Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 679–690 | Cite as

Sexual and Physical Health After Sex Reassignment Surgery

  • Griet De CuypereEmail author
  • Guy TSjoen
  • Ruth Beerten
  • Gennaro Selvaggi
  • Petra De Sutter
  • Piet Hoebeke
  • Stan Monstrey
  • Alfons Vansteenwegen
  • Robert Rubens


A long-term follow-up study of 55 transsexual patients (32 male-to-female and 23 female-to-male) post-sex reassignment surgery (SRS) was carried out to evaluate sexual and general health outcome. Relatively few and minor morbidities were observed in our group of patients, and they were mostly reversible with appropriate treatment. A trend toward more general health problems in male-to-females was seen, possibly explained by older age and smoking habits. Although all male-to-females, treated with estrogens continuously, had total testosterone levels within the normal female range because of estrogen effects on sex hormone binding globulin, only 32.1% reached normal free testosterone levels. After SRS, the transsexual person's expectations were met at an emotional and social level, but less so at the physical and sexual level even though a large number of transsexuals (80%) reported improvement of their sexuality. The female-to-males masturbated significantly more frequently than the male-to-females, and a trend to more sexual satisfaction, more sexual excitement, and more easily reaching orgasm was seen in the female-to-male group. The majority of participants reported a change in orgasmic feeling, toward more powerful and shorter for female-to-males and more intense, smoother, and longer in male-to-females. Over two-thirds of male-to-females reported the secretion of a vaginal fluid during sexual excitation, originating from the Cowper's glands, left in place during surgery. In female-to-males with erection prosthesis, sexual expectations were more realized (compared to those without), but pain during intercourse was more often reported.

Key Words

transsexualism gender identity disorder sexual functioning orgasm sex reassignment surgery 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Griet De Cuypere
    • 1
    • 7
    Email author
  • Guy TSjoen
    • 2
  • Ruth Beerten
    • 1
    • 3
  • Gennaro Selvaggi
    • 4
  • Petra De Sutter
    • 5
  • Piet Hoebeke
    • 6
  • Stan Monstrey
    • 4
  • Alfons Vansteenwegen
    • 3
  • Robert Rubens
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Sexology and Gender ProblemsUniversity Hospital GhentGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of EndocrinologyUniversity Hospital GhentGhentBelgium
  3. 3.Institute of Family and Sexuality StudiesLeuvenBelgium
  4. 4.Department of Plastic SurgeryUniversity Hospital GhentGhentBelgium
  5. 5.Department of GynaecologyUniversity Hospital GhentGhentBelgium
  6. 6.Department of UrologyUniversity Hospital GhentGhentBelgium
  7. 7.Department of Sexology and Gender ProblemsUniversity Hospital GhentGhentBelgium

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