Can Men Get Pregnant?
Whoa, did we just spit out a logic-defying fact? NO. This whole question of whether men can get pregnant reminds us of the debate in the UK parliament where members had to point out that transmen are still men even though they were born as women. Let’s break down this argument (fact, actually) in a way that people not exposed to the LGBTQIA+ community can understand.
Pregnant Men: Who Are They?
Let’s address them as transmen or transgender men. If you are not familiar with these terms, we have a chart coming up right below. People born with a male reproductive system can’t conceive and this includes cisgender men. However, nonbinary individuals and transgender men with ovaries and a uterus have the chance of becoming pregnant.
They need to have flawless ovaries and a uterus that can gestate an embryo. Then again, research on reproduction opportunities for everybody is going on. This article explains how some boys can get pregnant and how pregnancy is related to gender and sex. Additionally, it discusses research on male pregnancies and gender-nonconforming pregnancies.
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Let’s Get Our Terminology Correct!
The terms used to talk about sex and gender are defined below:
Expressions, societal roles, and identities come under the term “gender.”
Cisgender people are those whose gender is the same as the sex they were given at birth. For instance, somebody relegated to a female at birth and whose orientation is that of a woman is cisgender.
People whose gender does not match the sex they were given at birth are referred to as transgender. For instance, somebody doled out a female at birth but whose orientation is a man is transsexual. Other gender identities, such as nonbinary or gender nonconforming genders, are sometimes considered transgender by some people.
4. Gender Non-conforming
GNC refers to gender expression or identity that does not conform to social norms or expectations regarding gender and sex. Somebody who is transsexual might be viewed as GNC, as their orientation doesn’t compare to customary assumptions for sex and orientation.
5. Female Assigned At Birth (AFAB)
People who are assigned as female babies at birth are referred to as AFAB. Both cisgender women and GNC members may fall under this category.
6. Male At Birth Assigned (AMAB)
People who were given the gender “male” at birth are known as AMAB. This could include men who are cisgender men and GNC members.
Now Comes The Big Question, How Can Men Get Pregnant?
It is true that a man can get pregnant and have children of their own. You might not be aware of how common it is. We will need to dispel some common misconceptions regarding our understanding of the term “man” to explain.
Male at birth (AMAB) individuals do not all identify as men. The people who do are “cisgender” men. On the other hand, some people who were born female (AFAB) identify as men. These individuals may be transmasculine or “transgender” men.
What Does Transmasculine Mean?
A person who identifies or presents on the masculine side of the spectrum is called transmasculine. This individual may identify as a man or as one of a variety of genderqueer, nonbinary, or agender gender identities. The reproductive organs necessary to bear a child are present in a significant number of AFAB men and women.
Additionally, new technologies may make it possible for AMAB people to bear a child. Your regenerative organs and chemicals might change what pregnancy resembles, however, your orientation isn’t — and shouldn’t be — viewed as a restricting variable.
If Someone Has Ovaries And A Uterus
Certain individuals who have a uterus and ovaries, are not on testosterone, and recognize as men or as not as females might wish to become pregnant. Pregnancy is the same as that of a cisgender woman unless you take testosterone. Here, we’ll zero in on the most common way of conceiving for AFAB people who have a uterus and ovaries, and are, or have been, on testosterone.
Menstruation typically stops six months after starting hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for those who choose to take testosterone. To conceive, an individual should stop taking testosterone. However, it is not unheard of for testosterone users to become pregnant through unprotected vaginal sex. Because of an absence of enough research in individual physiology, it’s as yet not clear the way that viable testosterone use is as a technique to prevent pregnancy.
There have been reports of doctors misleading patients into thinking that taking testosterone will make them infertile. Although very little research has been done on the effects of HRT on fertility or gender non-conforming pregnancies, the data that is available is overwhelmingly positive. Take, for instance, the findings of a report from 2013. 41 transgender men and transmasculine individuals who had stopped taking testosterone and had children were surveyed by the researchers.
They observed that most respondents had the option to consider a baby in 6 months after halting testosterone. Five of these people had children before returning to menstruation. Numerous methods, including sexual activity and the use of assisted reproductive technologies (AST), can result in conception. AST may require the use of a partner’s or a donor’s egg or sperm.
In the aforementioned 2013 survey, researchers found that pregnant women who used testosterone were not significantly different from those who did not. A few people reported preterm labor, hypertension, anemia, and placental interruption, however, these numbers were predictable with those of cisgender women.
