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Trans Center Admits ‘Irreversible Infertility’ Is Side-Effect of Treatment

June 26, 2023

Gender transition hormones “may cause … irreversible infertility,” according to consent forms a Daily Wire investigation obtained from the University of Virginia (UVA) Children’s Hospital’s “Transgender Youth Health” Center, which offers gender transition procedures to individuals aged 11-25. The consent forms, which authorize puberty blockers and “testosterone therapy” for females, allow an individual to sign on their own behalf, or for parents to consent on behalf of their minor children. “Most of the kids are nowhere in any kind of a brain space” to discuss the reproductive regret many later face, WPATH-affiliated pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Daniel Metzger has admitted.

“So many groups try to hide the fact that there are these harmful side effects. Finally, at least we have it on paper that there’s some sort of admission,” said Dr. Jennifer Bauwens, a former clinical psychologist and now director of Family Research Council’s Center for Family Studies.

“Testosterone therapy may cause transient infertility due to loss of ovulation or irreversible infertility due to ovarian tissue damage,” acknowledges the testosterone consent form. It advises patients to bank eggs “for preserving reproductive options.”

Other side effects listed on the testosterone form include “undesirable masculinizing effects, such as permanent hair loss, especially at the temples and crown of the head,” “male[-]related lab abnormalities or metabolic side effects, including increased red blood cell number, high cholesterol, or sleep apnea,” and damage to female organs that could lead to pain, bleeding, and an increased potential for infection.

The consent form for puberty blockers also acknowledges that cross-sex hormones “may have irreversible effects on fertility.” It recommends that, “although puberty blockers do not appear to have long-term effects on fertility,” anyone who intends to proceed directly from puberty blockers to cross-sex hormones should consider fertility preservation, as “there may not be an opportunity to explore fertility preservation options (such as egg or sperm preservation) at the time.”

“They’re downplaying the side-effects,” remarked Bauwens. “Obviously, if you don’t go through puberty, and you don’t develop eggs or sperm, you’re going to have some problems with fertility.” Furthermore, a Dutch study published in October 2022 found that 98% of minors who started puberty blockers continued to further gender transition treatments.

Among other side effects of puberty blockers, according to the form, are “mood changes,” compromised bone density, and suppression of “pubertal changes … contrary to what the body would normally do without treatment.”

“Can you imagine a teenager consenting to this?” asked Bauwens. “Does a teenager really understand ‘metabolic side effects,’ high cholesterol, or other side effects? Can we really expect an 11-year-old to be concerned about their bone density?”

It is “irresponsible to expect a kid to fully understand what these treatments throughout life will entail,” detransitioner Chloe Cole told members of Congress. She told the Daily Wire, “I don’t think fertility preservation options like IVF, egg storage etc. were presented to me, ever. Many of the side effects listed in my forms were written in vague terms and most of the ones I’m experiencing today were not disclosed.”

Bauwens, too, called attention to the “seemingly purposefully vague” and “weird” language on the consent forms. One line that appears on both forms reads, “I understand that there are risks for all kinds of procedures. These risks and symptoms include, but are not limited to …” Bauwens pointed out that the consent form’s purpose was to explain the risks of a specific procedure, not to describe the risks for all procedures. She said such a sentence was “kind of weird” and seemed calculated to downplay the alarming risks associated with the particular treatments described, puberty blockers and cross-sex testosterone treatments. She also said the phrase “not limited to” seemed strange. She wondered why they did not list the other side effects.

“It makes me wonder, when did they update these consent forms?” said Bauwens. “If it was recently, did they finally have to acknowledge that there are risks? They’re having to acknowledge that, now that there are 20 states with some sort of measure against these procedures. So, they’re trying to cover their backs, yet keeping it vague.”

Both consent forms were riddled with grammatical errors, including missing articles, missing periods, missing or added commas, and inconsistent use of hyphens. According to The Washington Stand’s review of photographs published by The Daily Wire, one page in the testosterone consent form contained seven grammatical errors, while one page in the puberty blockers consent form contained 10 grammatical errors. “You would think, in a hospital, you would have some sort of legal team reviewing your consent form,” said Bauwens.

Overall, Bauwens called it “odd that you have such an invasive, physiological intervention used to treat a psychological condition.” Providing these hormonal treatments to minors as a means of treating their gender dysphoria “has nothing to do with good psychology,” she said.

Bauwens also noted that the consent forms can only provide an incomplete picture of the information available to an individual or parents of an individual seeking a gender transition. Not mentioned are the child’s mental condition, other medical factors, or the verbal counsel provided by staff of the transgender center. “We’re just seeing what’s on paper,” Bauwens said. “We’re not seeing the context that brought the child in for treatment. A whole slew of things must happen.”

After whistleblower reports suggested serious misconduct in a St. Louis transgender center, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R) launched an investigation in February, and what he found appalled him. “Doctors would say things in front of the parent and the patient child like, ‘Do you want a live son or a dead daughter?’” he described. “They’re injecting a suicidal ideation into the conversation with the child.”

But many transgender centers have not been exposed by whistleblowers and have not been investigated by authorities. Detransitioner Chloe Cole, who resided in California during her teenage gender transition, said the doctors “emotionally manipulated my parents, telling them there was no other option but to allow me to start treatment — or else. They said, it would be life or death. And they had to choose, they said, between having a dead daughter or a live, transgender son.”

For a parent to discount the alarming side effects disclosed by the UVA consent forms, “you have to have your eyes blinded a little bit by the threat of losing your child to suicide,” said Bauwens. “This is a very manipulative practice.”

While transgender ideology relies upon the notion that a person can change their body to match their perceived gender, the “testosterone therapy” consent form subtly undermines this narrative. For females, it admits, testosterone “may cause transient infertility due to loss of ovulation or irreversible infertility due to ovarian tissue damage.” Thus, while this therapy may disable the reproductive functions of a female, the form does not suggest that taking testosterone can make a biological female gain the reproductive functions of a male. Furthermore, it recommends that females taking testosterone still seek preventative measures of female health — “continued breast exams, pelvic exams, and cervical cancer screenings” — unless the associated female organs are removed.

“They can’t help but make admissions to the fact that they are trying to play God,” said Bauwens. “Over and over again, they say, if we don’t intervene, you will go back to the course of your natal sex. You can’t change a person’s biological sex. All they’re doing with these drugs is trying to confuse the body and causing physiological harm.”

“And most concerning,” concluded Bauwens, “they’re using coercion and manipulation to frighten parents into this ideology.”

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.