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Health & Sex

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Most Happy With Sex Change Results

90% of Men Who Have Sex Change Operations Pleased
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sept. 26, 2007 -- Most people who undergo male-to-female sex change operations are pleased with the results despite some minor complications, according to the largest study ever of sex change results.

Researchers surveyed 222 patients who had sex change operations and found nearly 90% of them were happy with the results soon after surgery and nearly half were eventually able to achieve orgasm as a woman after a later follow-up.

The results suggest that most men who undergo a sex change to become a woman are happy with the cosmetic and functional results even though complications, such as vaginal hair growth and urinary problems, can occur.

“Despite these problems, which were mainly minor and easily corrected by secondary surgery, 76% of the patients who provided detailed feedback were happy with the cosmetic result of their surgery and 80% said the surgery had met their expectations,” says researcher Jonathan C. Goddard, MD, a urologist at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust in the U.K., in a news release.

Sex Change Patients Happy

The study analyzed the early results of 222 patients who had a male-to-female sex change operation between 1994 and 2004. Seventy of these sex change patients were also contacted an average of three years later to obtain long-term follow-up information.

The men ranged in age from 19 to 76 with an average age of 43. Nine out of 10 of the sex change patients had a clitoris and vagina created during the procedure.

The results showed that 88% of sex change patients were happy with the initial results at their first follow-up appointment. Among those contacted about three years later, 76% said the cosmetic results were acceptable.

Researchers also found that among those contacted for follow-up:

  • 23% of the patients had, or were having, regular vaginal intercourse.
  • 61% were happy with the depth of their vagina.
  • 98% had a sensitive clitoris.
  • 48% were able to achieve clitoral orgasm.

The study also showed that minor complications were relatively common. For example:

  • 14% had clitoral discomfort, but none had elected to have their clitoris removed.
  • 29% were troubled by vaginal hair growth.
  • 27% reported urinary problems, and the majority of these needed revision surgery.

“The outcome of this complex surgery depends on a number of factors,” says Goddard. “These include the technical experience of the surgeon, the amount and quality of tissue that each patient has available for reconstruction and, most importantly, the realistic expectations of the patients themselves.”

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