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Midwives are being taught at university how to help biological men with penises give birth

by Press room

Midwifery students at a top Scottish university were taught biological men could get pregnant and trans men could give birth even if they have a penis.

MailOnline can reveal the £9,000-a-year undergraduate course at Edinburgh Napier University included a woke module on caring for ‘birthing people’.   

In a coursebook that has since been revised, trainee midwives were given detailed instructions on how to treat a male-to-female trans person during childbirth.

It is not possible for someone born a man to get pregnant or give birth with current technology or medicine. 

The book’s introduction stated: ‘You may be caring for a pregnant or birthing person who is transitioning from male to female and may still have external male genitalia.’

Another section with photo demonstrations detailed how to fit a catheter in a person with a penis and scrotum during labour. 

The book also included special instructions for people with prostate glands — which are exclusive to biological men — who may feel particular ‘discomfort’.

Several experts criticised the university, describing the woke course material as ‘remarkably ignorant about basic biology, sex and anatomy’. 

Bosses at the university have changed the wording to say ‘people transitioning from female to male’ rather than ‘male to female’, following the uproar.

Midwifery students at a leading Scottish university were taught that biological men could get pregnant and give birth through their penises. In a coursebook that has since been revised, students were told ‘you may be caring for a pregnant or birthing person who is transitioning from male to female and may still have external male genitalia’

A section on fitting catheters during labour repeats the line and goes on to give special instructions for people with penises

A section on fitting catheters during labour repeats the line and goes on to give special instructions for people with penises

One instruction says: 'Wrap a sterile swab around the penis and, with the same non-touch technique, retract the foreskin if present.' 'Place sterile towel across the person's thighs, ensuring the scrotal area is covered,' adds another

One instruction says: ‘Wrap a sterile swab around the penis and, with the same non-touch technique, retract the foreskin if present.’ ‘Place sterile towel across the person’s thighs, ensuring the scrotal area is covered,’ adds another

But all references to handling a penis, prostate gland and other male genitalia remain, according to Reduxx, which first broke the story.

The way the manual has been edited creates more confusion because it suggests midwives can expect to treat biological females with penises.

Reduxx did not name the university, but MailOnline understands it is Edinburgh Napier — just one of four in Scotland that offers an undergraduate, accredited midwifery course. 

MailOnline has approached Napier repeatedly for comment.

Dr Leila Hanna, a private gynaecologist and obstetrician, said universities should focus on teaching midwives ‘what’s actually doable’.

She told MailOnline: ‘A lot of things need to be done to arrive at the technology to be able to do that (a biological man giving birth). 

‘We would have to be able to give men wombs and then put eggs and sperm in there — I’ve not seen any publications to say we’ve arrived at that technology yet.

‘Let’s focus on improving what we do, and what’s doable, but let’s not go dreaming of things which are probably not going to happen tomorrow.’

Only people who are born female can make eggs, which means it is not possible for a male-to-female trans woman to get pregnant naturally.

Bosses at Edinburgh Napier University (pictured) have changed the wording in the introduction to say transition from 'female to male' following the outroar

Bosses at Edinburgh Napier University (pictured) have changed the wording in the introduction to say transition from ‘female to male’ following the outroar

WHY BIOLOGICAL MEN CAN’T GIVE BIRTH… YET

Only people who are born female can make eggs, which means it is not possible for a male-to-female trans woman to get pregnant naturally.

Scientists believe it is theoretically possible to impregnate a trans woman using IVF, when the eggs are fertilised outside the body and then inserted. 

But it would require a healthy womb for the child to grow in, and transplant operations are years if not decades away from making that a reality. 

There has only ever been one documented case of a womb being transplanted into a trans woman born male— but she died from complications just months later.

Female-to-male transgender people can still get pregnant.

But only if they have not had a hysterectomy as part of their transition or have taken hormone-blocking drugs that stop them from producing eggs.

There are no definitive figures when it comes to how many transgender people have given birth worldwide, or in Britain.

Seventy-five people who identified as male gave birth in Australia in 2020, the most comparable country with data.

Scientists believe it is theoretically possible to impregnate a trans woman using IVF, when the eggs are fertilised outside the body and then inserted. 

But it would require a healthy womb for the foetus to grow in, and transplant operations are years if not decades away from making that a reality. 

There has only ever been one documented case of a womb being transplanted into a trans woman born male — but she died from complications just months later.

Female-to-male transgender people can still get pregnant, provided they have not had a hysterectomy as part of their transition or have taken hormone-blocking drugs that stop them from producing eggs.

There are no definitive figures when it comes to how many transgender people have given birth worldwide, or in Britain.

Seventy-five people who identified as male gave birth in Australia in 2020, the most comparable country with data.

Students on the Napier course said they were handed a ‘Skills Workbook’ in a module about how to care for patients giving birth last month.

It told them on two separate occasions the ‘birthing person’ may be a biological male. 

So students need to be familiar with inserting catheters for people with ‘female and male anatomy’, it said.

A catheter is sometimes fitted during C-sections or when women are given certain drugs which mean they cannot go to the toilet.

Section 4.4 of the manual shows several images of a catheter being fitted on a male figurine’s penis and scrotum.

One instruction says: ‘Wrap a sterile swab around the penis and, with the same non-touch technique, retract the foreskin if present.’

‘Place sterile towel across the person’s thighs, ensuring the scrotal area is covered,’ adds another.

Different doses of analgesic gel should also be used depending on whether the pregnant person is male or female, the book claims – with 6ml for women and 11ml for men.

Students are instructed to take extra care with ‘male persons’ who have prostate glands, which are exclusive to biological males. 

Removing the catheter may provide particular ‘discomfort as the deflated balloon passes through the prostate gland’, it claimed. 

Dr Susan Bewley, emeritus professor in obstetrics and women’s health at King’s College London, described the coursework as ‘puzzling’.

She is quoted by Reduxx as saying: ‘There are no circumstances whereby qualified midwives can possibly be asked, or be expected, to catheterise a penis as part of their professional work.

‘The writers seem to have left school remarkably ignorant about basic biology, sex and anatomy.’

According to Reduxx, which describes itself as a ‘pro-woman news and commentary’ website, the handbook has been edited to remove claims that a biological man can get pregnant.

But it now claims that a biological female can have a child even if she has a penis that has been surgically constructed through a phalloplasty, the site claims. 

Dr Bewley added: ‘A few [female-to-males] undergo genital surgery but, in general, those with a surgically created neo-penis simply cannot get pregnant either because they undergo a hysterectomy as a prelude.

‘These materials are the opposite of the high-quality training that patients need from midwives and doctors. 

‘The project may have arisen from compassion and enthusiasm, but it is worrying that the writers don’t seem to know, care about, or check facts.’

The three-year midwifery course at Edinburgh Napier costs £1,820 per year to Scottish students, which is subsidised by the Government.

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland have to pay £9,250 annually.

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