This is Infertility is a bi-weekly podcast where we fuse narrative storytelling with experience and science to give you a new perspective on what it’s really like to go through a family building journey. Each episode dives into the emotional, physical, and financial burdens carried by those who experience infertility on their path to parenthood. Be it IVF, IUI, egg freezing, surrogacy, adoption, etc., the path is never the same and it can be long, painful, and lonely. It’s our mission to give those struggling a platform to be heard, a community connection, and an opportunity to raise awareness of the 1 in 6 who, for many reasons, struggle with infertility.
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This is Infertility

Episode 185: Fertility 101: Transgender Family Building Options

The Fertility 101 Series, because there’s no shortage of daunting terms to keep your mind running, is a quick and dirty breakdown on a specific topic with insights from a fertility expert.

This week’s episode answers all the questions around transgender family building options and how it works. Dr. Daniel Potter at HRC Fertility joins us to discuss the impact of hormone affirming therapy, the importance of fertility preservation, questions to consider if one is deciding to build a family, and how to better serve this community.

Guest: Dr. Daniel Potter, Regional Medical Director at HRC Fertility

Host: Dan Bulger, Progyny

For more information, visit Progyny’s Podcast page and Progyny’s Education page for more resources. Be sure to follow us on Instagram, @ThisisInfertilityPodcast and use the #ThisisInfertility. Have a question, comment, or want to share your story? Email us at

This episode is also a video! Watch it here:

Fertility options for transgender women

01:27 – 02:06

It involves freezing sperm, and that sperm could either be obtained through ejaculation or we can surgically extract it if it’s too dysphoric for them to produce a specimen through masturbation. Additionally, there are experimental protocols where they can harvest testicular tissue and freeze it at the time of orchiectomy.

Fertility options for transgender men

02:07 – 02:54

They can freeze eggs, they can freeze embryos, and you know, there also are experimental protocols, freezing ovarian tissue. But, you know, for trans men, there really seems to be very, you know, really little impact of gender affirming hormone therapy on their reproductive outcomes. So, once they stop testosterone, after a washout period, nearly all trans men will resume ovulation and menstruation and respond pretty normally to ovarian stimulation.

Preserving fertility earlier in treatment

03:09 – 05:21

For trans men, it doesn’t seem to make much difference how long they’ve been in transition. For trans women, there is limited data available. But generally speaking, the longer that they have been on gender affirming hormone therapy, the poorer the semen parameters are going to be. But the thing is, with assisted reproduction, like IVF, we don’t really need normal semen parameters to achieve success. With intracytoplasmic sperm injection, we can take a single sperm and inject it into the egg and achieve fertilization. Perhaps they have 25 eggs, which means, you know, the lab needs to find 25 normal sperm, which isn’t hard to do. And even in the case of a very poor semen specimen, I mean, there are probably at least hundreds of thousands, if not low millions of total number of sperm.


06:16 – 08:51

Historically, if you look at data, you know, the majority of trans men or trans women would freeze sperm, if they were made aware of it prior to transitioning, because it’s such a simple thing to do. It’s something that patients should really be made aware of.

And what we really want to do for all of our patients, including our transgender patients, is put them in the position to be informed patients and consumers so they don’t have regrets later on. And the best way to do that is to make sure they’re fully educated as to the options available to them and that those options are made accessible to them.

I think that one of the bigger issues that trans people have is that, you know, as a group, they’re one of the most misunderstood and discriminated against groups of human beings on this planet. So, you know, absolutely, there are trans people that have a difficult time finding a clinic that will treat them at all depending on where they live. And then sometimes if they find a clinic that will treat them, I mean, are they being treated with the same dignity, respect and empathy that they should be that all of our patients should be getting? I think that having a welcoming environment is really important when you’re the trans person and you’re looking for a clinic to, you know, help you with these issues.

Dan Bulger


Dan Bulger
Producer at Progyny

Dan has been in the healthcare industry for the past ten plus years as a multimedia content producer. Better known as ‘Video Dan’ he has interviewed numerous doctors, patients and other experts in the world of fertility. He’s also the producer for this podcast, This is Infertility and the producer behind the Progyny YouTube Channel which features interviews with dozens of the nation’s leading fertility specialists. On a personal note Dan’s parents started fostering kids when he was four years old, and he considers himself a proud older brother to over 100 foster children.

Dr. Daniel Potter


Dr. Daniel Potter
Regional Medical Director at HRC Fertility

Dr. Daniel A. Potter is a highly sought-after reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist practicing in our Newport Beach and Fullerton offices. Dr. Potter is the recipient of several awards from the infertility community, the most notable being the Vitals Awards: Compassionate Doctor of the Year and Patient’s Choice Award. In addition, he was also named the Inland Empire’s Best Doctor for 2012 by U.S. News and World Report. He has earned Top Doctor honors from Los Angeles magazine for the past 5 years, and he has been named in the Top Obstetricians and Gynecologists in America every year since 2005.

Dr. Potter is dedicated to providing his patients with compassionate and personalized care. His approach to IVF results in maximal pregnancy rates for each individual case.

Music From This Episode:

Artist: Andy G Cohen
Track: A Perceptible Shift

Artist: Doctor Turtle
Track: I Snost I Lost
Track: Wherever I Lay My Hat Thats My Wife