Heading to Gender Odyssey

Tomorrow I head south for Victoria, BC, then on to Seattle, WA, USA on Friday to attend the 9th annual Gender Odyssey conference. This will be my first time at the conference, and I’m looking forward to meeting many new friends: the YouTube meetup at the Opening Night Party at The Garage, Joe Stevens of Coyote Grace at their gig on Saturday night,  and many more.

Officially, I have two roles at the conference: personal gopher for a few of the organizers, plus I’m facilitating the “Hysto Stories” discussion group on Sunday morning. Here’s the official session description:

Hysterectomies are common but information about these procedures as they relate to trans men is difficult to find. Are there unique considerations to know about? Are there factors that change depending on whether you’ve been on testosterone for 5 years? 10 or 20? What about sex and orgasm – does that change after surgery? Was it difficult to find a surgeon who would perform the surgery for you? If you had insurance, was it covered? What was your recovery like? Hear the experiences of others and share your own in the session.

My angle on this subject is that while hysterectomy may be considered a “routine procedure,” trans men are not routine patients. I have a suspicion that testosterone puts trans men at higher risk for the complication I suffered from (vesicovaginal fistula or VVF) due to the effects of T on vaginal tissues. There is little data available about the effects of T on these tissues, but I’ve come across numerous sources that suggest it makes the tissues thinner and weaker. Wouldn’t this put trans men at higher risk of iotrogenic VVF, especially in the hands of a surgeon who doesn’t have much experience doing the procedure on trans men? I look forward to talking about this with Dr. Webb, the gynecologist who works with Dr. Meltzer in Arizona and who will be presenting at the conference on the subject of trans male hysterectomy.

Dr. Meltzer will also be at the conference presenting, and I have arranged to have a free consultation with him on Saturday evening to discuss metoidioplasty. Dr. Meltzer wasn’t on my radar for surgeons to consider, mainly due to his higher fees. However, I’ve heard he has a 2% complication rate, which is much lower than anything else I’ve seen, and after my own experience with surgical complication, I would gladly pay extra to avoid one.

I plan to blog, post pics, and/or tweet from the conference floor. If you’re coming to Gender Odyssey, I hope to meet you!

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