A transgender teenager has started a crowdfunding campaign to pay for his eggs to be frozen due to fears that hormone therapy will leave him infertile.
Charlie Scarterfield, 17, is asking strangers to donate money so he can freeze his eggs before undergoing testosterone treatment.
He has set the target at £5,000 but the fertility treatment could end up costing up to £8,000.
Charlie was born a girl named Rosie but identifies as male and is desperate to undergo masculinising hormone therapy - but is worried about the impact on his fertility.
He said: “I’ve always wanted my own biological kids. Always. It’s just a huge thing to me.
“Because I’m so desperate to start testosterone, I did think, ‘well maybe I shouldn’t wait to freeze my eggs.’
“But I just know that in a couple of years it will be my biggest regret of my life if I don’t.”
'I'm fully supportive'
The costs of the full fertility treatment is estimated to cost as much as £8,000.
Charlie, from Bath, Somerset, decided to freeze his eggs before getting together with girlfriend Olivia three months ago - and she shares his hopes.
Olivia, who did not want to share her surname, said: “It was a decision Charlie made before we got together, but obviously we hope that in the future it is something we do together.
“It’s definitely something we talk about a lot and I’m fully supportive of the (crowdfunding) campaign as it’s so important to Charlie to be able to have the option.”
Charlie was shocked to find freezing his eggs could cost him £6,000.
This does not include annual storage fees and the price of transferring an embryo when the time comes.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority estimates the total cost of the treatment at £7,000 to £8,000.
'The NHS can't fund this'
Funding for fertility treatments is decided locally by Clinical Commissioning Groups, and Charlie does not think he will be able to have the fertility treatment funded on the NHS.
Charlie said: “I went to the doctor’s the day after I set up the GoFundMe because I wasn’t 100 percent sure I had to pay but the doctor said: ‘you better start saving because the NHS can’t fund it for transgender people, only people on other medication which will stop them being fertile.”
Charlie added that he has been saving from his job working part-time as a kitchen hand at a pub while also studying.
“Everything I’m earning at the moment, even some of my Christmas money is going towards the egg freezing,” he said.
“I do need help from other people, but I want to save as much as possible myself, I don’t want to just expect other people to do it.”
Charlie also anticipated those who would criticise him for not choosing between his dream to transition and his desire to be a biological parent.
He said: “It kind of is a choice… but it isn’t a choice. I feel like I am a boy. I may have been born with a biologically female body, but my brain is a boy. If it was your kid what would you do?”