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Attitudes, Knowledge and Beliefs Regarding Fertility Preservation Among People of Transgendered Experience: Preliminary Results

      The transgendered population has traditionally been excluded from population health and sexuality research. Limited research suggests that many transgendered people have not considered fertility preservation. Modern techniques allow for people of transgender experience to have biological children through cryopreservation of sperm or eggs. It is believed that multiple barriers prevent people of transgender experience from engaging in fertility preservation. This ongoing study examines the attitudes, knowledge and beliefs of people of transgendered experience in regards to fertility. Patients at different stages of transition were sampled from multiple endocrine, psychiatric and family practice clinics in Toronto. Semi-structured questionnaires were distributed during routine medical appointments. The target sample size for this study is 200 patients, making this the largest study to date that will specifically evaluate reproductive knowledge and beliefs among the transgendered population. Preliminary data from the first twelve patients revealed a young patient population, with ages ranging from 19-25 years. Participants reported a broad range of terms to describe their gender and/or sexuality. Seven of twelve patients surveyed were taking hormone replacement therapy. Five of twelve patients desired children, with four reporting their fertility to be somewhat important to them. Six had fertility options discussed with them at some point during their treatment, while eight noted that cost was a barrier in banking sperm or eggs. Preliminary results from this young urban population suggests that a moderate number of transgendered patients are aware of their reproductive options and have interest in preserving their fertility.
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