Can Men Get Pregnant? Outcomes for Transgender and Cisgender Men
Is it possible?
Yes, it’s possible for men to become pregnant and give birth to children of their own. In fact, it’s probably a lot more common than you might think. In order to explain, we’ll need to break down some common misconceptions about how we understand the term “man.” Not all people who were assigned male at birth (AMAB) identify as men. Those who do are “cisgender” men. Conversely, some people who were assigned female at birth (AFAB) identify as men. These folks may be “transgender” men or transmasculine people.
Transmasculine is used to describe an AFAB individual who identifies or presents toward the masculine side of the spectrum. This person may identify as a man or any number of other gender identities including nonbinary, genderqueer, or agender.
Many AFAB folks who identify as men or who don’t identify as women have the reproductive organs necessary to carry a child. There are also emerging technologies that may make it possible for AMAB individuals to carry a child.
Your reproductive organs and hormones may change what pregnancy looks like, but your gender isn’t — and shouldn’t be — considered a limiting factor.
If you have a uterus and ovaries
Some people who have a uterus and ovaries, are not on testosterone, and identify as men or as not as women may wish to become pregnant. Unless you’ve taken testosterone, the process of pregnancy is similar to that of a cisgender woman. Here, we’ll focus on the process of carrying a child and giving birth for AFAB folks who have a uterus and ovaries, and are,or have been, on testosterone.
For those who opt to take testosterone, menses typically stop within six months of starting hormone replacement therapy (HRT). In order to conceive, a person will need to stop the use of testosterone. Still, it isn’t entirely unheard of for people who are on testosterone to become pregnant from having unprotected vaginal sex. Due to a lack of research and variations in individual physiology, it’s still not entirely clear how effective testosterone use is as a method of pregnancy prevention. Kaci, a 30 year-old trans man who has undergone two pregnancies, says that many doctors falsely tell people starting testosterone that it will make them infertile. “While there’s very little research that’s been conducted on gender non-conforming pregnancies or the effects of HRT on fertility, [the] data [that] is available happens to be overwhelmingly positive.” Take the results of one 2013 report, for example. The researchers surveyed 41 transgender men and transmasculine folks who had stopped taking testosterone and became pregnant. They found that most respondents were able to conceive a child within six months of stopping testosterone. Five of these people conceived without having first resumed menstruation.
Conception can happen in many ways, including sexual intercourse and through the use of assisted reproductive technologies (AST). AST may involve using sperm or eggs from a partner or donor.
Researchers in the aforementioned 2013 survey didn’t find any significant differences in pregnancy between those who did and didn’t use testosterone. Some folks did report hypertension, preterm labor, placental interruption, and anemia, but these numbers were consistent with those of cisgender women. Interestingly, none of those respondents who reported anemia had ever taken testosterone. Anemia is common among cisgender women during pregnancy. However, pregnancy can be a challenging time emotionally.
Transgender men and transmasculine folks who become pregnant often experience scrutiny from their communities.
As Kaci points out, “There’s nothing inherently feminine or womanly about conception, pregnancy, or delivery. No body part, nor bodily function, is inherently gendered. If your body can gestate a fetus, and that’s something you happen to want — then it’s for you, too.” People who experience gender dysphoria may find that these feelings intensify as their body changes to accommodate the pregnancy. The social association of pregnancy with womanhood and femininity can also lead to discomfort. Ceasing the use of testosterone may also exacerbate feelings of gender dysphoria. It’s important to note that discomfort and dysphoria aren’t a given for all trans folks who become pregnant. In fact, some people find that the experience of being pregnant and giving birth enhances their connection to their body.
The emotional impact of pregnancy is entirely dictated by each individual’s personal experience.
The survey administrators found that a higher percentage of folks who reported testosterone use prior to conception had a cesarean delivery (C-section), though the difference wasn’t statistically significant. It’s also worth noting that 25 percent of people who had a C-section elected to do so, possibly due to discomfort or other feelings around vaginal delivery.
