An Italian transgender man, who was far into the process of transitioning from female to male, has been discovered to be five months pregnant.
The discovery came after the individual, identified as ‘Marco’, had undergone a mastectomy to remove his breasts as part of the sex-swap procedure.
Having undergone psychological evaluation years ago, Marco was close to completing his transition.
He had been assigned a male name by Italian authorities, had grown a beard, and was preparing for an operation to remove his uterus, Italian reports said.
However, the pregnancy was discovered by medical workers at a hospital in Rome, forcing him to halt hormone therapy – throwing Marco’s transition into question.
An Italian trans man who was far into the process of transitioning from female to male has been discovered to be five months pregnant (Pictured: A hospital in Rome, file photo)
Giulia Senofonte, a Rome endocrinologist, told La Repubblica – the Italian newspaper that revealed the case, that medics had to stop the patient’s hormone therapy.
Senofonte told the newspaper that if the interruption of therapy is not immediate, there can be ‘consequences especially in the first trimester of pregnancy.’
‘If therapy interruption is not immediate there can be consequences, especially in the first three months of pregnancy, which is a delicate time for the development of the infant’s organs,’ Senofonte said.
‘It’s difficult to think in the abstract: it all depends on the timing of the suspension and the dosage of testosterone the person is taking.’
The doctor explained that high levels of both male and female hormones in the parent’s body can present a cardiological risk to the child.
She said this is due to potential problems with blood pressure and coagulation.
The risks to the child, a boy, ‘are due to the combination of high values of both sexual steroids (testosterone and estrogen) with repercussions on general health, for example on the coagulation state, arterial hypertension and so on,’ she said.
Explaining how it was possible for Marco to fall pregnant, Senofonte said: ‘Hormone therapy blocks the menstrual cycle but it is not a contraceptive.
‘The person can continue to ovulate and, consequently, runs the risk of pregnancy.’
‘People dealing with transition usually recommend contraceptive pills that can be used during hormone therapy,’ she told the Italian newspaper.
A person falling pregnant while undergoing a gender transition is not unheard of, with a number of such cases reported in the United States.
However, such cases are unheard of in Italy, still a staunchly Catholic country. As as result, Marco’s case has divided many Italians.
‘We are facing a new frontier and it will not be easy to understand it,’ Matilde Vigneri, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst and consultant to the Gender Dysphoria clinic at the University of Palermo, told Le Repubblica.
‘But transparenting already exists, particularly in the United States, where the children of transgender males are now a fair number,’ she added.
‘If Marco’s pregnancy goes ahead, according to the law Marco will find himself being a biological mother and legal father, mother because he will give birth to a child, father because at the registry office he now has a male identity.
‘Yes, it will be a shock, in our country same-parent families still have no rights, let alone a child born in such a special condition.
‘However, Marco’s situation will force Italy, well beyond the political and legal limits, to deal with this new form of motherhood.’
Meanwhile, the case provoked a strong reaction from Toni Brandi, the president of Pro Vita e Famiglia – a conservative Catholic organisation that campaigns for what it sees as traditional family values.
He told The Times that he hopes Marco’s surprise discovery will result in him having a change of heart over his gender transition.
‘The gender fluidity theory, irrespective of biological sex, is total madness. It’s against science and against nature,’ Brandi told the British publication.
‘This case is a challenge for gender theories because it shows a woman is a woman,’ he added. ‘If perceive myself to be a woman tomorrow, it doesn’t make me capable of bearing a child.’
According to Fanpage, an Italian online newspaper based in Naples, gender transition in Italy was made legal under a law passed in 1982 – over 40 years ago.
Many LGBTQ+ activists now consider this law inadequate, the publication reported.
In an opinion piece for Fanpage on Marco’s case, Jennifer Guerra wrote: ‘The misinformation, alarmism and prurient curiosity that concern him in these hours demonstrate how backward our country is on the rights of transgender people.’
She added: ‘Trans identity in Italy has […] been recognised for more than 40 years, yet we are still here discussing its political and moral legitimacy, as if the existence of trans people were something that must be authorised by the people’s court.’