- The research team at the University hospital in Essen, Germany said that the study was developed in order to address the lack of comprehensive research among transgender individuals, particularly when many of them have requested for surgeries for gender change.
- The study revealed that there was overall level of satisfaction with the outcome of their procedures, with about 80 percent of them saying they identify themselves as a woman.
- There were 156 patients who participated in the study for at least 6 years post-surgery.
The first of its kind, a survey investigating the effects of sex reassignment surgery on transgender people transitioning from male to female revealed that they reported to have better quality of life post-transition.
According to a transgender news stories by iNews posted on March 16, scientists crafted a set of questions specific for transgender respondents to look into the impact of the medical procedures to match their physical attributes with their gender identity.
Quality of life
The research team at the University hospital in Essen, Germany said that the study was developed in order to address the lack of comprehensive research among transgender individuals, particularly when many of them have requested for surgeries for gender change.
The study was aimed at finding out the quality of life (QoL) of transgender patients who transitioned from male to female. There were 156 patients who participated in the study for at least 6 years post-surgery.
In addition, it revealed that there was overall level of satisfaction with the outcome of their procedures, with about 80 percent of them saying they identify themselves as a woman.
Furthermore, they also reported to have significant increase on all areas when coming up a comparison between the time they publicly identified as transgender and the last four weeks.
“The good news is that we found that around three-quarters of patients showed a better quality of life after surgery,” Dr. Jochen Hess, who led the research team, said. “Some 80 percent perceived themselves to be women, and another 16 percent felt that they were ‘rather female’.”
Dr. Jess continued that compared to the cisgender general population, transgender people have worse quality of life. Cisgender refers to people whose gender assigned at birth is the same as their gender identity.
The study also assessed the ability of the transgender women in reaching orgasm. Dr. Hess reported that three out of four trans women had orgasm after transition.
“[Transgender people] generally suffer from a worse quality of life than non-transgender population, with higher rates of stress and mental illness,” he said, “so it’s good that surgery can change this, but also that we can now show that it has a positive effect.”
Limits of the study
The researchers however pointed out the study’s limitation in terms of the representation of the participants. They said there was a high drop-out rate among the respondents and they were all from a single center.
“This study suffered from a high drop-out rate, which needs to be considered alongside the main data,” Professor Jens Sonksen of University of Copenhagen said. “Nevertheless, this is a large important study, one of the largest clinical transsexual surveys ever attempted, and the fact that has been performed using a specific validated questionnaire is significant. This is probably the best view of quality of life in after sex-reassignment that we have.”
Dr. Hess also agreed.
“Nevertheless, we now have the first specific validated tool for measuring QoL in transgender patients, we hope that this means that we can go forward to gather better information to help us improve treatment”, said Dr. Hess.