Els Elaut

Els Elaut
Ghent University Hospital and Ghent University

Master of Science PHD

About

87
Publications
76,847
Reads
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2,537
Citations
Citations since 2016
48 Research Items
2103 Citations
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Introduction
Els Elaut is a clinical psychologist-sexologist and coördinates the interdisciplinary genderteam (Ghent University Hospital), specialised in transgender health care. She runs the post-graduate training in Sexology at Ghent University. As a visiting professor she co-teaches the course 'Genderstudies and Sexology'. Her research interests are sexual motivation, sexual health in transgender individuals, and sexual effects of hormonal contraception.
Additional affiliations
February 2010 - December 2013
KU Leuven and Universiteit Gent
Position
  • Sexpert: sexual health in Flanders
January 2008 - present
Universitair Ziekenhuis Ghent
Position
  • ENIGI: European Network for the Investigation of Gender Incongruence
Education
October 2009 - July 2012
Ghent University
Field of study
  • Psychology
January 2007 - December 2014
Ghent University
Field of study
  • Psychology
September 2003 - June 2006
KU Leuven
Field of study
  • Sexology

Publications

Publications (87)
Article
Objectives Sexual well-being in transgender individuals is typically investigated using questionnaires filled in at one moment in time, introducing a retrospective bias and posing problems with ecological validity. Because sex-related variables tend to fluctuate during and across days, we conducted a diary study to investigate temporal associations...
Article
Objectives In recent years there has been a rise in research on transgender and gender diverse individuals. Their intimate partners and intimate relationships, however, have remained largely unstudied. This study explored the unique experiences of intimate partners in Belgium and their perspective on professional and social support in the context o...
Article
Objectives In recent years there has been a rise in research on transgender and gender diverse individuals. Their intimate partners and intimate relationships, however, have remained largely unstudied. This study explored the unique experiences of intimate partners in Belgium and their perspective on professional and social support in the context o...
Article
Objectives The aims of our longitudinal study on a cohort of transgender people entering Ghent Hospital are to evaluate the evolution of the QoL and to examine the social support factors in relation to the QoL at the four different assessment times, and to evaluate the evolution of gender incongruence. Methods The sample is made up of 119 people r...
Article
Objectives Sexual well-being in transgender individuals is typically investigated using questionnaires filled in at one moment in time, introducing a retrospective bias and posing problems with ecological validity. Because sex-related variables tend to fluctuate during and across days, we conducted a diary study to investigate temporal associations...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Transgender healthcare is a rapidly evolving interdisciplinary field. In the last decade, there has been an unprecedented increase in the number and visibility of transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people seeking support and gender-affirming medical treatment in parallel with a significant rise in the scientific literature in this are...
Article
Full-text available
Background: While the importance of sexual pleasure for physical and mental health becomes increasingly evident, research on sexual pleasure in transgender persons is lacking. Recently, the first version of the Amsterdam Sexual Pleasure Index (ASPI Vol. 0.1) was validated in cisgender persons. This questionnaire aims to assess the tendency to exper...
Article
Full-text available
From 2015 it is mandatory in Flanders, Belgium, to develop a policy to deal with sexual abuse in elderly care. Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF'S) try to focus on this mandatory, but should also pay attention to implement an overall Sex and Intimacy Policy. This study contains a Comparison of two surveys (Messelis & Bauer, 2020 and Vander Sti...
Article
Full-text available
Transgender people and their next-of-kin may request information on sexual orientation and preferred partners during hormonal affirming process. Although previous research on sexual orientation in transgender people is extensive, this literature may already be outdated and/or the methodology of studies assessing sexual orientation may fall short. T...
