Many LGBTQ patients choose third-party reproductive services to help them achieve their family building goals. Third-party reproduction means eggs, sperm and/or embryos from a donor (a third party) are used to help an individual or a couple conceive.
Fertility options for same sex female couples
After the evaluation, we will discuss the following options:
- Donor sperm - You will need donor sperm to conceive. Donor sperm can be from a known donor (a friend or family member) or an anonymous donor from a sperm bank. If you decide to choose an anonymous donor, sperm banks often supply a wealth of information about your donor, including how he looks, his family background, what he does for a living and more. Audio files of the donor's voice may be available as well.
- Artificial insemination - Once a sperm donor sample has been obtained, you will undergo intrauterine insemination (IUI). IUI is a procedure in which a thin tube or catheter is used to place the sperm directly into the uterus.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF) - If IUI is unsuccessful or if your fertility specialist determines that you have certain underlying conditions causing infertility, IVF can be used to help you conceive. IVF is a procedure in which an egg is fertilized by sperm in a laboratory.
- Partnership IVF - An additional option for lesbian couples is Co IVF. In this treatment, one partner donates her eggs, and the other partner carries the pregnancy. This can be an ideal way for both women to participate in the family building process directly. In this instance, both women will have an initial fertility evaluation.
Fertility options for same sex male couples
Couples who would like to become parents will need to work with an egg donor and a gestational carrier.
Working with an agency to find the right egg donor and gestational carrier is an important part of your fertility journey. State laws varies as to the use and compensation of gestational carriers.
Generally, here is what you can expect:
- The male partner whose sperm will be used to conceive will have a semen analysis
- The couple will select an egg donor and a gestational carrier.
- IUI or IVF will be used to fertilize the donor egg.
- If IVF is used, the embryo will be transferred to the uterus of the gestational carrier who will carry the pregnancy.
Fertility preservation options prior to hormone therapy
- Hormone therapy may affect sperm and egg production
- Sperm freezing or egg freezing is considered before hormonal or surgical therapy