The researchers concluded that pregnancy, delivery, and birth outcomes didn’t differ according to prior testosterone use.
Although more research is necessary, this suggests that the outcomes for transgender, transmasculine, and gender non-conforming folks are similar to that of cisgender women.
It’s important that special attention be given to the unique needs of transgender people following childbirth. Postpartum depression is of particular concern. Studies show that 1 in 7 cisgender women experience postpartum depression. Given that the trans community experiences much higher rates of mental health conditions, they may also experience postpartum depression in higher numbers. The method of feeding a newborn is another important consideration. If you’ve elected to have a bilateral mastectomy, you may not be able to chestfeed. Those who haven’t had top surgery, or have had procedures such as periareolar top surgery, may still be able to chestfeed.
Still, it’s up to each individual to decide whether chestfeeding feels right for them.
Although there has yet to be a study on transgender men and lactation, exogenous testosterone has long been used as a method for suppressing lactation. This suggests that those who do take testosterone while chestfeeding may experience a decreased production in milk. With this in mind, it’s important to consider whether delaying your return to testosterone use is the right choice for you.
If you no longer have or were not born with a uterus
To our knowledge, there has not yet been a case of pregnancy in an AMAB individual. However, advances in reproductive technology could make this a possibility in the near future for folks who have had hysterectomies and those who were not born with ovaries or a uterus.
Pregnancy via uterus transplant
The first baby born from a transplanted uterus arrived in Sweden during October of 2014. While this procedure is still in its early experimental stages, several other babies have been born through this method. Most recently, a family in India welcomed a baby from a transplanted womb, the first such case in the country. Of course, like many such technologies, this method was developed with cisgender women in mind. But many have begun to speculate that this procedure could also apply to transgender women and other AMAB folks. Dr. Richard Paulson, the former president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, suggested that uterine transplants for trans women and AMAB folks are more or less possible now. He added, “There would be additional challenges, but I don’t see any obvious problem that would preclude it.” It’s likely that supplementation to replicate hormonal phases during pregnancy would be necessary. Cesarean section would also be necessary for those who have undergone gender confirmation surgery.
Pregnancy via abdominal cavity
It has also been suggested that it may be possible for AMAB folks to carry a baby in the abdominal cavity. People have made this leap based on the fact that a very tiny percentage of eggs are fertilized outside of the womb in what is known as an ectopic pregnancy. However, ectopic pregnancies are incredibly dangerous for the gestational parent and typically require surgery. A significant amount of research would need to be done to make this a possibility for folks who don’t have a uterus, and even then, it seems incredibly unlikely that this would be a viable option for a hopeful parent.
The bottom line
With our understanding constantly evolving, it’s important to honor the fact that one’s gender doesn’t determine whether they can become pregnant. Many men have had children of their own, and many more will likely do so in the future.
It’s crucial not to subject those who do become pregnant to discrimination, and instead find ways to offer safe and supportive environments for them to build their own families.
Likewise, it seems feasible that uterus transplants and other emerging technologies will make it possible for AMAB individuals to carry and give birth to children of their own. The best thing we can do is to support and care for all people who choose to become pregnant, regardless of their gender and the sex they were assigned at birth.
Share on Pinterest
KC Clements is a queer, nonbinary writer based in Brooklyn, NY. Their work deals with queer and trans identity, sex and sexuality, health and wellness from a body positive standpoint, and much more. You can keep up with them by visiting their website, or by finding them on Instagram and Twitter.
Tips to get a woman pregnant
Women and couples can take a number of steps to maximize the chance of conception, including having sex during the fertile window (the best time to get pregnant), monitoring cervical mucus, and use of ovulation predictor kits (urine or saliva) etc. Here are some things a man can do to increase the chances of the couple achieving pregnancy.
