at mate we recognize that family comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. we are determined to create a welcoming and safe space for all members of the lgbtq+ community. whether you are looking to start your family now or preserve your future fertility, mate will be your partner through it all. access to fertility services for the lgbtq+ community have historically been inadequate. we are part of a more inclusive and welcoming healthcare future. no matter what, anyone who struggles to build a family should have equal access to whatever option they choose to start their family.
the hardest step is determining which treatment option is right for you. lgbtq+ couples and individuals can choose from a multitude of reproductive options. gay men will require the assistance of an egg donor and surrogate to conceive. many lesbian couples prefer reciprocal in vitro fertilization (ivf) so both partners can be intimately involved in the birth process. this involves choosing a sperm donor while one partner uses their eggs and the other carries the pregnancy. transgender women and men may choose to preserve their fertility prior to transitioning. fertility preservation means egg or sperm freezing. as a transgender individual, it is important to consider future fertility before undergoing any gender affirming treatment, including any hormones, medication, or surgery. be sure to speak to your doctor helping you transition about what your options are.
if a transgender patient has already transitioned they may have to pause hormone therapy prior to fertility treatment, but there are still a number of options available to you, including in vitro fertilization (ivf), reciprocal in vitro fertilization (ivf), baby by surrogacy, egg freezing, and/or embryo banking. again, speaking to your doctor about your options if you are ready to have a baby now is critical.
for transgender women looking to preserve their fertility, you can choose sperm cryopreservation. if you’re looking to have a child now you can explore ivf. with ivf your sperm (or your partner’s sperm) and a donor’s egg (or your partner’s egg) will be used to make an embryo. that embryo can be transferred to a surrogate’s uterus (or your partner’s, if they have one).
for transgender men looking to preserve their fertility, you can choose egg cryopreservation. if you’re looking to have a child now you can also explore ivf. your eggs or your partner’s eggs and either your partner’s (or a donor’s) sperm will be used to make an embryo. that embryo can then be transferred to your uterus (depending on your preferences and doctor’s suggestions), your partner’s uterus, or a surrogate’s uterus. (you have a ton of options here!)
as a single parent female or same sex female couple, there are many options available on your path to parenthood. intrauterine insemination (iui) involves directly inserting sperm inside the uterus, in vitro fertilization (ivf) is about a month-long cycle where your ovaries are stimulated, eggs are retrieved, fertilized, then transferred into a uterus. in reciprocal ivf, both parents participate in the family building process. parent a will go through stimulation and have her eggs retrieved. parent b will have that embryo transferred into her uterus and carry the child. this way, both parents are intimately involved in the birth process.
as a single male or same sex male couple, the quickest path to parenthood will be donor egg + surrogacy. many same sex male couples will use the sperm of one intended parent and a donated egg from a close relative of the other intended parent. that way the baby will be related to both male parents.
take a closer look at options available to our lgbtq+ patients:
in-vitro fertilization (ivf)
ivf is about a month-long process where your ovaries are stimulated to produce eggs. those eggs are retrieved and then fertilized in our lab with sperm. once fertilized, the embryo is then transferred back into your uterus. remaining embryos may be frozen for future use. ivf is often referred to as the gold standard for fertility care.
reciprocal ivf is an alternative to traditional ivf. this allows lesbian couples to each have a fundamental role in the birth of the child by using the eggs from one partner and the uterus of the other. this is also an option for transgender men, depending on your doctor’s recommendation. the egg will be fertilized in the lab with donor sperm. it’s important to come to an agreement with your partner about who will carry the pregnancy and who will donate the egg.
the process of using sperm from an anonymous or known donor with the intention of using it to conceive. lesbian couples or transgender men will need a sperm donor to have a baby. we require that all donors be screened for certain stds and other risk factors. read more about using donor sperm here.
eggs retrieved from the ovaries of one patient are donated for use by another to conceive. the donor receives medication to stimulate their ovaries to produce multiple eggs. simultaneously, the intended parent would receive medications to prepare their body for conception. the egg would be fertilized in the laboratory via ivf and transferred to the recipient’s uterus. the egg donor may be known or selected anonymously. you can ready more about using donor eggs here.
cryopreservation, also known as “freezing,” is the process of storing embryos at very low temperatures so that they can be thawed and used at a later time. our embryos are cryopreserved through a process called “vitrification.” this process cools the embryo very fast, avoiding the formation of ice crystals that cause damage to the cell. freezing embryos is a technique that can also help preserve future fertility. some who choose this service are undergoing hormone therapy, cancer treatment, gender affirmation surgery, or another medical intervention that affects their fertility.
surrogacy (coming soon)
surrogacy involves donor or intended parents’ eggs and sperm, which are used to make embryos that are transferred into the surrogate’s uterus. the surrogate has no biological relation to the child. surrogacy is the most common fertility treatment for male couples or those without a uterus and or eggs.