Strangely, none of those respondents who reportedly had anemia had ever taken any testosterone. During pregnancy, cisgender women frequently experience anemia. However, pregnancy can be an emotionally challenging time.
When transgender men and transmasculine people become pregnant, their communities frequently scrutinize them. No part of the body or function of the body is gender-specific. If your body can gestate a baby, and that is something you end up needing — then it’s for you, as well. Individuals who experience gender dysphoria might discover that these sentiments escalate as their body changes to oblige the pregnancy.
Pregnancy’s social association with femininity and womanhood can also cause discomfort. Stopping testosterone may likewise worsen sensations of gender dysphoria. It’s important to remember that not all transgender women who become pregnant experience discomfort and dysphoria. The experience of becoming pregnant and giving birth, for some people, strengthens their connection to their bodies. The personal experiences of each person determine the emotional effects of pregnancy.
The survey administrators discovered that, despite the statistically insignificant difference, a higher percentage of respondents who reported using testosterone before conception underwent a cesarean section. Also worth noting is that 25% of people who had C-sections chose to do so, possibly because they were uncomfortable or had other feelings about vaginal birth.
The researchers concluded that previous testosterone use did not affect pregnancy, delivery, or birth outcomes. This suggests that the outcomes for transgender, transmasculine, and gender non-conforming individuals are comparable to those of cisgender women, despite the need for additional research.
It is essential to pay special attention to the particular requirements that transgender people have after giving birth. Depression after giving birth is especially concerning. Postpartum depression affects one in seven cisgender women, according to studies. Postpartum depression may be more common among transgender women because they have much higher rates of mental health issues.
Another important consideration is how a newborn is fed. You might not be able to chest feed if you choose to have a bilateral mastectomy. Chest feeding may still be possible for those who have had top surgery or other procedures like periareolar top surgery. However, it is up to each individual to determine whether or not chestfeeding is appropriate for them.
Exogenous testosterone has long been used to prevent lactation, even though no research has been conducted on transgender men and lactation. This suggests that chest-feeding women who take testosterone may experience reduced milk production. Consider whether delaying your return to testosterone use is the best option for you in light of this.
Can Men Get Pregnant Without a Uterus?
If you no longer have a uterus or were not born with one, we are aware of no cases of pregnancy in AMAB individuals. In any case, progress in conceptual innovation could make this a chance sooner rather than later for people who have had hysterectomies and individuals who were not brought into the world with ovaries or a uterus.
Pregnancy With a Transplanted Uterus
The first child brought into the world from a transplanted uterus showed up in Sweden in October 2014. Several other babies have been born using this method, even though it is still in its early stages of testing. Recently, for the first time in India, a family welcomed a child from a transplanted womb.
This method was developed with cisgender women in mind, like many of these technologies. However, a lot of people have started to think that this procedure might also be used on AMAB people and transgender women. Dr. Richard Paulson, the previous leader of the American Culture for Contraceptive Medication, proposed that uterine transfers for trans ladies and AMAB people are pretty much conceivable at this point. “There would be additional challenges, but I don’t see any obvious problem that would prevent it,” he added. During pregnancy, supplementation may be required to replicate hormonal phases. Those who have had gender confirmation surgery would also need a cesarean section.
Pregnancy With An Abdominal Cavity
It has also been suggested that AMAB people may be able to carry a baby in the abdominal cavity. This leap has been based on the fact that in an ectopic pregnancy, a very small percentage of eggs are fertilized outside the womb. However, ectopic pregnancies typically necessitate surgery and pose a significant risk to the gestational parent. To make this a possibility for people who don’t have a uterus, a lot of research would be needed, and even then, it seems extremely unlikely that this would be a viable option for a hopeful parent.
The Reality Of Whether Men Can Get Pregnant
With our understanding of the term “man” continually advancing, it’s essential to respect the way that one’s orientation doesn’t decide if one can become pregnant. Numerous men can get pregnant and many more are likely to do so in the future. It is essential not to discriminate against those who become pregnant, but rather to offer them safe and supportive environments in which to raise their own families.
Similarly, it appears likely that AMAB individuals will be able to carry and give birth to their children through uterus transplants and other emerging technologies. Supporting and caring for all people who choose to become pregnant, regardless of gender or sex at birth, is the best thing we can do.m