Transgender Brit men could still bear children, give birth because of free fertility treatments from NHS

By @vitthernandez on
Transgender Man
Joe Wong, 31, poses for photograph at his apartment in Bangkok April 3, 2015. Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha

Hormone therapy made it possible for a 28-year-old Briton born genetically a male – because Hayley Haynes lacked female reproductive organs – to grow a womb and give birth to twins in February 2015. Now, free fertility treatments at National Health Services (NHS) clinics allow women who had become transgender men to still bear children and give birth.

The Telegraph reports that at least three British transgender men, who retained their female reproductive organs, are about to bear their biological children with the use of fertility techniques. Normally, eggs of women about to undergo gender reassignment procedure are harvested and frozen at NHS clinics and then later implanted into a surrogate mother.

But it was a different scenario for the three transgender men who retained their wombs. The average cost of the gender reassignment surgery from female to male is about £30,000 (A$52,372) which is shouldered by the NHS and ultimately taxpayers.

NHS paying for these procedures, which some MPs oppose, is a matter of principle, says Dr James Barrett from the NHS Gender Identity Clinic in West London. He explains, “anybody who loses their fertility as a result of standard NHS treatment should be able to preserve their fertility.”

In 2015, Barrett asked GPs to refer to the clinic 50 of his female-to-male patients for freezing of their eggs and 100 of male-to-female patients for freezing of sperm. He says the right to preserve fertility for Brits undergoing gender reassignment procedures is the same for cancer patients storing their eggs or sperm in NHS facility prior to chemotherapy or radiation.

While some local NHS fund fertility treatment for the patients immediately, other reject the request or take a long time to decide. One of those opposed to NHS funding those treatments is Tory MP Peter Bone who says, “I am not sure why the taxpayer should be funding this. I just sometimes ask if the NHS is getting its priorities right.”

Thomas Beatie At age 34, Thomas Beatie conceived a daughter with the help of an anonymous sperm donor.  YouTube

In 2008, American Thomas Beatie, a former beauty queen and born female, made medical history by not undergoing hysterectomy but took testosterone and underwent chest reconstruction surgery to have a more male appearance. But at age 34, Beatie conceived a daughter with the help of an anonymous sperm donor. He gave birth to Susan and later had two more biological children, both sons – Austin and Jensen.

Beatie, who became known as the pregnant man, admits he caused a lot of people to feel uneasy because “I used my female reproductive organs to become a father.”

VIDEO: The Pregnant Man’s Life Today ǀ Where Are They Now? ǀ Oprah Winfrey Network

Source: OWN