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Natural Sciences Nonfiction Social Sciences

The Vaginal Microbiome of Transgender Men

By Gabrielle Winston McPherson, Thomas Long, Stephen J Salipante, Jessica A Rongitsch, Noah G Hoffman, Karen Stephens, Kelsi Penewit, and Dina N Greene, 2019

Hormonal changes influence the composition of vaginal flora, which is directly related to the health of an individual. Transgender men prescribed testosterone experience a vaginal hormone composition that differs from cisgender women. To the author’s knowledge, there are no clinical studies evaluating the influence that testosterone administration has on the vaginal microbiome. METHODS Vaginal swabs were self-collected by a cohort of self-identified healthy transgender men prescribed testosterone for at least 1 year (n = 28) and from cisgender women who were used as the comparator (n = 8). Participants completed a questionnaire to indicate the mode and dose of testosterone administration, sexual history, and vaginal health. Serum was collected for hormone analysis. Bacterial community profiles were assessed with broad-range PCR primers targeting the V3–V4 hypervariable region of the 16S bacterial rRNA, next-generation sequencing, and analysis by phylogenetic placement.

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