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Sexual Issues After Transgender Transition

Sexual Issues After Transgender TransitionTransgender individuals may experience sexual problems even years after they medically transition from one gender to another.

Transgender transitions usually involve hormone therapy, and some patients decide to have gender-affirmation surgery.

For a recent Journal of Sexual Medicine study, 518 transgender people completed questionnaires that assessed their sexual health four to six years after their first appointment at a gender clinic. Three hundred seven participants identified as “predominantly feminine” (trans women) and the remaining 211 identified as “predominantly masculine” (trans men).

The researchers found that among trans women, difficulty reaching orgasm, pain during intercourse, and fear of sexual contact were common issues, experienced by 29%, 24%, and 21% of the group, respectively.

For trans men, fear of sexual contact was reported by 22% and orgasm difficulties were reported by 15%. Fourteen percent felt that their sexual desire had become too strong.  

For both groups – 26% of the trans women and 32% of the trans men – initiating and seeking sexual contacts was difficult. “For trans persons, it can be difficult to find partners who respect their gender identity,” the authors explained.

They added that even after medical treatment, many transgender people still struggle with body image, as surgery has its limits. For example, trans men are unable to achieve an erection on their own.

“Sex counseling and/or sex therapy after [hormone therapy] and [gender-affirming surgery] might help transgender persons to improve their sexual health,” the authors wrote.


The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Kerckhof, Mauro E., MSc, et al.

“Prevalence of Sexual Dysfunctions in Transgender Persons: Results from the ENIGI Follow-Up Study”

(Full-text. Published online: October 24, 2019)