New tool assesses trans young people’s interest in having kids post-transition
A new tool seeks to map the interest of trans young people in the long-term impact of their transition on long-term fertility.
A questionnaire launched by the Children’s National Health System asks for input from trans young people and their families.
The Transgender Youth Fertility Attitudes Questionnaire and a pilot study accompanying the tool asked for input from trans people on putting together questions to gather data.
The tool aims to provide medical professionals to better support trans young people.
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It also has the aim of helping trans young people to understand the way transition can affect fertility long-term.
“When we are talking about treatments that may be lifesaving to a transgender person, we also discuss the ways it could change their life,” says Dr John Strang, a neuropsychologist at Children’s National Health System, the lead author of the study.
“Gender-related medical approaches may impact fertility for a lifetime–and while it may not matter to someone now, it might in the future. This new tool will help us understand how our youth feel about these issues and questions, so we know when it is appropriate to discuss choices.”
It aims to find out the young person’s knowledge about fertility risks, their thoughts and feelings about having biological children and the knowledge of fertility preservation services.
Although it builds on existing approaches, the questionnaire is a first-of-its-kind approach with questions tailored to trans young people.
It also considers sub-populations within the youth trans community such as autistic people.
“Engaging these kids and their families in developing these measures from the outset by asking for their input on language preferences and sensitive topics, helped us to maximize its relevance for the community. We hope that the final questionnaire, and the process that designed it, will serve as a model for questionnaire development for transgender youth,” adds Dr Strang.
The free tool aims to be a single tool to assess fertility attitudes for trans young people seeking gender treatments.
The pilot study found that a majority of trans young people did express a wish to have children one day.
But out of those, 24 percent said it was important that their future children would be biologically theirs.
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“Though we know that in general not many youth undergoing medical gender treatments take advantage of fertility preservation at present, this tool helps us to ask important questions that ensure we are able to offer these services to the people who would benefit from knowing their biological options remain viable in the future,” says Veronica Gomez-Lobo, the study’s senior author.
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Meanwhile in the UK, tabloid newspapers recently launched a scathing attack on efforts to help trans young people to freeze their sperm or eggs before starting hormone treatment.
The Daily Mirror published an article misgendering transgender teenagers, and criticising the NHS for allowing people to freeze their sperm or eggs so they can have kids later in life.
Titled “Transgender children ‘as young as 12 having sperm saved so they can still have children after sex change’”, the article scrutinised and criticised the NHS for funding the freezing of sperm or egg or fertility treatment.