Fertility Treatments for Lesbian Couples
Being with my partner, and being able to have kids is the greatest thing ever. We have been together for five years. So we decided that we wanted to have a baby together. So I (Shannon) got artificially inseminated, and we had twins! A baby boy and a baby girl. The perfect family! I feel that my life is complete, there is nothing else I could want more.
-Shannon and Lena
At Reproductive Science Center (RSC), we are committed to helping lesbian couples who desire their own biological children. Success with this process depends on a number of factors, including the health and fertility of the woman, the quality of the donated sperm, and the skill and experience of the doctors and embryologists overseeing the procedures.
A sperm donor may either be known to the couple or chosen anonymously from a sperm bank. We have referrals for a number of sperm banks that are approved by the FDA. In both instances the donor has been tested and screened for infectious diseases. A known sperm donor will come to our San Ramon office for the screening and testing process will provide a semen sample for freezing. In some cases we may have him return to provide additional samples within the following week. A donor from a sperm bank will already have completed screening and testing prior to being listed on the cryobank’s website.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
This treatment method involves one partner being the “active” patient. Some testing will be required to evaluate the ability of your ovaries to produce eggs and the ability of your uterus to support an embryo implantation. Occasionally, an HSG x-ray may be recommended. If all of the testing is satisfactory an IUI cycle is a good option. The treatment cycle may include oral or injectable medications, blood tests and ultrasounds. The IUI procedure uses sperm prepped in the lab and drawn up into a syringe. A thin catheter is attached and this is passed through the cervix into the uterus where the sperm are gently injected.
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
IVF may involve one or both partners as “active” patients. Shared Maternity involves both partners: one partner has eggs retrieved from her ovaries and the eggs are inseminated with donor sperm. One or two resulting embryos are then transferred to the second partner’s uterus who will then carry the pregnancy. Any additional embryos may be frozen for use at a later time. If only one partner is the “active” patient, she will go through the IVF process, providing both the eggs and having one or two embryos transferred into her uterus.
We highly recommend legal counsel prior to initiating treatment. Laws regarding alternative family building may change and legal counsel can help you understand and manage how you move forward. We can provide referrals for attorneys who specialize in family building or Third Party Parenting.
The Reproductive Science Center of the Bay Area is a leading pioneer in infertility treatments including IVF with egg donation and LGBTQ family building. We’ll work with you to help you achieve your dreams of having a baby.