Health Magazine

On Regret of Gender Transition

By Amibkaplanlcsw

There are some people who undergo a gender transition (either fully or to some extent) and then regret having done so and “de-transition”.  This post attempts to explore this phenomenon.

Some reasons why this might occur include:

  •  The person is not transsexual.  The person may have found by going through their transition that they are not in fact comfortable living in the other gender and that they feel either gender queer or more closely aligned with the natal gender.  Certainly instances of transitions involving surgery might have been prevented if there were a greater attempt to determine this beforehand; however, just like with non-trans issues, we often go ahead with things we think are right for us only to discover that they aren’t.  Sometimes the discovery just isn’t possible without trying it out.  The ‘real life experience’ (see WPATH’s standards of care) is an attempt to systematize this discovery process before any major surgeries.On Regret of Gender Transition
  • Regardless of whether the person is truly transsexual or not, it’s possible that because of having lived so long with gender dysphoria and accompanying social and physical dissatisfaction, one may think of a full gender transition as a magical ticket to happiness.  I have seen this (sometimes unconscious) wish accompanied by other unrealistic expectations such as:  the idea that one will have a social community, better social skills, be more popular, etc.  When this turns out not to be true, there can be confusion and uncertainty that tends to focus on one’s gender transition.  It may be that the gender transition was in the person’s best interest, yet other causes of unhappiness and personal problems had not been sufficiently explored and worked through.  Sometimes with gender variant people, work on other problems are delayed because the gender issues tend to take precedence.
  • The person encountered too many problems with transition (i.e. dissatisfaction with their post-transition life).  These problems could include lack of family support, loss of partner, problems with transition in the workplace, disappointment with the outcome of surgery and problems “passing” as the new gender.  Additionally, transitioning is hard.  There are many hoops to jump through and one enters into a group of discriminated against people.  This can be exceedingly disconcerting for some.

Levels of regret

Certainly a person who has made a gender transition can have certain regrets that are not extreme enough to cause them to wish to de-transition.  The WPATH Standards of Care notes that “cases are known of persons who have received hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery who later regretted their inability to parent genetically related children”.  Other less extreme regrets can involve loss of certain benefits of privileges commonly associated with one gender or another.

Some research on regret:

Pfafflin F., Junge A. (1992) Sex Reassignment: 30 Years of International Follow-up Studies after SRS: A Comprehensive Review, 1961-1991 [publication online]. Translated from German  into American English by Roberta B. Jacobson and Alf B. Meier. IJT Electronic Books.

This study looked at 70 previous studies and reviews on outcomes following sex reassignment surgery.  These included 2000 individuals from 1961 to 1991.  This doesn’t take into account individuals who transition without surgery.  About 70% of MTF individuals were satisfied and 90% of FTM individuals.

Krege S., Bex A., Lummen G., et al. (2001). Male-to-female transsexualism: a technique, results and long-term follow-up in 66 patients. BJU International. 88:396-402.

 This study shows little or no regrets possibly due to surgical advances.

Find out about Psychotherapy when dealing with Gender variance in yourself or someone close to you. email: info@amikaplan.net


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • The Corruption of Academic Medicine

    Corruption Academic Medicine

    Many doctors are genuinely puzzled why much of the general public does not trust what they say. For example, there's the GOOP story. Gwyneth Paltrow sells lots... Read more

    7 hours, 59 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Vegan Gluten-Free Spiced Chestnut Pancakes!

    Vegan Gluten-Free Spiced Chestnut Pancakes!

    This morning, I invented these lovely Vegan Gluten-free Spiced Chestnut flour Pancakes! That is a mouthful hey? They are super easy to make, very delicious ar... Read more

    8 hours, 39 minutes ago by   Sophies Foodie
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES, VEGETARIAN & VEGAN
  • Goldfinches with Rage Issues, Join the Pineapple Port Street Team & Giveaways!

    Goldfinches with Rage Issues, Join Pineapple Port Street Team Giveaways!

    Goldfinches with Rage IssuesLiving in the Northeast, where most of the birds are pretty blah compared to tropical regions, I’ve always had an affinity for... Read more

    8 hours, 49 minutes ago by   Kidfreeliving
    FAMILY, HUMOR
  • What I Wore: Summer-izing

    What Wore: Summer-izing

    Jacket: In The Band Jacket c/o cabi (XL) | Tee: J. Crew (XL; similar) | Jeans: Kick It Crop c/o cabi (14; similar) | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (on sale!) | Cuff:... Read more

    8 hours, 52 minutes ago by   Wardrobeoxygen
    FASHION, SELF EXPRESSION, SHOPPING
  • Hundreds of Canadian Doctors Demand an End to the Low-Fat Nutrition Dogma

    Hundreds Canadian Doctors Demand Low-Fat Nutrition Dogma

    It's time for an end to the low-fat nutrition dogma. It's time to change the official dietary guidelines that have failed to prevent - and may even have... Read more

    9 hours, 4 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Gary Taubes in London This Fall

    If you have your ways around London on the 18-19th of November, then here's a treat. Gary Taubes, author of The Case Against Sugar, Why We Get Fat: And What to... Read more

    9 hours, 54 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Suspicion Points Towards Arson After Fires Ravage the French Riviera

    Yesterday, I wrote this at Facebook to explain the photo you see above, the early morning view from our home: Accident or toerag arsonists? Read more

    10 hours, 5 minutes ago by   Colin Randall
    CULTURE, TRAVEL