Fertility and Hormones

The thing that I’ve had on my mind a lot lately is the question of when to begin my hormonal transition in relation to what to do about having a child. I’ve known I wanted a baby since I was pretty young, though in more of a maternal parenting role than a paternal one. The only times I’ve questioned that were when the pressures to be a father made me feel inadequate to the task. And especially since learning that induced lactation is possible, I’ve known that starting from infancy is definitely what I want to do.

But the thing is, I’m not in a place yet where I’m ready to start a family. Part of that is personal – I think I need to do more growth and self work before I am ready to devote that much time and attention on a mini human. And part of that is situational – my spouse doesn’t want to be a primary parent and I don’t have anyone else to co-parent with in my life right now.

The part that gives me pause is what to do about my sperm. Once I start hormones it is fairly likely that I will quickly become permanently infertile. There aren’t a lot of studies  about what happens when you stop hormones but the advice is to assume that it is a permanent change. I’ve looked into freezing my sperm but that is a very expensive procedure with no guarantee of success, and frankly, I don’t have the money right now dues to other high medical expenses. It also requires me to have good sperm count and motility to begin with and I’m becoming less and less sure that is the case. When my hormone levels were checked recently, my testosterone was low (no surprise) which doesn’t bode well. I also have many habits that tend to lower fertility such as wearing tight clothing, smoking pot, and taking ibuprofen.

So even if I was ready to make a baby right now, there is no guarantee I could do it without major changes that don’t really seem possible. I don’t want to take testosterone supplements because that’s the opposite of what I’m trying to do. It would be very difficult to wear loose clothing with my current style and wardrobe. And cannabis is the only thing I’ve found that makes my chronic pain even tolerable.

As I’ve come to accept that, I’ve realized that I can’t keep waiting on starting my transition. It’s harming my mental health to be stuck in this limbo waiting for a sign. So I’ve setup an appointment with my primary care physician, who luckily specializes in trans patients, to talk about starting hormones. I am going to have to trust that if the universe wants me to have a child, destiny is going to have to meet me halfway.

There are other options for the future. Being nonbinary and nonmonogamous with a nontraditional family structure means that adoption would be difficult, especially through an agency, but there are local places friends have recommended where the birth parent gets to make a choice. What I’m really hoping happens is that I find someone to co-parent with who has a working uterus and possibly another partner with sperm. If not there is always artificial insemination or surrogate parents.

Right now I need to focus on beginning my transition and hopefully along the way find the right way to build a family. If anyone is interested in starting conversations about co-parenting, platonically or otherwise, please let me know.

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