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Transgender man stops testosterone to get pregnant with a sperm donor after his partner discovered she couldn’t have children

Jul 19, 2023 #News

A trans man was forced to stop taking testosterone to have a baby after his partner discovered she was unable to have children.

Caleb Bolden, 27, from Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, started transitioning six years ago, at the same time as he began trying to have a child via sperm donor with partner Niamh Bolden, 25.

Transgender man stops testosterone to get pregnant with a sperm donor after his partner discovered she couldn

She suffered three miscarriages and a stillbirth of twins at 23 weeks and 27 weeks before being told she’d likely never have kids.

Rather than pay an estimated £70,000 for her to have private fertility treatment, Caleb stopped his daily testosterone injections and offered to get pregnant.

Transgender man stops testosterone to get pregnant with a sperm donor after his partner discovered she couldn

Six months later he got pregnant using a sperm donor he found on social media, and Isla-Rae Bolden was born in May.

Despite suffering gender dysphoria while pregnant, Caleb loves being a dad and will do it again.

Transgender man stops testosterone to get pregnant with a sperm donor after his partner discovered she couldn

Store manager Caleb said: ‘Coming off testosterone was a rocky road as I had so many hormones going around my body.

‘It was soul destroying. Transitioning was something I knew I wanted to do from a young age. But I knew for myself and my partner it was something we had always wanted and I wanted to give it a shot.

Transgender man stops testosterone to get pregnant with a sperm donor after his partner discovered she couldn

‘When it’s age-appropriate, I will tell her the things that are relevant. I want other trans people to know it’s OK to carry a child. We’re no different to any other person, just because we were born a biologically different sex, it doesn’t mean we should have to worry or lock ourselves away.’

Transgender man stops testosterone to get pregnant with a sperm donor after his partner discovered she couldn

Caleb started transitioning in 2017. Niamh, also a store manager, found out she was unable to conceive naturally in 2022 after miscarriages and a stillbirth in 2019.

She said she was told the eggs she produces are immature, so incapable of being fertilised.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines say NHS-funded IVF is only available to women ‘who have not conceived after two years of regular unprotected intercourse or 12 cycles of artificial insemination (where six or more are by intrauterine insemination)’.

This means women in same-sex relationships, or couples where one person is trans, must ‘prove’ they cannot conceive by undergoing artificial insemination (AI), campaigners have argued.

Niamh and Caleb say this means she would be forced to undergo 12 consecutive rounds of AI – which could cost as much as £80,000 – before qualifying for NHS help.

So Caleb decided to try and stopped taking testosterone in January 2022, 27 months after he first started.

After meeting a sperm donor via social media and building a good relationship, Caleb went ahead with IUI fertility treatment and he discovered he was pregnant in August 2022.

‘I’d been on testosterone for 27 months and was told there was a good chance I couldn’t fall pregnant, and my period probably wouldn’t come back,’ he said.

‘But within a month of stopping my menstrual cycle returned and within six months and three attempts using a sperm donor, I fell pregnant.

‘From quite early in the pregnancy we got very good support from West Suffolk hospital.’

He said most friends and colleagues were supportive – but that some people suggested ‘men can’t get pregnant’.

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