Trans student still hopeful for fertility treatment on the NHS
Alex McCall, a trans student from Brighton, hit the headlines in March 2019 when he criticized the NHS for not allowing Trans people equal access to fertility treatment.
Alex wants to freeze his eggs before he undergoes full transition treatment as he fears that hormone treatment may leave him infertile. His application for egg freezing was turned down by the NHS after the Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group stated that its decision was fair and in-line with other groups.
Currently studying at Newcastle University, 22-year-old Alex is now trying a new route to fulfill his dream of being able to have a family in the future. He said,
“Next week, I will go back to my GP to ask them for a new ‘Individual Funding Request’. Last year I got my hopes up and I was devastated to hear the result.”
Alex has since had a second consultation with Dr James Barrett, lead clinician at the Gender Identity Clinic in London. Alex was delighted to find out that there may be some hope for his request to be accepted by May 2020.
“I was told that I could apply for funding again. Apparently by May 2020 the case against the NHS may be withdrawn and a compromise could be reached. If a Trans person was refused funding without good reason, then they may be able to take the matter to court.”
If this is the case, then this may affect the future of fertility rights for the Trans community. However Alex is understandably cautious, saying,
“I’m always feeling in limbo. I went into the clinic last year with the mindset of having to let go of my hopes of having biological children in the future. Sometimes, I don’t want to ride that roller-coaster.”
Sam Hall, a GP and Chair of The Clare Project, is himself a Trans man and parent of three. He feels that Trans males should not rely on egg freezing as the only way to make a family. He explains,
“Taking hormones does not necessarily deprive you of having a family. Many Trans men have already managed to get pregnant and have families by using their own eggs.”
Sam, who runs the regular Brighton TMP social night for the Trans community, is concerned that Transgender teenagers are now feeling under extra pressure to choose between egg freezing and start their transitioning treatment, when it not necessarily a choice that they will need to make.
Photo: Alex with sisters Danielle and Sarah Cornish-Spencer © DongPei Yu
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