Meet 18-Year-Old Cole Carman, One of the First Transgender Teens to Freeze Eggs Before Transitioning
An 18-year-old from northern California has become one of the first transgender teenagers to freeze his eggs so he can have biological children later in life, his doctor says.
Cole Carman, formerly known as Nicole, has undergone a double mastectomy and was about to start testosterone treatment in January when his doctor asked if he wanted to freeze his eggs first.
“[After] they told me that, I didn’t [start testosterone treatment] and I did some research on the egg retrieving process,” Carman told PEOPLE. “I already knew I wanted kids, so to say yes and make that decision was a no-brainer.”
The teen, who hails from the San Francisco area, had first started looking into transgender issues when he was 12, but didn’t really understand what it meant to be transgender. He came to a better understanding of the definition last year.
“From there I had to just make sure I came to terms with myself and who I am before making a big decision like [undergoing surgery],” he said.
Carman’s parents’ have been supporting him throughout the process of transitioning.
“I didn’t really hesitate at all simply because Cole has always been mature in his thinking and I knew this was something that was really important to him,” his mother C.J. Carman tells PEOPLE.
C.J. said she and husband Pat were receptive to the idea of Cole freezing his eggs because she struggled to conceive – leading them to adopt Cole. “I wanted to make sure it was done before it couldn’t be done,” she said.
Dr. Aimee Eyvazzadeh, the doctor who performed the procedure on Carman at the end of May, says he is one of the first transgender teens to do this prior to transitioning.
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“The concept of freezing eggs is not new for the transgender community, what I would say is typically you’re seeing probably trans-males in their 30s who are trying to come off their testosterone and trying to freeze eggs,” she commented. “This is an unusual [case] and probably one of the first, if not the first, for a teenager.”
His parents funded the entire procedure, which cost about $13,000. Carman advises other teens in his situation to think very carefully about how personally important it is to have biological children.
“It’s a lot of money and there are other ways,” he said. “You should think, how important would it be that your child is related to you? That would be the biggest factor to play in into making the decision.”
Eyvazzadeh said that Carman’s procedure went very smoothly. “From the minute I met them, I wanted to help. I could tell that he was mature, he knew exactly what he wanted and this was self-directed,” she said.
“It’s a journey and an emotional roller coaster ride,” C.J. said. “But I think it’s really important for parents to understand that [the surgeries] aren’t something that’s a choice, they’re a necessity. Love your child, be open minded and get information.”