Article
Introduction The distress caused by gender incongruence has been shown to be reduced with gender-affirming care. The current study follows a cohort of patients that requested gender-affirming care at Ghent University Hospital and examines the outcome of the procedures. Methods The prospective design with 4 assessment times allows the study to asse...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: To evaluate the experienced barriers of care for treatment-seeking trans individuals (TSTG) in three large European clinics. Methods: An online follow-up questionnaire was filled out by 307 TSTG individuals as part of the research protocol of the European Network for the Investigation of Gender Incongruence (ENIGI). Data was collected...
Article
Full-text available
Background: While much emphasis has been put on the evaluation of gender-affirming surgery (GAS) approaches and their effectiveness, little is known about the health care needs after completion of these interventions. Aim: To assess post-GAS aftercare needs using a mixed-method approach and relate these to participant characteristics. Methods:...
Article
Samenvatting Hoewel transgender personen steeds zichtbaarder worden in onze maatschappij en in de zorgverlening, blijkt er bitter weinig onderzoek uitgevoerd naar hun seksualiteitsbeleving. Oudere, vaak kleinschalige studies hebben het seksueel functioneren na een medische transitie vaak verengd tot het al dan niet kunnen beleven van een orgasme. H...
Article
Full-text available
Improving transgender people’s quality of life (QoL) is the most important goal of gender-affirming care. Prospective changes in affect can influence QoL. We aim to assess the impact of initiating gender-affirming hormonal treatment (HT) on affect. In the European Network for the Investigation of Gender Incongruence (ENIGI) study, we prospectively...
Chapter
Gender incongruence (GI) (WHO 2018) or gender dysphoria (GD) (APA 2013) is defined as significant distress stemming from an incongruence between the assigned gender (at birth, based on biological sex) and the experienced gender (feeling male, female, or non-binary). Individuals with GI are now also known as “transgender” individuals. International...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction: Several steps in the transitioning process may affect sexual desire in transgender people. This is often underexposed by those providing gender affirming care. Testosterone therapy in transgender men (TM) generally leads to increasing frequency of desire, masturbation, sexual fantasies and arousal. Studies in transgender women (TW) ar...
Chapter
Gender dysphoria (GD) refers to persistent discomfort stemming from an incongruence between assigned and experienced gender, as stipulated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5). Estimates of prevalence state 4.6 in 100,000 individuals suffer from GD, although referrals to gender clinics worldwide are ri...
Article
Introduction: Several steps in the transitioning process may affect sexual desire in transgender people. This is often underexposed by those providing gender-affirming care. Aim: To prospectively assess sexual desire during the first 3 years of hormonal therapy (HT) in transgender people. Methods: This prospective cohort study was part of the...
Article
Introduction: Studies about sexual functioning in trans persons have mainly focused on sexual functioning after genital gender-affirming surgery, have had small sample sizes, and have not explored the broad range of possible sexual dysfunctions. Measuring sexual functioning in trans persons during transitioning is important to determine the kind o...
Conference Paper
AIM: Anger is a state of emotions ranging from irritation to intense rage. Aggression is the externalization of anger through destructive/punitive behaviour. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care, Edition 7 (SOC7) guidelines warn about aggression in transgender men (TM) on testosterone treatment. We aim...
Article
Introduction: Anger is a state of emotions ranging from irritation to intense rage. Aggression implies externalizing anger through destructive/punitive behaviour. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care, Edition 7 (SOC7) guidelines warn about aggression in transgender men (TM) on testosterone treatment....
Poster
Recently, research attention for the sexual life of individuals with Gender Dysphoria (GD, also referred to as transgender individuals), is increasing. Research has shown that the prevalence rates of sexual dysfunction (including the experience of distress) in transgender persons having received Gender Confirming Interventions (GCI) were higher com...
Article
Zusammenfassung Einleitung Geschlechtsdysphorie (GD) bezeichnet einen Leidensdruck, der sich aus der Inkongruenz zwischen körperlichen Geschlechtsmerkmalen und dem Erleben des eigenen Geschlechts ergeben kann (Geschlechtsinkongruenz, GI). Die vorliegende Arbeit beschäftigt sich mit dem Zusammenspiel von medizinischer Behandlung und sozialer Unterst...
