Same-Sex Couples Can Realize Their Dreams
Same-sex couples face different reproduction options and issues than do heterosexual couples. Those couples must consult medical help to conceive. Typically, lesbian couples require an outside source of sperm, while gay men require eggs and a carrier for the pregnancy.
Houston IVF has all the resources in one place to help same-sex couples start a family, including referrals to egg donors, referrals to surrogates, and referrals to legal counsel. Thanks to the availability of effective fertility procedures, same-sex couples have an excellent chance of getting pregnant.
The first step for all patients is to speak with one of our physicians to discuss their medical history, potential treatment and financial options. Next, we test to discover the level of fertility in either partner. Once that testing is complete, our medical team develops a protocol and treatment for your own needs.
Houston IVF treatment options include: donor sperm insemination, in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg donation and gestational carrier services. Egg cryopreservation also is available for same-sex couples to plan a future birth.
Fertility Treatment for Lesbian Couples
Lesbian couples can choose among a range of fertility-treatment options. The simplest approach is an intrauterine insemination (IUI), which uses donor sperm from an anonymous or known donor. For women with diminished ovarian reserve, tubal or pelvic factors, an IVF may provide the best chance for pregnancy.
Before signing up for any treatment procedure, Houston IVF evaluates all women for factors that may interfere with conception. That fertility evaluation allows our physicians to develop a treatment plan designed for your individual needs.
Lesbian couples may choose to use the eggs from one woman and allow her partner to carry the pregnancy. In that scenario, one partner undergoes ovarian stimulation and surgical retrieval of her eggs for IVF. The embryo is then transferred into her partner’s uterus, which has been synchronized with her partner’s cycle.
Fertility Treatment for Gay Couples
Gay couples who wish to build a family through fertility treatments first meet with their physician to discuss the details of using an egg donor and gestational carrier. The partner wishing to use his sperm will undergo a semen analysis to test its sperm volume, concentration, motility and morphology.
Egg donors may be a family member, friend or an anonymous volunteer screened by our staff. The age of the egg donor is one of the most important factors affecting the outcome of IVF. Because fertility declines with age, the donor ideally should be between age 19-33. Once selected, the donor will be tested for medical, psychological and genetic factors, screened for infectious diseases, and consulted with an independent attorney who specializes in reproductive medicine.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Houston IVF require known sperm donors and gay male couples to quarantine sperm for 6 months/180 days before use in an infertility treatment cycle. Sperm donors must be tested for medical, psychological and infectious diseases before their sperm is collected and frozen. This series of tests must be duplicated after 6 months/180 days to reduce complications for a gestational carrier. Couples must use a CCRM-approved cryobank to ensure that the sperm testing and cryopreservation are performed with the highest standards. The quarantine process can take 7-9 months on average, depending on how quickly a patient completes testing.
Houston IVF does not currently provide gestational carriers, but your medical team can refer you to agencies and attorneys who specialize in identifying gestational carriers.
To answer your questions or schedule a conversation with a physician, please call (713) 465-1211 or click here.