Introduction: Medical providers may not be familiar with the genitourinary and sexual symptoms of transgender and non-binary (TGNB) individuals. This lack of familiarity may hinder a provider's ability to address these issues as patients may hesitate to report symptoms due to fear of stigma, misgendering, and being treated disrespectfully.
Aim: To describe the array of genitourinary and sexual symptoms in transfeminine individuals.
Methods: Upon institutional review board approval, researchers used semi-structured interviews with 25 transfeminine individuals assigned male at birth to explore urinary and sexual symptoms on a sample of convenience. Participants were recruited and interviews were conducted until saturation was achieved. Two research assistants independently coded all de-identified transcripts and resolved discrepancies.
Outcomes: Thematic codes pertaining to genitourinary and sexual symptoms were defined and assessed in this study.
Results: Some genitourinary symptoms unrelated to hormone therapy or genital gender-affirming surgery (GGAS) included frequency, urgency, nocturia, and incontinence, while those attributed to GGAS included slow stream, spraying, and retention. Sexual symptoms unrelated to hormone therapy or GGAS included sexually transmitted infections, erectile dysfunction, and low libido. Sexual symptoms related to GGAS included delayed ejaculation, penile pain, scar tissue pain, and pain with receptive vaginal penetration.
Clinical implications: Increased provider awareness of and accountability for the treatment of genital and sexual symptoms of transfeminine individuals.
Strengths and limitations: Open-ended questions were used to generate a range of responses and perspectives through conversation instead of quantifiable data. Findings are not applicable to all TGNB people since participants were limited to transfeminine adults assigned male at birth only. Recruitment was limited by the sensitive nature of the topic and hard-to-reach populations and relied on convenience through flyers and a chain-referral sampling approach.
Conclusion: Transfeminine individuals experience a wide array of genitourinary and sexual symptoms both similar and different to their cis gender counterparts. Chung PH, Swaminathan V, Spigner S, et al. Genitourinary and Sexual Symptoms and Treatments in Transfeminine Individuals: A Qualitative Exploration of Patients' Needs. Sex Med 2022;XX:XXXXXX.
Chung, Paul; Swaminathan, Vishal; Spigner, Sabina; Leong, Joon Yau; Bulafka, Jessica; and Frasso, Rosemary, "Genitourinary and Sexual Symptoms and Treatments in Transfeminine Individuals: A Qualitative Exploration of Patients' Needs" (2022). Department of Urology Faculty Papers. Paper 69.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.