Lesbian Fertility Treatment Options
Becoming a parent is an exciting journey and most first-time parents are full of questions. As a lesbian couple, the first question may be how do you begin the path to parenthood? There are multiple family planning options you can pursue as an LGBTQ couple. If you wish to be genetically related to your child, you should search for the fertility treatment option that best suits your wants and needs.
Lesbian Family Planning Options
Before you begin one of these procedures, you will need to select a sperm donor. Start your Cryos donor search here. There is a helpful guide to using our website which may come in handy. Once you have found the right donor for your family, it’s time to choose the best fertility treatment option to have the baby of your dreams. Here are some of your options:
1. Artificial Insemination: IUI or ICI
Artificial insemination is the process of sperm being placed into a woman’s vagina or uterus for the purpose of achieving pregnancy without sexual intercourse. The two procedures are called Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or Intracervical Insemination (ICI). Donor sperm is used when one (or both) partner(s) are ovulating. Read more about ovulation here.
IUI is a procedure that is done at a clinic and performed by your doctor. The physician will place the sperm inside your uterus. ICI, also known as home insemination, is a procedure that is done in the comfort and privacy of your residence. We ship the sperm straws and everything you need to perform the insemination directly to your door. It is one of the easiest options you have, as a lesbian couple, to build your family. Read more about IUI and ICI here.
2. IVF – With One Person’s Egg and Uterus
In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproductive technology where an egg and sperm are combined in a laboratory for fertilization. Once an embryo has formed, it will be transferred to the uterus where a successful pregnancy will hopefully occur. IVF is considered one of the most successful fertility treatment options available. Read more about IVF here.
In this particular process, only one of you will have your eggs retrieved, inseminated and then implanted back into your uterus. Before the process begins, the designated partner will complete a panel of pre-pregnancy, infectious disease, and genetic screening tests. The eggs are retrieved and then inseminated with your selected donor sperm in two separate processes. Once embryos have formed, a screening is done to make sure the implantation site is healthy and ready for the embryo to be implanted. While usually only one of you will undergo this entire process, it is possible for both of you to be impregnated at the same time and hope to have donor siblings (diblings).
3. Reciprocal IVF
In the process of reciprocal in-vitro fertilization (IVF), one partner will donate her eggs to the other who will carry the pregnancy. This is a great way for couples to both participate in the process of bringing a child into the world together.
One partner will donate her eggs and go through the process of taking fertility medications. This will help produce multiple mature eggs. Afterward, she will undergo egg retrieval. Once the eggs are retrieved, they are combined with your selected donor sperm in an IVF laboratory. The partner planning to carry the pregnancy will start tests and preparations to make sure her uterus is ready for the embryo. When the time is right, the embryo will be transferred to her uterus for implantation.
As you can see, the options for starting a family range from inexpensive and un-intrusive (home insemination) to very expensive and invasive (reciprocal IVF). Reciprocal IVF allows both parents to contribute to the pregnancy process; regular IVF has very good success rates, and home insemination is both cost-effective and private. Depending on your wants and needs, there is an option for you.
If you have any questions regarding these family planning options and procedures, please contact Cryos for guidance. You may speak with one of our helpful bilingual Client Service Representatives at (407) 203-1175 or email us at [email protected]. A live online chat system is also available on our website from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday – Friday.
Success rates for these procedures vary based on individual circumstances. Age is an important factor to look at as women under 40 have an overall higher success rate than women over 40 do. Remember to choose your favorite donor before you begin one of these three procedures. There are over 170 ethnically diverse options available on the Cryos donor search. You may also consider scheduling an appointment with a reproductive professional who can help guide you with your decision.
We wish you the best of luck on your path to parenthood and hope Cryos can be a part of your beautiful journey!