A widely held misperception is that frequent ejaculations decrease male fertility. Researchers E. Levitas, et al., studied almost 10,000 semen specimens and found that in men with normal semen quality, sperm concentrations and motility remain normal, even with daily ejaculation. In men with low sperm count and/or motility, the best samples were obtained with daily ejaculation. Semen parameters deteriorate when the abstinence interval is longer than 10 days. Reproductive efficiency increases with the frequency of intercourse and is highest when intercourse occurs every 1 to 2 days. Keeping this in mind, a couple should have intercourse based on its own preferences. (Your partner can calculate the best time for her to get pregnant with this easy-to-use fertility calendar.)
Are there differences in sperm count at different times a day?
No. A man makes new sperm every 72 days or so. There, however, is no variation based on the time of the day. i.e. one time is not better than the other.
Is there a seasonal variation in sperm count?
Levitas et al. compared the different sperm parameters according to season of the year on sperm production day and the season 70 days prior (during spermatogenesis). A total of 6455 consecutive semen samples were collected as part of the basic fertility evaluation of 6447 couples. The sperm concentration and percentage of fast motility showed a significant decrease from spring toward summer and fall (P < 0.001) with recovery noticed during the winter. The highest percentage of normal sperm morphology was observed during the winter months. Seasonal sperm pattern seems to be a circannual-rhythmic phenomenon. The winter and spring semen patterns are compatible with increased chances of conception and may be a plausible explanation of the peak number of deliveries during the fall.
Other researchers have found that there was no seasonal variation in sperm parameters.
Do sex positions matter?
There is no scientific evidence suggesting that one position is better than the other. Sperm can be found in the cervical canal seconds after ejaculation, regardless of coital position. There is also no relationship between specific coital practices and gender of the baby. Vaginal lubricants may decrease fertility. Water-based lubricants (e.g. Astroglide, KY jelly, and Touch) inhibit sperm motility. Canola oil, mineral oil and Pre-Seed do not and can be used if needed.
Does female orgasm increase fertility?
No. Female orgasm may promote sperm transport. However, there is no known relationship between orgasm and fertility.
Smoking, heavy drinking (greater than two drinks a day), drugs are all known to decrease fertility. Obesity is also associated with low sperm counts. Other environmental factors can also affect fertility, such as hot tubs and saunas, laptop computers, second hand cigarette smoke, tight underwear and excessive heat at work.
Improving your lifestyle is a big step in the right direction. Weight loss, regular exercise, quitting smoking tobacco and marijuana, drinking alcohol only in moderation are absolutely necessary to maximize chances of success.
A diet rich in anti-oxidants can also help. Great antioxidants include: blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, pomegranate, cranberries, green tea, dark chocolate, cooked vegetables and spices such as cumin, turmeric, ginger and oregano.
What about pesticides?
These can be an issue for agricultural workers. Pesticides have been shown to have a negative impact on sperm parameters. The best way to minimize their effect is to make sure that Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) guidelines are followed at work.
What about anti-oxidants?
Oxidative stress occurs due to excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by the spermatozoa. This results in defective sperm production (by causing lipid peroxidation of sperm membrane) and also has an adverse effect on fusion events required for fertilization. Antioxidant supplements that can help include Coenzyme Q10, Lycopene, Omega 3 fatty acids, carnitine, Vitamins C and E, selenium, glutathione, N-acetyl cysteine, Zinc and Vitamin B 12. These have been discussed in detail in a previous blog.
To see a qualified fertility specialist with experience treating male and female fertility issues, make an appointment at one of InVia’s four convenient Chicago-area fertility clinics.
What if women had complete control over when and from whom to get pregnant?
Sign up for our 'Context' newsletter to help you understand what's going on.
Image copyright, Getty Images
More than a third of all pregnancies on the planet are unintended, and the availability of modern methods of contraception does not save. How would our world change if women controlled when, at what age and from whom to conceive a child?
For thousands of years, society has viewed women as inferior to men in everything from biology to intelligence.
Scientists (historically, almost all of them were men) also looked at the world through the lens of this view - for example, they studied the process of animal reproduction almost exclusively on the example of males.
"Women were once thought to be a passive organ in which spermatozoa circulate, while the egg cell does almost nothing," says Patrice Rosengrave, a researcher at the University of Otago in Christchurch, New Zealand. men who have sperm."
