FERTILITY TREATMENT FOR LESBIAN COUPLES/SAME-SEX FEMALE COUPLES
Fertility Options for Lesbian Couples
There are two primary treatment options for lesbian couples that would like to have a baby:
- Treatment may be as simple as intrauterine insemination (IUI) (also known as artificial insemination) using donor sperm from an anonymous or known donor.
- For women with diminished ovarian reserve, tubal, or pelvic factors, in vitro fertilization (IVF) may provide the best chance for pregnancy.
Reciprocal IVF Treatment for Lesbian Couples
Lesbian couples may choose to use the eggs from one woman and allow her partner carry the pregnancy. In this scenario, one partner undergoes ovarian stimulation and surgical retrieval of her eggs for IVF. The embryo is then transferred into her partner’s uterus that has been synchronized with her partner’s cycle.
The Treatment Process for Lesbian Couples
The couple will decide which partner will carry the pregnancy. This partner will proceed with a fertility work-up, which includes “day 3 blood work” to test hormone levels and an HSG to determine the health of the uterus and fallopian tubes. If the prognosis is good, then the couple will select a sperm donor to be used to achieve the pregnancy.
When using a sperm donor, it is important to note that in accordance with requirements by the US FDA and CCRM, known sperm donors and gay male couples must quarantine sperm for 6 months/180 days prior to use in an infertility treatment cycle.
If IVF is needed, a more complex treatment protocol involving medications will occur. If a partner whose egg are being used, but will not carry the pregnancy, will also undergo a surgical egg retrieval procedure. The eggs will be inseminated with the donor sperm and once mature, the embryos are placed in the uterus of the woman who will carry and give birth to the baby.
Occasionally some lesbian couples need to use donor eggs to conceive due to the absence of ovaries or the inability of the ovaries to produce viable eggs in both women. Donors may include sisters or other family members, friends or anonymous donors.
For more information about LGBTQ Family Building or other fertility treatments, please contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you!