LGBTQ+ Family Building
We have no restrictions on access to care for artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization (IVF). LGBTQ has been supported through our doctors for nearly forty years. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender couples have a variety of choices.
At a Glance
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender couples have a variety of choices for family building
- Gay male couples always require an egg donor and a gestational carrier
- Co-IVF is available for lesbian partners
In the case of lesbian couples, a sperm donor is necessary. Sperm banks are usual; compassionate donors are complex from many angles. The two partners make the multifaceted decision of who will have the baby based on their relationship. Medically the person with the best egg supply is best. Usually that means the younger of the two, but of course that is not always the preference of the couple.
Sometimes one of the partners would like to have the first and the second partner would like to have another baby at a future time. Typically, intrauterine insemination (IUI) with a sperm donor is carried out with ovulation induction initially. If this does not succeed after a few cycles, then IVF is considered. The cost of screening sperm specimens and holding them for months before their use can become a factor. Also, if the partner trying to conceive is in her late 30s or early 40s, the time interval to move to IVF might be shorter.
Co-IVF for Lesbian Couples
Co-IVF allows each partner to physically participate in the reproductive process. One of the partners provides the eggs for in vitro fertilization by going through the drug stimulation and the egg retrieval process. After the embryos have been developed, they are then transferred to the other partner who is placed on a simple estrogen and progesterone regimen.
Making the decision as to who provides the eggs and who is the gestational carrier is a personal choice, although it is often influenced by ovarian reserve testing of the women. The age and ovarian reserve of the person providing the eggs becomes a critical part of the decision-making process.
Gay Male Couples
Gay male couples always require an egg donor and a gestational carrier or surrogate. The men typically make the decision amongst themselves as to whose sperm will be used. The exception to this would be if male factor infertility affects one of the partners.
Most often the gestational carrier is selected by an agency and the gay male couple has already been introduced and formed a relationship with her before they reach our office. If this is not the case, we can recommend an agency to find a surrogate. Recruiting a gestational carrier is not always a quick process, however.