Article
Quantitative studies indicate an overrepresentation of ASD in individuals with GD. This study aims to determine the prevalence of autistic traits or ASD in adults with GD using two different data collection methods: (1) cross-sectional data using the social responsiveness scale-adults (SRS-A) and the autism quotient (AQ) (n = 63). (2) Clinical char...
Chapter
Sexuality and relationships are vital parts of almost everyone’s quality of life, including transgender individuals. While, in the past, being transgender was often considered a ‘hyposexual’ state, or a state in which little or no sexual desire or sexual activity was assumed, we know today that this is not the case. Most transgender men, transgende...
Article
Full-text available
We assessed the outcomes of gender affirming surgery (GAS or sex reassignment surgery) four to six years after first clinical contact, and the associations between postoperative (dis)satisfaction and Quality of Life (QoL). Our multicenter, cross-sectional follow-up study involved persons diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder (DSM-IV-TR) who appli...
Article
Objectives: Sexual functioning is an important concern for women in the postpartum period. The aim of this research was to investigate the prevalence and determinants of dyspareunia and sexual dysfunction before and after childbirth. Methods: Between November 2013 and April 2014, 109 women in their third trimester of pregnancy were enrolled in a...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: The aim of the European Network for the Investigation of Gender Incongruence is to investigate the status of all individuals who had applied for gender confirming interventions from 2007 until 2009, irrespective of whether they received treatment. The current article describes the study protocol, the effect of medical treatment on gend...
Article
Full-text available
Pornogebruik – of vooral de mogelijke gevolgen ervan- haalt regelmatig het maatschappelijk debat (1). Jammer genoeg bestaat een grote kloof tussen de opinies die soms circuleren in de populaire pers en wat wetenschappelijk onderzoek vaststelt (2). De studenten van de Permanente Vorming Seksuologie aan de Universiteit Gent vonden het dan ook evident...
Article
Full-text available
The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently updating the tenth version of their diag- nostic tool, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD, WHO, 1992). Changes have been proposed for the diagnosis of Transsexualism (ICD-10) with regard to terminology, placement and content. The aim of this study was to gather the opinions of transgen...
Article
Full-text available
The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently updating the tenth version of their diagnostic tool, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD, WHO, 1992). Changes have been proposed for the diagnosis of Transsexualism (ICD-10) with regard to terminology, placement and content. The aim of this study was to gather the opinions of transgende...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Cross-sex hormone therapy is an essential part of gender affirming treatment of transgender individuals. Studies systematically describing the physical and psychological effects of hormonal treatment of transgender persons are scarce. Aim: The aim of the current protocol is to evaluate clinical and side-effects of cross-sex hormona...
Research
Full-text available
Gender confirming treatment has proven to relief gender dysphoria as a symptom and to improve psychological functioning in transgender persons. Nevertheless, a small percentage shows regret after their surgical treatment. Risk factors for regret are the presence of psychiatric problems, dissatisfaction with the results of surgery and poor socializi...
Article
Full-text available
Since the beginning of contemporary transition-related care at the outset of the 20th century, sexual orientation has ben considered to be closely connected with gender identity and the developmental trajectories of trans people. Specifically, health professionals have regarded the anticipated post-transitional heterosexual behaviour of trans adult...
Article
Findings on women’s sexuality across the menstrual cycle are inconsistent. One relatively consistent finding is a mid-cycle and premenstrual peak in sexual desire in freely cycling women. Results on the cycle-related effects of sexual behaviour are less clear. Large proportions of reproductive-aged women use combined oral contraception (COC), but s...
Article
In 1960, the first contraceptive pill was introduced. Nowadays, over 100 million women worldwide use some form of hormonal contraception (HC). General side effects of HC are well known, but research on the effects of HC on female sexual functioning and desire remains underfunded and scarce. Starting with the combined contraceptive pill, most method...
