An 18-year-old California student who was born a biological female and is headed to college this fall as a male has checked off one item on a to-do-list that his classmates likely didn’t have: harvesting eggs.
Cole Carman, who was formally known as Nicole, has undergone egg retrieval at a fertility center in East Bay, California, so that he has the opportunity to have biological children after he completes his female-to-male transition.
“I have always wanted kids,” Cole, 18, told NBC Bay Area. “I like kids, so I wanted to do it so I could have my own biological kids when I get older. Eight to 10 years from now I want them to be related to me.”
Cole’s adoptive parents, C.J. and Pat Carman, are supportive of their son’s transition, and said their inability to conceive a child of their own helps them understand his desires.
“My husband and I could never have children so I understand how that feels,” C.J. told NBC Bay Area.
The Carmans adopted Cole when he was just weeks old, and said he was a happy child who enjoyed wearing girl clothes and pigtails. They began noticing a change in their child when he reached middle school as he started choosing baggy clothing. It was then that Cole also recognized the need to appear on the outside what he felt on the inside.
“I can’t change the way I feel,” he told the news station. “It’s not something I learned, or was taught, or influenced to do. It’s just me. That’s how I feel.”
However, before beginning the hormonal treatment step of transitioning, Cole had flooded his body with the female hormone estrogen to help increase the number of eggs produced.
“If the ovaries have shut down, then it is really hard to wake them up after years of testosterone use, so you are not going to get as many eggs as you would before you transitioned,” Dr. Aimee Eyvazzedeh, a fertility expert who is treating Cole, told NBC Bay Area. Eyvazzedeh said Cole is the first transgender patient she is helping preserve fertility.
In total, Cole has harvested 40 eggs, 23 of which are frozen and stored, NBC Bay Area reported. The procedure was not covered by insurance.
Cole is now receiving weekly testosterone injections, and has undergone reconstruction surgery on his chest. He plans to wait until after college to complete his transition.
“I want to be an advocate for LGBT rights,” Cole told the news station. “I want to have kids, and I want to get married one day.”