A transgender man who underwent a mastectomy while transitioning in Italy was found to be five months pregnant joining a rare group of the “seahorse dads.”
The parent-to-be, referred to only as “Marco” in Italian media, already had a breast removal op and was preparing to get rid of the uterus when the pregnancy was discovered at a hospital in Rome, the Telegraph reported.
“Having discovered the pregnancy the first thing to do is to suspend [hormone] therapy immediately,” Dr. Giulia Senofonte, an endocrinologist, told La Repubblica, the news outlet that first reported it.
The expert on gender therapy warned that the fetus could be at risk.
“If the halting of the therapy is not immediate, there could be consequences, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy, which is an important time for the development of the baby’s organs,” Senofonte said.
“It’s difficult to talk about it in abstract terms but it all depends on the timing of the suspension of the dosages of testosterone that the person is taking,” she added.
High levels of male and female hormones in the parent’s body carries cardiological risk because of possible blood pressure and coagulation problems, Senofonte said, according to the Times of London.
“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,” she said.
“People dealing with transition usually recommend contraceptive pills that can be used during hormone therapy,” the expert added.
Marco, who is expected to go through with the pregnancy, will be the child’s biological mom but will be registered legally as the dad, according to La Repubblica.
The unusual case, believed to be the first of its kind in Italy makes him a member of a tiny group of people known as “seahorse dads,” transgender men who carry babies, the Telegraph reported.
The term is derived from the fact that among seahorses, the males carry and give birth to their young.