Trans women and non-binary people assigned male at birth have a prostate and can get prostate problems. The prostate is not removed as part of genital reconstructive surgery and taking feminising hormones and testosterone blockers does not mean you won’t get prostate problems.

A change in how and when you urinate could be a sign of a prostate problem. The most common prostate problems are an enlarged prostate, prostatitis and prostate cancer.

An enlarged prostate and prostatitis are not cancer. Read our general information about an enlarged prostate and prostatitis.

Prostate problems are thought to be less likely to develop in trans women than in cis men. But it’s important to be aware that there is a risk, particularly as any urinary symptoms could be mistaken for side effects of genital reconstructive surgery.

Enlarged prostate in trans women

An enlarged prostate – an increase in the size of the prostate – tends to occur naturally as you get older but does not always cause urinary problems. The balance of hormones (oestrogen and testosterone) can also affect the size of your prostate.

Find out about the symptoms of an enlarged prostate in cis men. These are likely to be very similar in trans women and non-binary people assigned male at birth. But not all urinary symptoms are due to problems with the prostate and can be caused by other health conditions.

Read about how an enlarged prostate is diagnosed. You may have a urine test, blood test and a prostate examination at your GP surgery.

We have information on what each treatment for enlarged prostate involves and what the side effects might be. Treatment options should be similar for you whether you are trans, non-binary or cis. However if you have had genital reconstructive surgery, some types of surgery for an enlarged prostate may mean a slightly higher risk of side effects, such as leaking urine.

Prostatitis in trans women

Prostatitis is an infection or inflammation of the prostate. Read about the four main types of prostatitis.

Read about the symptoms of prostatitis in cis men. These are likely to be very similar in trans women and non-binary people assigned male at birth.

Find out about how prostatitis is diagnosed. You may have a urine test, blood test and a prostate examination at your GP surgery.

We have information on what each treatment for prostatitis involves and what the side effects might be. Treatment options should be the same for you whether you are trans, non-binary or cis.

Getting support for prostate problems as a trans woman

It can feel difficult to speak to a health professional about prostate problems if you’re a trans woman or non-binary person assigned male at birth. Read our tips on having the conversation.

Read about the things that might help you manage day-to-day life.

Prostate Cancer UK’s services are free and open to everyone. Partners and family members can also use our services.

Our Specialist Nurses

Our Specialist Nurses can help answer your questions and explain your diagnosis and treatment options. They have time to listen, in confidence, to any concerns you or those close to you have.

Our online community

Our online community is a place to talk about whatever’s on your mind – your questions, your ups and your downs. Anyone can ask a question or share an experience. The online community is open to all, but there’s also a section for trans women. It’s a place to talk to others who may share or understand your experiences of prostate cancer.

Who else can help?

There are organisations that support trans and non-binary people.

References and reviewers

Updated: October 2020. To be reviewed: October 2022.

  • References  

    • Brown J, Wilson T. Benign prostatic hyperplasia requiring transurethral resection of the prostate in a 60-year-old male-female transsexual. Br J Urol. 1997;80:956-957.
    • Gooren L, Morgentaler A. Prostate cancer incidence in orchidectomised male-to-female transsexual persons treated with oestrogens. Andrologia. 2014;46(10):1156-1160. doi:10.1111/and.12208
    • Hembree WC, Cohen-Kettenis P, Waal D de, et al. Endocrine Treatment of Transsexual Persons:An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009;94(9):3132-3154. doi:10.1210/jc.2009-0345
    • JIN B, TURNER L, WALTERS WAW, HANDELSMAN DJ. Androgen or Estrogen Effects on Human Prostate. M . Published online 2018:6.
    • Weyers S, Sutter PD, Hoebeke P, Monstrey S. Gynaecological aspects of the treatment and follow-up of transsexual men and women. Facts Views Vis Obgyn. 2010; 2(1): 35–54.

     

  • Reviewers  

    • James Bellringer, Consultant Gender and Urological Surgeon, Parkside Hospital, London
    • Alison May Berner, Specialist Registrar and Clinical Research Fellow in Medical Oncology and Adult Gender Identity, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, London
    • Frank Chinegwundoh, Consultant Urological Surgeon, Barts Health NHS Trust
    • Jonny Coxon, Speciality Doctor, Gender Identity Clinic, London
    • Oliver Hulson, Consultant Radiologist, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
    • Chidi Molokwu, Consultant Urologist & Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, Urology & Cancer Therapeutics, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust & University of Bradford
    • Joe O'Sullivan, Consultant Prostate Oncologist, Queen's University Belfast
    • Tina Rashid, Consultant in Functional Urology and Genital Reconstruction, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London
    • Vijay K. Sangar, Consultant Urological Surgeon, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust & Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
    • Our Specialist Nurses
    • Our Volunteers.

Read a real life story

Suzanna Hopwood

Suzanna Hopwood's story

Suzanna is a 72-year-old woman with a trans history. She had full lower surgery in 2013. Suzanna has had treatment for an enlarged prostate.

Read about Suzanna