In the grand scheme of things, a lot of us dream of being fathers and for some having a child of our own is invaluable. And with this some of us proud men opt for egg freezing procedures so we can in fact have just that.
Fertility preservation before starting hormones is probably the last thing you’re thinking about (we all just want to grow some beards and get on with it!). But on a serious note, you wouldn’t want to face regret not considering this as an option then realising some years down the line you wanted a biological child. Reports show in a survey in Toronto of transfolk without children, 21% of people wanted to have a child in the future however 3% had carried out fertility treatment. And let’s face it! Life is full of twists and turns and unexpected realisations. So let’s get educated! How does it work? How can you access it and what are your options?
How Does It Work?
In the Process of egg freezing you will take fertilisation drugs for up to three weeks, this accelerating egg production and maturity. Then the doctors will sedate you and retrieve approximately 15-18 eggs. Then when you want to use them, they will be injected with your partner or donor’s sperm. As a side note here it should be noted that it has been reported that IVF treatment is quite safe, however you’ll likely feel some side effects from the fertility drugs.
And… How do I access that?
In America, if you are looking into fertility treatment you would have to contact the fertility clinic yourself costs can range up to $15,000. The WPATH guidelines state that HRT prescribing physicians are responsible for informing those starting hormones that it will reduce fertility. This meaning if fertility preservation is an option to be covered by insurance it must be discussed before hormone replacement therapy.
“I think five years ago we would not have been talking about treatment of transgender.Some CCGs say they will only fund for cancer. What I would like to see is equity. Yes, we should be funding it.”Melanie Davies, Department of Women’s Health, University College Hospitals London.
In the UK if this treatment you must see your Gender Identity Clinician before starting treatment and they well refer you to a CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) if referred by NHS you may be funded under their services and the treatment is free, however there is a downfall and getting treatment free depends on where you live. NHS funded treatment is now known throughout Scotland, England and Wales as a “postcode lottery” so it’s all just luck from there. As the UK fight for equity within all clinics care and funding you might have to consider private options, treatment costs around £3,000 and £300 per year to store. Although in light of things Melanie Davies, Department of Woman’s Health, University College Hospitals London stated last year: “I think five years ago we would not have been talking about treatment of transgender. Some CCGs say they will only fund for cancer. What I would like to see is equity. Yes, we should be funding it.” and since then it appears the fight for review for changing the guidelines has not stopped yet, so hopefully there is possible future funding and more care into our future fatherhood is heading a positive direction.
Across the rest of Europe private clinics appears to also be the rested option for pre-planned fatherhood. Spain claims freezing eggs is the best option for the transpeople and their families however only offers private routes, however on the bright side Spain is looking to prioritise transgender patients so we could see some changes in the upcoming future.