• Sunday, 18 August 2019

Pregnant transgender men at an elevated risk of depression, lack of care


Washington D.C. , Aug 15 : A new study has found that transgender men who become pregnant are at an elevated risk of depression and difficulty finding medical care.

The study published in the journal 'Maturitas' examined health care research on transgender men who become pregnant at or after the age of 35 to determine their medical and mental health needs.

"Despite the increased visibility of transgender people there are about 1.4 million who have transitioned in the United States and medical providers are largely unprepared to care for them and most have had limited educational opportunities," said lead author Justin Brandt, an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

According to the U.S. Transgender Survey, nearly 40 per cent of its 28,000 respondents reported attempting suicide nearly nine times the national average.

That risk can be increased in transgender men with the unwanted physical changes resulting from pregnancy, according to Brandt.

"The process of transitioning is long and arduous, and pregnancy, which is regarded as a feminine condition, forces these men to almost fully transition back to their sex assigned at birth, which can worsen gender dysphoria," Brandt said.

Findings from the study also stated that nearly 25 per cent of transgender people reported negative health care experiences in the last year.

This correlates with the finding that about 44 per cent of pregnant transgender men seek medical care outside of traditional care with an obstetrician. Rather, they may seek out non-physician providers, such as nurse-midwives, with 17 per cent delivering outside of hospitals, a higher rate than with women.

It also found that 64 per cent had vaginal births and 25 per cent requested cesarean delivery.

The report also noted that transgender men who requested cesarean deliveries reported feeling uncomfortable with their genitalia being exposed for long periods of time while those who went through labour reported that the process of giving birth vaginally overcame any negative feelings that they had.

The researchers also found that about 51 per cent of transgender men breast or chest fed their infants even if they had breast surgery.

"Transgender men who intend to restart testosterone after delivery may decide to defer contraception since they perceive that their male hormone therapy induces a state of infertility, which is not always the case," he opined.

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Pregnant transgender men at an elevated risk of depression, lack of care

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