same sex and transgender couples can choose from a multitude of reproductive options. gay men will require the assistance from an egg donor and surrogate to achieve a pregnancy. many lesbian couples prefer co-maternity in vitro fertilization (ivf) so both women can be involved in the birth process. this involves choosing a sperm donor while one partner uses her eggs and the other carries the pregnancy. they may also choose iui, however the pregnancy will be carried by and use the egg of only one partner. transgender women and men may choose to preserve their fertility prior to transitioning. by fertility preservation we mean 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.
if a transgender individual has already transitioned they must pause hormone therapy prior to fertility treatment, but there are still a number of options available to you, including in vitro fertilization (ivf), co-maternity in vitro fertilization (ivf), baby by surrogacy, egg freezing, and/or embryo banking.
transgender women: for transgender women, you can choose sperm cryopreservation or iui of a cisgender female partner. ivf can also be an option using partner or donor eggs or sperm and or partner’s uterus or a surrogate.
transgender men: for transgender men, options include egg / embryo freezing using his partner’s sperm or donor sperm. you can choose iui using partner or donor sperm or ivf using his own, a partner’s or donor eggs. embryos can be transferred into his uterus, his partner’s uterus or a surrogate.
as a single 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. in co-maternity ivf, both parents participate in the family building process.
as a single male or same sex male couple, the most viable path to parenthood is surrogacy. many gay 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.
there are numerous assisted reproductive technology treatments to choose from, depending on your gender, including:
in-vitro fertilization (ivf)
one or more eggs, each removed from a mature follicle, is fertilized by a sperm outside the human body in a lab.
this allows women in a lesbian relationship to each have a fundamental role in the birth of the child by using the eggs from one partner and the womb of the other.
intracytoplasmic sperm injection (icsi)
used conjointly with ivf, one or more eggs, each removed from a mature follicle, is fertilized outside the body by injecting one sperm into each egg. if fertilization occurs, the embryo(s) are transferred into the uterus.
the process of using sperm from an anonymous or known donor with the intention of using it to conceive. we require that all donors be screened for certain stds and other risk factors.
egg donation (coming soon)
eggs removed from the ovaries of one woman, are donated for use by another to conceive. the donor receives medication to stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple eggs. simultaneously, the intended mother would receive medications to prepare her 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.
cryopreservation, also known as “freezing,” is the storing of 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.
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.