Transgender reproduction: first-hand reports

Below are experiences of readers and others involving transgender reproduction options.

A reader writes:

You might want to note on your banking web page that it’s dry masturbation. I was required to wash my hands and genitals and was not permitted any lubrication. I was pretty raw when I was done. Had I known, I might have brought something sheer like a sterile silk, satin or fur cloth.

I think its also important to emphasize that even though fertility might come back after stopping hormones, that there is evidence of increased sperm deformities afterwards. This may or may not lead to an increase in birth defects. Personally, I would not be willing to take a chance. Once I started hormones I assumed that all sperm produced thereafter would be tainted.

Marilyn writes in two posts I’ve combined:

Since my wife and I “really” want children one day, I toddled down to the local bank and made my deposit against the day I would lack fertility. It cost $660US to make three deposits ($220 per visit – they check the first batch to see if there are enough viable sperm to bother continuing) and there is a yearly maintenance cost of $200US. According to the fertility clinics I have checked with, insemination will run about $300US per try and the success rate is about 30% if my sperm is any good. In three visits I saved up enough for 10 tries – hopefully two children.

Why? We both would like kids and she wants to birth them herself. Granted, there are a pretty good range of volunteers around who would be happy to father for us, but with our luck, the father would want to share in the raisin’. She probably wouldn’t sleep with anyone who wasn’t of that cut anyway. So then there’s legal crap to put up with, which if we use my genetic material, no questions.

My wife had a tremendous emotional investment in her vision of the family we would have together – losing that life dream was a BIG ONE for her. A few days ago I found that she was able to see that her family ideal was based on the dysfunctions of her own childhood. It was an illuminating discussion. From my point of view, it is also comforting to know that we have passed that issue.

I actually could care less whose genetic material makes up my children. There is no evidence that I have any special evolutionary advantages to pass on. Perhaps the biggest reason that we saved some was so that my wife could carry a child – that aspect is important enough to her to spend the money. If what we saved is not enough however, we can adopt. There are plenty of children, particularly ones with special needs, who need a home and unconditional love.

A good question is whether I would continue to take up space in Duke’s freezer if Michelle and I broke up. My answer is no if my next pair is a man. If it is a woman and she wanted to have kids and thought that was the best way to handle it, then OK. However, I’m getting old. In a few more years I’ll be past the age when children are a reasonable option lifestyle wise. I can’t really see ^starting^ a family after 45. I’d like to retire some day.

Just some things to think about.

Rachel writes:

This is really the only thing that gives me pause. I don’t want children now, but as I said on my web site, I’ve surprised myself by getting broody feelings from time to time – they usually last until I see some harried mother trying to deal with a petulant screaming toddler! But anyway, the doubt I have is no more than if I was just going for a vasectomy. It’s not the specific equipment I’m attached to (well, it *is*, that’s just the problem of course, but you know what I mean…), but the permanent loss of the ability to pass on genetic material.

It’s probably the most urgent reason why I want to transition as soon as possible. I’ve been on hormones since November. I want to put myself through at least part of RLT before my fertility has gone for good. And once it has gone, there’s really nothing further to lose in changing sex as far as I’m concerned. I might as well go forward as back.

It seems such a remote possibility, that I might, afterwards, find the right woman for me – and a genetic woman at that, who could, and would want to, have a child by me. And I’m sure it would cost money. I don’t even know how my sexuality is going to pan out yet. I’ve always been more attracted to girls, but I’m no longer convinced it was a sexual attraction, or just envy, or what, or if I’m actually sexual at all.

I don’t think I would ever want to have children – *really* – but the imminent prospect of losing the ability forever is concentrating the mind somewhat.

Luccia writes:

This topic was especially important to a former girlfriend and me. I had orchiectomy in late spring 1996, decided not to save genetic material as I already reproduced and passed along my DNA. I met her in late summer 1997.

As the relationship progressed, we each found that we felt the other would make a great mom. We talked of raising children together someday and we both were upset that I had not saved sperm. We are both Ph.D. students, in good health with no serious life-threatening habits (moderate and no alcohol, no dangerous drugs, no smoking, very healthy diets, a little caffeine and chocolate), and no high-risk genetic histories.

Today, I regret not saving sperm. Chalk it up to deep enculturation, but children who are genetically related to both of us would be a wonderful thing. Yes, there is adoption. Yes, we both have male friends who would make great donors and who would agree beforehand to whatever level of involvement we would decide upon. But frankly, being two wymyn together raising a child that is ours genetically is one gift of being TS.

I recommend anyone considering sperm or ovum banking to do so. After all, one never knows when one will have the opportunity to partner with someone who would make a great co-parent.

Susan writes:

i am post op (mtf) transsexual from germany. i just studied your nice website. the item sperm storage is very important. maybe you can publish my (negative) experience too. i started taking female hormones which i obtained in the beginning without control of a physician. after about one year of feminization i considered how i could preserve my genes for future fatherhood. so i went to a cryobank to donate my sperm. however it was to late. even i tried hard but could not ejaculate any more. the doctors tried to find some useable sperm by surgery; but also without success. so actually i will never be able to become biological parent of a child of my own.