Transgender people assigned female at birth may undergo fertility preservation by egg or embryo freezing, usually prior to gender affirming treatment. In this binational ethnographic study, four transgender men were included as part of a larger comparative project on fertility preservation. In-depth ethnographic interviews allowed informants to talk freely about their fertility preservation experiences, and the circumstances that had enabled them to pursue this option. Prominent in men’s accounts were the importance of genetic parenthood and the role of social support from others in the fertility preservation process. Indeed, in all cases, social support—from parents, siblings, partners, peers, physicians and employers—was critical, effectively enabling young transgender men to embark on their fertility preservation journeys and undergo the physically taxing process. This study illustrates the power of thriving through relationships that were critical in young transgender men’s experiences of fertility preservation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The article derives from a large-scale, ethnographic study of individuals who have undergone fertility preservation in the USA and Israel, two of the earliest countries to provide oocyte cryopreservation for both medical and non-medical purposes. The study took place between 2014 and 2016 and was supported by the US National Science Foundation’s Cultural Anthropology and Science, Technology, and Society programmes.
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- Fertility preservation
- egg and embryo freezing
- genetic parenthood
- social support
- transgender reproduction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health