Reproduction is the process by which organisms make more organisms like themselves. But even though the reproductive system is essential to keeping a species alive, unlike other body systems, it's not essential to keeping an individual alive. In the human reproductive process, two kinds of sex cells, or gametes GAH-meetz , are involved. The male gamete, or sperm, and the female gamete, the egg or ovum, meet in the female's reproductive system. When sperm fertilizes meets an egg, this fertilized egg is called a zygote ZYE-goat. The zygote goes through a process of becoming an embryo and developing into a fetus.
Reproductive Options for Transgender Individuals > Fact Sheets > Yale Medicine
In , a year-old woman gave birth to her first child in the Portland hospital in London. Rashid was a perfect boy, weighing in at 3. Her son began as a sliver of tissue taken from an ovary removed from her body when she was nine years old. As Al Matrooshi went on to have life-saving chemotherapy to treat an inherited blood disorder, her ovarian tissue was mixed with cryoprotective agents and reduced a temperature of minus C, before being stored under liquid nitrogen. Back in , there can have been little certainty that any of this would one day result in a baby, but it was her mother who insisted doctors try.
New research suggests women can make sperm, and men can make eggs
What started as an investigation into developmental mouse biology has become a lot more than that. Biologist Katsuhiko Hayashi discovered a way to turn mouse skin cells into sperm and egg cells — and actually used these modified cells to create a living baby mouse. The question is, can it work in humans? There is an absolutely terrific article about Hayashi's work by David Cyranoski over at Scientific American , exploring how his technique for creating germ line cells, or sperm and eggs, using novel methods developed by his senior colleague Mitinori Saitou at Kyoto University. Many scientists try to create specific cell types in vitro by bombarding stem cells with signalling molecules and then picking through the resulting mixture of mature cells for the ones they want.
The study found that one transgender woman was able to produce viable sperm after a few months of discontinuing her puberty-halting medication, whereas a different patient on hormone therapy discovered sperm production was not possible during the time she could psychologically tolerate being off her medication. The research team examined medical records of two transgender women who tried to preserve their sperm after stopping hormone therapy and compared the quality of semen against eight other transgender women who elected to preserve their sperm before beginning therapy. All of the study participants came through the Fertility Preservation Program in Pittsburgh between and as young adults. One of the patients who elected to preserve their sperm after beginning therapy had been taking the drug Lupron, a sex hormone blocker that halts puberty when taken in adolescence, for six months.