"You are going to want to freeze your eggs": Conversations Surrounding Fertility between Healthcare Professionals, Parents and Transgender Adolescents

Mon, October 17, 2022 11:00 AM at Zoom

Lindsay TomanDr. Lindsay Toman, Assistant Professor at the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Miami University Hamilton, will present this Family and Population Health Lab lecture.


Over the past decade, there has been an increase in the number of transgender adolescents that receive gender-affirming hormones. While the long-term repercussions of taking hormones are understudied, it is possible that one of the impacts is infertility. Although infertility is not definite, healthcare professionals are still responsible for discussing fertility preservation with transgender adolescent patients, which encourages a population of young people to determine whether or not they want to biologically have children in the future. Drawing on in-depth interviews with healthcare professionals, parents, and transgender adolescents, this study explores the thoughts and perceptions pertaining to fertility and how these three groups work with one another throughout transition. My findings show that (1) adult participants (parents and healthcare professionals) have mental barriers, which include fear of regret and grief over the loss of anticipated biological motherhood, (2) there is a delay in the conversation happening between the healthcare professionals, parents, and trans adolescents, and (3) trans adolescents reject fertility, but are open to building a family. I argue that cisnormative and transnormative ideologies overshadow these conversations, which could result in limiting the potential for queer biological parenthood. The chapter ends with suggestions for how to make conversations pertaining to fertility preservation more expansive to dismantle transnormativity.