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Introducing Doll, Racked's first transgender guest blogger. Always secretly wishing he'd been born a Barbie, Doll was a young army brat who grew up and became a citizen of the world. After landing in Manhattan, he became a New York fashion insider, working in a high-powered industry position, living a life worthy of a feature film.
After mysteriously vanishing from the scene, Doll recently resurfaced and has embarked on a new roller-coaster ride of a journey. Follow his transformation, week by week, right here on Racked.
Doll: I was watching Oprah the other day and the topic was about “The Mom Who Fathered Her Own Children”—a real life modern family that showed up as guests on her show. After watching this fascinating segment, I started thinking about the prospect of having my own children.
This is really the only thing that compels me to take pause. I know I don't want children now, but my mother always says, “No one will ever take care of you like your own flesh and blood.” I've surprised myself by having broody feelings from time to time, but those feelings usually last just until I see some haggard mother trying to deal with a petulant screaming toddler. Granted, if I ever do have children, I envision having a full-time staff—baby nurse, nanny etc.—for additional support (after-all my own nanny growing up is still ready, willing, and able).
Although I question if children are a reasonable option lifestyle-wise for me, the thought of having the permanent loss of the ability to pass on genetic material has become a pressing concern. To be honest, if my future husband wants kids, I actually could care less whose genetic material makes up the children. I can find a surrogate or even opt for adoption—there are so many unwanted children in this world. Plus there is really no evidence that I have any special evolutionary advantages to pass on.
Now, I’ve been on hormones since March 2010, so if I were to seriously consider freezing my sperm, I would have to stop the therapy for a while in order to successfully produce a good/viable sperm count. I have researched and read, and feel that it is important to emphasize that even though fertility might come back after stopping hormones, 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 such risks. Once I started hormones I assumed that all sperm produced thereafter would be tainted. Ergo, anyone considering starting hormonal therapy, orchiectomy, vaginoplasty as part of a gender transition or even a vasectomy should think carefully about the issue of sperm storage prior to doing such procedures.
Even though I do not see how children would fit in my life right now or in the near future, if ever my mentality does change, it would be nice to know that the possibility exists. I think it’s just the imminent prospect of losing the ability forever that's giving me anxiety.
Reasons to store spermInfo via: TS Roadmap
· If you are planning an orchiectomy or vaginoplasty.
· If you are planning to start hormone therapy
— and are unsure about how extensively you want to transition
— and want to try hormones as an experiment first
— and plan to take hormones in hopes of diminishing crossdressing urges
· If you think you may want biological children of your own some time
· If you have not yet had biological children and sometimes consider the possibility
· If you seek a compromise with a spouse or partner who is interested in future children and is concerned about your taking hormones
· In the event of future scientific advances, such as ex-vitro fertilization, etc.
· In the event that your sexual orientation or partner may change over the course of your life
· Using your own reproductive material can mean less legal hassles compared to lesbian / TS adoption or surrogate parenting
· Cost may not be worth the benefit for you.
· Some people's sperm is no longer viable after freezing. Some studies indicate this may affect one in ten people.
· Despite the best efforts, you may be unable to reproduce, despite banking sperm.
· I decided to do it as part of an agreement with my partner at the time. I do not see how children would fit in my life right now, but if that changes, it's nice to know the possibility exists.
To find a clinic or cryobank
· Ask your personal physician for a recommendation.
· Ask your therapist for a recommendation.
· Ask local TS/support groups for a recommendation.
· Most major hospitals (especially university hospitals) have an affiliated fertility clinic.
· You can sometimes find clinics/banks in the Yellow Pages under Physicians.