And only recently have scientists begun to discover the astonishing variety of methods by which the females of many animals assert their dominance in the matter of breeding offspring.
What happens if women suddenly become stronger than men
"Awkward questions": feminists answer
"Men thought it was immoral": the story of the invention of the pregnancy test
Five reasons why we are having less and less sex
Female salmon, for example, are able to slow down or speed up the movement of the sperm of certain males - depending on whether you need to give someone an advantage or not.
Female mice and jungle chickens can choose the sperm of those males that are more suitable for the genes, which avoids inbreeding.
A female Drosophila can store sperm from different males in special organs to use later and from the male she has chosen.
Since male ducks are prone to rape (even in groups) and their long (can be up to 28 cm - ) corkscrew-like penis is twisted in a counterclockwise spiral, females have evolved so that their vagina is twisted in the opposite direction , clockwise to prevent forced intercourse and fertilization.
Yes, humans have not been as successful in the "sexual arms race" as flies, mice, or ducks, but women now have much greater control over birth control, pills, and, in extreme cases, abortion.
But these tools are not available everywhere, do not always provide a guaranteed result and are not approved by everyone. Women may not want to use one or the other of these methods for cultural, religious, or some purely personal reasons.
And those who want to can't always: in developing countries and poor regions of the world, women may simply not have access to birth control. In addition, there are countries where abortion is prohibited or morally condemned by society.
For example, in the United States, several states have strict anti-abortion laws. In Northern Ireland, the ability to have an abortion is officially severely limited.
Image copyright, Getty Images
Many animals have evolved in such a way that their females can, to a certain extent, choose who will father their children
Skip Podcast and continue reading.
What was that?
We quickly, simply and clearly explain what happened, why it's important and what's next.
The End of the Story Podcast
But even if women around the world could freely use all the available means of birth control, the fact remains that these means do not always work.
Contraceptives don't always work, sex workers are forced to stop using condoms, men rape women, and some women simply don't have a say in when and how often to have sex.
What if all women suddenly had some of the powers of animals? Namely: what if women, by magic, gained the opportunity in 100% of cases to control not only when and at what age they get pregnant, but also from whom exactly (including cases of rape, when it is not a matter of choosing a desirable partner)?
The first and most obvious result, of course, will be the end of unplanned pregnancies.
Almost all over the planet, women are already having fewer children - for various reasons. Yet in 2012, one for which data are available, 40% of the world's 85 million pregnancies were unintended.
And in some countries, such as the USA, the percentage is even higher - 45% of the 6 million annual pregnancies.
For women, the time will come when they will finally find inner peace.
"Their body will no longer be subjected to sudden pregnancy - an incredibly destructive process for the body," says Karen Newman, an independent consultant on sexual and reproductive health and women's rights (London).
You will no longer have to spend money on contraceptives, and their side effects will also disappear.
For example, about 500 million women have taken birth control pills at some point in their lives. Some of them experienced depression, anxiety, suffered from migraines because of this, some had blood clots.
Sterilization (the world's most popular method of contraception) can cause serious complications, including death.
Image copyright, Getty Images
Women today have more ways to avoid unwanted pregnancies, but not everyone has access to them
But won't the ability to have 100% control over your reproductive abilities cause women to have more risky sex lives? And to the fact that sexually transmitted diseases will flourish?
"We didn't see that when effective contraceptives were invented," says Wendy Chavkin, professor emeritus at Columbia University in New York, an expert in family health, obstetrics and gynecology.
One study of about 8,000 American women, for example, found no indication that providing women with free contraceptives could lead to an increase in their number of sexual partners or the frequency of having sex.
There will be no unwanted pregnancies - the number of abortions will also decrease. This should be appreciated by those who fight for the prohibition of abortion, and those who stand for freedom of choice.
In addition, women's lives will become safer. Every year, according to the World Health Organization, 25 million women have abortions in dangerous, unhygienic conditions, putting themselves in the hands of non-professionals.
