Today, LGBTQ couples have a range of services available for family planning. As more clinics offer fertility solutions specifically catering to LGBTQ couples, many same-sex couples are exploring their options and considering possibilities.
When looking for a fertility clinic, in particular, couples should seek out a practice that explicitly states it works with all types of families and aims to create an inviting, inclusive environment.
Below are a few of the fertility solutions available to LGBTQ families at our clinic.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
One of the most well-known and popular fertility services for lesbian couples, in vitro fertilization assists sperm in fertilizing an egg before implantation of the egg into a woman’s uterus. How does this work?
The partner aiming to get pregnant first takes fertility medications that help the ovaries produce mature eggs. Then, the doctor will retrieve these eggs from the ovaries for mixing with sperm cells from the chosen donor. If sperm fertilizes the eggs, embryos form, which are then placed into the uterus. If any of them attach to the uterine lining, the woman will become pregnant.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
With intrauterine insemination, sperm is placed directly into one partner’s uterus around the time of ovulation. By increasing the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes, and bypassing the cervix, the chances of achieving fertilization are higher.
Unlike with IVF, the sperm from the donor must get to an egg on its own in order to fertilize it and achieve pregnancy. This means that the procedure is less costly — and less invasive — than IVF, making it an accessible option for many lesbian couples.
For same-sex female couples, deciding how to navigate the sperm donation process can be one of the most complicated aspects of trying to get pregnant. Some couples opt to use the sperm of a close friend, someone who may be part of the child’s life, while others prefer to go through a sperm bank.
These donors may be anonymous, semi-open, open, or known. Each method comes with pros and cons, and a trusted fertility center can help guide couples through the decision process.
Reciprocal IVF/co-mothering involves one female partner serving as an egg donor, while the other serves as the gestational carrier. The partner who chooses to be the egg donor undergoes IVF with donated sperm and, if successful, the other partner carries the pregnancy.
This allows both people in the relationship to play an active role in the process and can be a great option for trans men who haven’t undergone gender affirming surgery and/or hormone replacement therapy.
For same-sex male couples looking to start a family, choosing an egg donor may seem daunting at first, but simply familiarizing yourself with the options available can make a big difference.
When using the egg donation method, the couple may work with just the egg donor, who will serve as a traditional surrogate, carrying the pregnancy to term, or with an egg donor and a gestational carrier, who undergoes artificial insemination using the donor’s eggs with the aim of becoming pregnant.
Gay couples may choose to have a friend serve as the egg donor and/or surrogate or may opt to use an anonymous egg donor and a carrier whom the couple does not know (more on this in the Gestational Carriers section below). As with sperm donation, egg donors may be anonymous, semi-open, open, or known. It’s important to spend some time carefully considering the pros and cons of every option.
When working with a gestational carrier, the woman undergoing IVF or IUI carries an embryo that was formed using the sperm from one of the male partners and the eggs retrieved from the woman serving as the egg donor.
Unlike a traditional surrogate, in which the woman carries the pregnancy using her own eggs and the sperm from one of the male partners, gestational carriers will not be biologically related to the child in any way. For some, this can be a major factor when deciding which fertility solution to pursue.
Deciding on the Right Fertility Solution for Your LGBTQ Family
Navigating the fertility process can be an emotional process for anyone, and especially so for LGBTQ couples. Luckily, more and more clinics are recognizing the need for services aimed specifically at LGBTQ families, providing the resources they need to embark on this journey with peace of mind.
To learn more about your options, https://www.fertilitysolutionsne.com/contact-us tetx: reach out to the team at Fertility Solutions today. We’ll answer any questions you may have and will guide you through every step of the process.