31 Oct Family Building for LGBT Couples
Most people reach a point in life when they wish to have children. For lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals or couples, many options exist for starting a family. Rocky Mountain Fertility Center recognizes that LGBT couples face particular hurdles, when building a family and address these issues at the couple’s first consultation.
At this first comprehensive appointment with the fertility specialist, the physician will review the patient’s menstrual history, pregnancy history, past birth control measures, past fertility treatments, current and past sexual history, surgical history, medications, and general health. In addition, the fertility specialist will inquire about lifestyle habits such as smoking, alcohol and illicit drug use. The partner will need to provide a list of medications currently used, a general health history, surgical history, a history of any past fertility treatments and if they are also going to want to carry a pregnancy or use their sperm to create a pregnancy. This comprehensive history is important to recognize any fertility issues that might exist, before treatment starts.
Female same-sex couples and individuals will need donor sperm in order for one of the partners to get pregnant through artificial insemination or IVF. Male same-sex couples and individuals will need donated female eggs to fertilize with one or both partner’s sperm through in vitro fertilization (IVF), as well as a gestational carrier to carry and deliver the child.
Sperm donation involves a man donating his sperm to an LGBT couple or individual. A fertility physician can place the donated sperm into one of the intended mother’s at the time of ovulation using a small catheter placed through the cervix. This procedure is called intrauterine insemination (IUI). Donated sperm can be obtained from a person known to the couple or anonymously from a sperm bank.
Another option for same sex females is combining the donated sperm with eggs during IVF, creating an embryo that will later be transferred to one the intended mother’s. Although donor sperm insemination is more popular due to cost, Reciprocal IVF appeals too many lesbian couples that wish to share in the miracle of pregnancy. One female partner donates her eggs. The eggs are fertilized with donor sperm then transferred to the other female partner.
Same sex male couples will need an egg donor and gestational carrier to have a child. Egg donation is when a woman donates her eggs to an LGBT couple or individual in order for them to become pregnant. The receiving couple or individual first identifies a suitable egg donor, often through an agency, or the eggs can be donated by a friend or family member.
The eggs are retrieved and fertilized through IVF using one of the intended father’s sperm or the eggs are divided and both intended father’s sperm are used. The resulting embryo is transferred to the uterus of a gestational carrier. A gestational carrier is a woman who carries a pregnancy for another couple but has no genetic link to the pregnancy.
Embryo donation involves an embryo created by another couple during IVF that is donated to an LGBT couple or individual to become pregnant. The resulting child would have the genes of the woman who provided the egg and the genes of the man who provided the sperm. Embryo donation can be used by same sex female or same sex male couples, to have a child.
At Rocky Mountain Fertility Center we understand that utilizing sperm donors, egg donors and gestational carriers to start your family can be overwhelming. Choosing an experienced fertility center like Rocky Mountain Fertility Center will make the process of building your family a wonderful experience.