Article
Full-text available
Gender confirming treatment has proven to relief gender dysphoria as a symptom and to improve psychological functioning in transgender persons. Nevertheless, a small percentage shows regret after their surgical treatment. Risk factors for regret are the presence of psychiatric problems, dissatisfaction with the results of surgery and poor socializi...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives To identify contraceptive profiles, and factors affecting these, among women of childbearing age, living in Flanders. Methods The prevalence of knowledge and use of the emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) and contraceptive use is assessed in two samples from the SEXPERT-survey ‘Sexual health in Flanders’: (i) a population-based sample (n=...
Article
Full-text available
Gender nonconformity refers to the extent to which a person’s gender identity, gender role and/or gender expression differs from the cultural norms prescribed for people of a particular sex, within a certain society and era. Most data on gender nonconformity focus on the prevalence of gender dysphoria (which also includes a distress factor) or on t...
Chapter
The psychological characteristics of individuals with Gender Dysphoria have recently been under scrutiny again in the discussions regarding the latest Standards of Care (SOC7) of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, the new version of the classification system Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) of th...
Conference Paper
While genderconfirming treatment (GCT) is potentially associated with acquiring the primary and/or secondary cross-sex characteristics, congruent with the gender identity, through hormonal substitution and surgical intervention, very little clinical and research attention has been paid to the potential changes in sexuality in genderdysphoric indivi...
Conference Paper
Sexual complaints in the general population are prevalent, are accompanied by a significant distress and influence the quality of life of the individual and/or couple. While population surveys have looked at sexual complaints, sexual dysfunction and distress in the general population, information on the sexuality of individuals applying for gender-...
Article
A program of sexological care The results of a recent survey revealed that sexual problems are prevalent in Flanders (Belgium). They are associated with great distress and influence the quality of life of the individual and/or couple. Some problems are related to the course of life and may thus be considered temporary. Other problems are either pr...
Article
Sexual dysfunctions are frequently associated with many chronic diseases and their treatments; they exert an important impact on the quality of life. Still, until recently, they have often been neglected both in research and in clinical practice. Sexual symptoms can also signal an underlying disease. Sexual dysfunction remains too often undiscussed...
Article
Sex steroids and genital surgery are known to affect sexual desire, but little research has focused on the effects of cross-sex hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery on sexual desire in trans persons. This study aims to explore associations between sex reassignment therapy (SRT) and sexual desire in a large cohort of trans persons. A cross-s...
Article
Full-text available
We present a case report on a 53-year-old transsexual woman who developed acute painless vision loss in both eyes during cross-sex hormone treatment. After 10 months of cross-sex hormone treatment, she experienced total vision loss of the right eye and, 6 months later, vision loss to 20/63 in the left eye. After a full ophthalmic exam, bilateral se...
Conference Paper
Gender nonconformity refers to the extent to which a person’s gender identity, gender role and/or gender expression differs from the cultural norms prescribed for people of a particular sex, within a certain society and time. Most data on the prevalence of gender nonconformity only focus on the prevalence of gender dysphoria (which also includes a...
Article
Full-text available
This study evaluates the short- and long-term cardiovascular- and cancer-related morbidities during cross-sex hormone therapy in a large sample of trans persons. A specialist centre cross-sectional study compared 214 trans women (male-to-female transsexual persons) and 138 trans men (female-to-male trans persons) to an age- and gender-matched contr...
Article
Full-text available
Research into the relationship between gender identity disorder and psychiatric problems has shown contradictory results. To investigate psychiatric problems in adults fulfilling DSM-IV-TR criteria for a diagnosis of gender identity disorder. Data were collected within the European Network for the Investigation of Gender Incongruence using the Mini...
Article
Introduction: Hormonal therapy is part of an established treatment of gender identity disorder, however outcome data regarding mortality and morbidity are scant. Methods: A specialist center cross-sectional study in 193 transsexual women and 128 transsexual men (mean age 42.5 years) assessing physical health and incidence of possible treatment rel...
