Most LGBT and Single people do not have infertility issues besides lacking a partner of the opposite sex. This makes the evaluation and treatment-plan more streamlined, and often the prognosis is better than that of heterosexual couples who have not been able to conceive on their own.
Options for people to build a family vary from having biological children to adoption and foster care. At Repromed Fertility Center we are committed to helping you become a parent and build the family of your dreams. We are completely equipped to provide you with all medical options, as well as the needed legal and psychological support. As medicine advances and society changes, the spectrum of possibilities continues to expand.
Repromed Fertility Center follows to the ASRM, CDC and FDA regulations regarding third party reproduction options for patients.
The work-up focuses on the woman, often including a sonogram, hormonal testing, evaluation of the uterine cavity, tubes and ovaries. A comprehensive but focused evaluation will allow us to select the most effective treatment for you.
Donor sperm is needed. The good news is that there are thousands of donors available and the sperm is fairly inexpensive and rapidly accessible. Sperm often comes from young donors with a normal semen analysis, who are healthy and free of sexually transmitted infections. These donors are tested multiple times and the sperm is quarantined for your safety. You will have the opportunity to select sperm from practically any ethnic background and physical characteristic. You often have access to pictures of them as children and/or adults, as well as their professional and personal interests, a peak into their personalities and beliefs. Donors are anonymous, however some donors (Open ID) would allow your child to contact them in the future.
Treatment options include:
IUI – Intrauterine Insemination with donor sperm. The sperm is ordered and saved at subzero temperatures and thawed right when you are at your peak fertility. We perform the IUI at the time that you ovulate by inserting millions of sperm into your uterus using a very thin catheter (flexible tube). This procedure often feels like a pap smear and is painless. With intercourse a few thousand sperm make it into the uterus, while with an IUI millions of sperm are inserted. We can perform donor sperm IUIs during a natural cycle, or often after giving you medication to enhance your fertility by inducing and improving ovulation, or by helping you produce more than one egg. At Repromed we will perform your IUI the day of the month that you are most fertile, regardless of the day of the week.
Lesbian couples may conceive simultaneously or at different times with sperm from the same donor via IUI.
IVF – In vitro fertilization using donor sperm. Often due to tubal blockage or scar tissue in the pelvis, we bypass the tubes with the aid of IVF. We extract your eggs and fertilize them with donor sperm in the laboratory. We then transfer into the uterus 1-2 embryos, and freeze the rest of the embryos for later use. IVF creates exciting opportunities for lesbian couples as we are able to help you conceive in more ways than a heterosexual couple could.
The work-up focuses on the male and consists mostly of a semen analysis and infectious disease testing.
Men need an egg donor to provide eggs, and a gestational carrier or surrogate to carry the embryos and give birth to the baby.
Egg donor – This is usually an anonymous young woman who tests negative for infectious diseases, has normal egg reserve, and has a benign medical history. You often have access to childhood and/or adult photos, as well as aspects of her race, physical characteristics and personality. The eggs are harvested at the time of treatment and fertilized right away most of the time. After undergoing a rigorous evaluation, the donor undergoes ovarian stimulation by gibing herself hormonal injections to recruit several eggs in a single cycle. The donor may also be known to you, however there cannot be consanguinity.
Surrogate or Gestational Carrier – This is often a person who you meet and get to know. She carries embryos made with your sperm and eggs from an anonymous donor, thus she is not genetically related to the baby. Texas is a great state for surrogacy and we see patients from all over the country. A legal gestational agreement is an important part of the process.
The process of Donor egg and Surrogacy – Because in this situation we need to do IVF, the amount of sperm needed is small and thus even if male factor is found, it is usually overcome by the IVF process. In a gay couple, embryos can be made from sperm of one or both partners. Once the egg donor is identified and has gone through the appropriate evaluation, we can start the process. We can simultaneously prepare the gestational carrier to perform a fresh transfer of embryos, or we can first create the embryos, freeze and store them, and then at a later time we can transfer them into the carrier. We can transfer embryos from a single man, or both partners! Obviously the process may seem overwhelming to you at the beginning, but at Repromed Fertility Center we can facilitate all aspects of the process to make it as comfortable as possible to you, including information on egg donor agencies, surrogate agencies, family law, psychologist, and obstetricians.
Please visit Rainbow Fertility for more information on Fertility treatment options for Singles and LGBT.