American men who have been told by their doctors that they have a male infertility disease can now have their treatment switched to female and receive a female kidney instead.
The decision is the result of a government decision made in July.
Dr Richard Fong, chief medical officer of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), which made the decision, said the move was about providing “the best possible outcome for the patients and the health care system”.
“It’s about making sure that the best outcomes come from our care,” he said.
“This is the only way that we can protect the health of the American male population.”
In addition to the kidney change, male impotent patients can now receive the same hormone treatment that a female patient receives, Fong said.
The procedure is not mandatory, but is part of the national healthcare strategy that aims to reduce male infertility in the US.
The NIH decision was announced in a press conference by Dr Fong.
“This announcement represents a significant step forward for our male population, who are often told they have male imputence, which is an incurable and debilitating disease that affects more than 40 million men worldwide,” Fong told reporters.
“We’ve made a major contribution to improving their lives by increasing their chance of living long, healthy lives and decreasing the number of deaths from this disease.”
He said the kidney transplant procedure would be done under a different name.
In recent years, US health care providers have started to change the way they provide male infertility treatment.
A 2012 study by Johns Hopkins University found that about 5.5 per cent of US men are at risk of having male imputeus, and about 12 per cent have male kidney disease.
Some US men have been given male kidney transplants to help prevent their disease, but it has not been common practice.
Women with male imputedus also do not get male transplants, although there are some reports of women being given female kidney transplations.
A 2010 study in The Lancet journal found that almost half of men with male infertility were in renal failure, but the treatment was not generally prescribed to them.
The US government has been studying the issue since 2008, and it is one of the only countries in the world that is able to switch between male and female patients with male fertility issues.
The kidney transplant surgery is not the only change that female patients will see.
There is also a new treatment for men who are being told they can’t have children, which Fong says will also help men.
“There are two new therapies that are being developed to help treat male infertility,” he explained.
“These are a combination of the female hormones that women take, and the male hormones that are naturally produced in the testicles.”
Fong said the change would be rolled out in phases.
This means that some male patients may not have the surgery until they are 50 years old.
And, as in previous years, there is an age limit for the new treatments.
Fong added that he expected to start testing men for the drugs in the next couple of years.
“The drugs are safe, they work, and we have been able to do this because we have a lot of these treatments in the pipeline,” he added.
A female patient, who did not want to be named, said she was relieved to see that the kidney and hormone treatment was now available to men who were being told that they cannot have children.
She said she had been told that she was “a bad person”, and she was hoping that she could be helped.
It was not clear whether the male imputable patients will get a kidney or a new testicle.