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Leena Nahata received her undergraduate and medical degrees from The Ohio State University. She subsequently completed Pediatrics residency at Northwestern University/Lurie Children’s Hospital and a Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship at Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital. She returned to Columbus, OH in 2014 and joined the faculty at The Ohio State University/Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Since that time, she has been practicing as a Pediatric Endocrinologist in the THRIVE program, which serves youth with Differences of Sex Development and Gender concerns. She is also the founder and Medical Director of the Fertility and Reproductive Health Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, which aims to provide fertility counseling, and when possible, preservation to pediatric populations at risk for infertility. She is a Principal Investigator in the Center for Biobehavioral Health in the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and conducts clinical research projects focusing on psychosocial outcomes related to infertility and factors impacting decisions about fertility preservation. She is the lead author on numerous publications in this area, including a recent study examining fertility preservation utilization among transgender youth.
Presentation: Fertility Preservation among Transgender Youth: Challenges, Controversies, and Counseling Recommendations
Time: Breakout Session 2
Where: Alumni Lounge
Parenthood is a fundamental desire of many adults. Based on research published in other pediatric populations (such as childhood cancer), individuals experiencing treatment-induced infertility report distress and diminished quality of life. According to the few fertility related studies done in transgender adults, the majority of both transgender males and females state they would have pursued fertility preservation had it been offered.
Organizations such as WPATH, Endocrine Society, and American Society for Reproductive Medicine, have published guidelines urging providers to counsel transgender youth and families about fertility preservation options prior to medical and surgical interventions that may impair reproductive capacity. However, findings of two recent studies suggest that very few transgender adolescents pursue fertility preservation.
The goals of this workshop are to review infertility risks, fertility counseling guidelines, fertility preservation options, and data on fertility preservation decisions and attitudes towards parenthood among transgender youth and adults.
Using a case-based approach we will also discuss optimal approaches to fertility and family building counseling, potential roles of medical and behavioral health providers, resolving disagreements between parents and youth, perceived benefits/barriers to fertility preservation, ethical dilemmas, and ongoing and future directions for research.
1. Review infertility risks associated with hormone therapy.
2. Discuss fertility counseling guidelines in pediatric populations.
3. Discuss fertility preservation options for youth.
4. Review data on fertility preservation utilization and parenthood goals among transgender youth.