This causes serious complications that cost $553 million annually to treat. Such abortions may be responsible for 13% of women's deaths annually.
"In the West, where abortion is safe, our hypothetical situation will not greatly affect the health of society," Chavkin notes.
"But if your only choice is to let someone pick your cervix, as is often the case in a number of countries in Africa or Latin America, then yes, it will change a lot for women who are now either dying or becoming disabled ".
It should be noted, however, that in our hypothetical situation there will still be room for abortions. Why?
Because a planned pregnancy is not only a decision to conceive. Over the next nine months, a woman may receive a medical diagnosis that will affect her decision.
It may turn out that the fetus develops in such a way that the fetus cannot exist outside the uterus. Or a woman will have a disease, due to which childbirth will be a mortal danger for her.
In the end, life circumstances may suddenly change - a woman will be left without a job or without the support of a partner or husband.
Image copyright, Getty Images
While the world's population is growing, women in almost all countries are having fewer children on average than in the past.
Fertility may fall. But this does not mean that the growth of the world's population will suddenly stop (the current pace will lead to the fact that by 2100 there will be 10.9 billion people living in the world).
Women may still want to have several sons and daughters, and the mentality of a society where families are traditionally expected to have many children is not so easy to change.
But if you add up all the pluses, it turns out that the changes that we are considering here purely theoretically will be better for both women and society as a whole.
"If you take away the basic things that prevent so many women from getting proper education, careers, and so on (I mean constant childbearing), then the world will open up to them in a way that has never been opened before" , - emphasizes Suzanne Mayhew, professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
More educated women who are more successful at work will help the global economy, especially in developing countries, grow at a more sustainable pace, Mayhew says.
Indeed, now the only countries that have managed to achieve great economic success without reducing the birth rate are the oil-rich Arab states.
If more educated, professionally accomplished women enter the public sphere, they will be able to claim those leading roles in society that were traditionally given to men. This will radically change the world we live in - and, according to some experts, for the better.
"We will have a more compassionate, more peaceful and contented society, one whose main goals are not to make as much money as possible or to have as many nuclear missiles as possible," Mayhew says, referring to a large-scale study showing that women Leaders are characterized by such traits as empathy and a tendency to give priority to social values.
Image copyright, Getty Images
By deciding when and with whom to have children, women will be able to get the education they want and work where they want.
We may also see women deciding to have children later in life. Already, many are putting it off. Confidence that you will be able to give birth later will further ease the pressure of age-old ideas that you should give birth young.
Of course, such a decision will help to get an education and a career, but it's worth saying that by postponing childbirth until the age of 40-50, we risk an increase in the percentage of children born with Down syndrome, says Mayhew.
And yet, she points out, it is much more dangerous for a woman to give birth at the age of a teenager than at 40. In addition, a woman who gave birth at 40 can give her child much more - both materially and spiritually.
What if we take our thought experiment to the extreme? What if women had the abilities of the females of certain animals? For example, will they begin to put aside the sperm of their partners in order to choose the most worthy later?
This raises serious ethical questions regarding the consent of both parties, and is likely to add fuel to the debate over men's rights in sexual partner pregnancy.
Meanwhile, the sperm of those men who will be considered donors of the highest quality (based on their intelligence, appearance, or some other traits) may become a resource for which there will be competition.
"Perhaps some women will begin to assume that you can always find someone better to be the father of your children," suggests René Ferman, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Western Australia (Perth).
Image copyright, Getty Images
Until the whole world starts treating women as equals to men, we are unlikely to see a society in which women have complete control over when and from whom they want to conceive a child
In this regard, however, men may start more use condoms responsibly. Knowing that women can store the sperm of several partners, men can become paranoid - is this their child? Paternity tests will become even more commonplace.
Over time, it may also happen that men develop new qualities in their sperm - for example, the ability to kill the sperm of rivals.
All this, of course, will change the dynamics of the relationship. And some men may not like the ability women have acquired.
