A trans man stopped taking testosterone to have a baby after his partner discovered she could not have children.
Caleb Bolden, 27, from Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, started transitioning from female to male six years ago – at the same time as he began trying to have a child via sperm donor with partner Niamh Bolden, 25.
She suffered three miscarriages and a stillbirth of twins at 23 weeks and 27 weeks, before being told she’d likely never have children.
Rather than pay an estimated £70,000 for Niamh to have private fertility treatment, Caleb stopped his daily testosterone injections and used a sperm donor.
Six months later he became pregnant using a sperm donor he found on social media, and daughter Isla-Rae Bolden was born in May.
Despite enduring nasty comments from strangers and suffering gender dysphoria while pregnant, Caleb loves being a dad – and said he will do it again.
The store manager 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.
‘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.’
She said she was told the eggs she produces are immature, so are 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.
The couple say this means Niamh 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 to get pregnant instead, and stopped taking testosterone in January 2022 – some 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 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.