A biological man underwent hormonal therapy so that he could breastfeed a newborn baby, and managed to sufficiently feed the child during the infant’s first six weeks of life.
This marks the first formal report in medical literature where a biologically male, transgender person induced lactation.
The 30-year old patient has been undergoing hormone since 2011 with the goal of being able to breastfeed his adopted infant. After implementing a regimen of domperidone, estradiol, progesterone, and breast pumping, the transgender person was able to produce enough breast milk to feed the child for the first six weeks, according to a case study.
“In some circumstances, modest but functional lactation can be induced in transgender women,” authors of the study, Tamar Reisman and Zil Goldstein from the Mount Sinai Centre for Transgender Medicine and Surgery in New York, concluded in the results.
The transgender patient had undergone no gender-affirming surgeries like breast augmentation, orchiectomy, or vaginoplasty prior to his attempt to breastfeed.
“Future investigation will be required to determine the optimal treatment regimen for induced lactation in transgender women,” Reisman and Goldstein claim, noting the results pertain to the specific transgender individual and may not successfully transfer to another patient, according to the Independent.
Women who breastfeed have lower rates of breast cancer and ovarian cancer than women who have never breastfed, the authors note in their study, but those rates would not transfer to breastfeeding in biological males who cannot develop breast or ovarian cancer.
Biological males transitioning to become women are unlikely to achieve anywhere near the breast size of an average woman, according to a 2017 study on breast development in trans women published in December. (RELATED: Hormone Therapy Isn’t Giving Guys Who Want To Become Women The Breasts They Want)
At the end of a year taking hormones, nearly half of the transgender patients in the study had a bra cup size of less than AAA, roughly 8 centimeters. The rest had either an AAA cup (8 t0 10 centimeters) or AA cup (10 to 12 centimeters). Only 21 of the trans patients had a bra size of an A cup or larger after a year of hormone therapy.
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