They will see it as a threat to their power and will try to develop countermeasures to limit women's fertility, reduce their control over their own bodies and their own lives, Chavkin believes.
"Or they will go to great lengths to portray the woman as a selfish being who seeks to harm the fetus," he adds.
All this, in truth, resembles some kind of fantastic dystopian novel.
But even putting aside these fantasies, one thing is clear, Mayhew says: we are far from a world in which women decide when and with whom to conceive a child. Because we are still far from the world in which women and men are equal.
"Even in rich countries, what we have been talking about now will entail a radical departure from the status quo. The worldview of the whole society will have to change," she says. "I think it is very sad and very revealing how difficult it is for us imagine such a fundamentally different world."
You can read the original English version of this article at BBC Future .
A transgender man got pregnant by a transgender woman. The delivery was taken by a transgender doctor - December 29, 2019
December 29, 2019, 14:48
“Santa Barbara” broke out in the UK: a transgender man gave birth after fertilization with the biomaterial of a transgender woman. A transgender doctor helped the child to be born. About it 29December tells "Lenta.ru" with reference to The Mirror.
One of the main characters of the story is 39-year-old Ruben Sharp. He made a transgender transition and acquired a male sexual organ 12 years ago. But 6 years after the transition, Sharp realized that he wanted to continue his lineage, so he stopped taking testosterone in order to be able to do so. His partner, 28-year-old Jay, supported the idea. At the same time, Jay calls himself a non-binary person, that is, he does not consider himself to be either a man or a woman.
To realize their plans, the couple went to the sperm bank. There, they chose a transgender woman as a donor, after which Sharp became pregnant with the help of in vitro fertilization. After that, the couple chose a transgender doctor, based on the fact that he understands all the nuances of the health of such people and will not ask unnecessary questions.
Ruben Sharp became a parent three months ago. During childbirth, a caesarean section was used. The happy family named their child Jaime. Who exactly was born to them is unknown. The couple themselves emphasize that they are not going to instill any gender stereotypes and expect the child to decide on his own gender. Reuben and Jay will get married in 2020.
Let us remind you that transgender people live a full life in Russia as well. So, in mid-December, the marriage of such a couple was registered in Kazan. They met in St. Petersburg.
Read all comments to commentary comment
The most vivid photos and videos of the day - in our groups on social networks
Send your news to the editor, tell us about a problem or suggest a topic for publication. Upload your video and photos here.
Netizens are actively discussing an unusual way of delivering groceries in St. Petersburg. The footage shows how the courier is carrying a package in a huge, two-meter thermal box. Obviously, a particularly thrifty resident of St. Petersburg appeared in the city. In public transport, the courier turned out to be the most difficult, at rush hour he switched to a scooter. Judging by the inscriptions on the backpack, this is a delivery of the METRO grocery chain. We contacted the press office and learned that couriers with large backpacks are continuing an advertising campaign announcing a massive price reduction that METRO...
Thanks to KVS, an orchard appeared in Yanino
Last Saturday, an orchard appeared in Yasno.Yanino residential complex from KVS. Now there are 14 apple trees, 4 cherry plums, 3 cherries and 3 cherries near houses 11 k.2 and 11 k. 5 on Yasnaya Street. All trees are named: each has a label with the name of the person who planted it. Events for landscaping the territory of the complex have already become a good tradition. So, in the summer of 2021, the residents of Yasno.Yanino planted 30 apple trees as part of the New Settlement Day celebration. LCD "Yasno.Yanino" from "KVS" is located in the Vsevolozhsk district of the Leningrad region, a 20-minute drive from the metro station "Prospekt...
Transfers abroad without restrictions: SWIFT at Primorye Bank
Today, the inhabitants of the country are faced with restrictions that relate to different areas of life. This also applies to transfers abroad: recently, clients of Russian banks have encountered problems with foreign exchange transfers. But there is a solution, and these are SWIFT transfers at Primorye Bank. What is SWIFT? This is an international system that makes money transfers abroad to foreign bank accounts of individuals and legal entities.