Article
ntroduction: Quality of life in transsexual persons after transition is among the most important outcome factors. Methods: A specialist center cross-sectional study in 193 transsexual women and 128 transsexual men (mean age 42.5 years) after on average 7.4 years of cross-sex hormone therapy and 6.6 years since sex reassignment surgery (SRS), compa...
Article
Since very little research in this field is available, this study aims to assess the role of psychosexual, relationship, hormonal and genetic measures in the sexual desire of users of three hormonal contraceptive products [low-dose combined oral contraceptive (20 mcg ethinylestradiol/150 mcg desogestrel), progestin-only pill (75 mcg desogestrel) an...
Article
Full-text available
The etiology of gender identity disorder (GID) remains largely unknown. In recent literature, increased attention has been attributed to possible biological factors in addition to psychological variables. To review the current literature on case studies of twins concordant or discordant for GID. A systematic, comprehensive literature review. Of 23...
Article
Full-text available
Hormonal therapy and sex reassignment surgery (SRS) in transsexual persons lead to an irreversible loss of their reproductive potential. The current and future technologies could create the possibility for female-to-male transsexual persons (transsexual men) to have genetically related children. However, little is known about this topic. The aim of...
Article
Although sexual health after genital surgery is an important outcome factor for many transsexual persons, little attention has been attributed to this subject. To provide data on quality of life and sexual health after sex reassignment surgery (SRS) in transsexual men. A single-center, cross-sectional study in 49 transsexual men (mean age 37 years)...
Article
To describe sexual desire in female-to-male transsexual persons post sex reassignment surgery (SRS). The associations between serum androgen levels and sexual desire are examined. Single center cross-sectional study. Forty-five female-to-male transsexual persons post SRS completed a standardized questionnaire assessing sexual desire (Sexual Desire...
Article
There has been little research published on the impact of intrauterine contraceptive (IUC) methods on sexual functioning. This study aimed: (i) to assess different aspects of sexual functioning, including the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in women using a levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG-IUS); (ii) to compare this prevalence with that amo...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction. Karyotyping is often performed in transsexual individuals. Aim. Quantification and characterization of karyotype findings and abnormalities in transsexual persons. Main Outcome Measures. Karyotypes were listed both in male-to-female and in female-to-male transsexual persons. Methods. The data were collected through a retrospective stu...
Article
Full-text available
Kanker kan ingrijpende gevolgen hebben op verschillende domeinen van het leven, ook op het vlak van seksualiteit en intimiteit. Wanneer de diagnose „kanker” wordt gesteld, denkt men eerst en vooral aan overleven. De gevolgen die kanker voor het seksuele leven zal hebben, zijn op dat moment nog niet aan de orde. Toch zal men vaak ervaren dat het sek...
Article
Low sexual desire is present in 1/3 of male-to-female transsexuals (post-operative male-to-female transsexual persons on estrogen replacement). Several studies report lower endogenous testosterone (T) levels in this group compared to community dwelling women. However, no relationship between T and sexual desire has been found in male-to-female tran...
Article
Transsexualism is the most extreme form of gender identity disorder and most transsexuals eventually pursue sex reassignment surgery (SRS). In transsexual women, this comprises removal of the male reproductive organs, creation of a neovagina and clitoris, and often implantation of breast prostheses. Studies have shown good sexual satisfaction after...
Article
Full-text available
An unknown proportion of transsexual women (defined as post-operative male-to-female transsexuals on oestrogen replacement) experience hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). It has been suggested that the absence of ovarian androgen production together with oestrogen treatment-related increase in sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels could...
Article
Objective: An unknown proportion of transsexual women (defined as post-operative male-to-female transsexuals on oestrogen replacement) experience hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). It has been suggested that the absence of ovarian androgen production together with oestrogen treatment-related increase in sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) le...