, semen analyses were compared between patients who had never used gender-affirming hormonal medication, those who had previously used hormonal medication but discontinued prior to specimen collection, and those who used medication at the time of specimen collection. Median semen parameters for each group were as follows: volume-2.7 mL, 2.1 mL, 0.9 mL, respectively (P = .12); concentration-63.6 M/mL, 39.0 M/mL, 2.4 M/mL, respectively (P < .01); percent motility-51.5%, 34.3%, 15.6%, respectively (P < .01); and the total motile count was 63.2 M,39.1 M, 0.2 M, respectively (P < .01). Fifteen specimens were collected after discontinuing hormonal medication with a mean discontinuation period of 4.4 months.

Conclusion: Specimens collected in the presence of hormonal medication were associated with abnormal semen parameters. Specimens collected after discontinuation of gender-affirming treatments were comparable to transgender women who had never used hormonal medication. Transgender women should be counseled about the potential impact of gender-affirming hormones and to consider fertility preservation prior to gender-affirming treatments.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cryopreservation
  • Female
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Semen Analysis*
  • Transsexualism / drug therapy*
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones