For over 25 years Florida Fertility Institute has been helping lesbian women and gay men build families through reproductive procedures. Our practice provides equal and compassionate care to all individuals. Donor insemination is a relatively easy procedure and is quite successful. However, there are alternative treatment options for lesbian couples. The combination of sperm donation and egg donation from one of the partners can achieve the ultimate two-mother family! One of the partners donates her eggs, while the other partner becomes the recipient into whose uterus the embryos are transferred.
One can also use a designated or directed sperm donor, when available. Using a male sibling or other relative as the sperm donor assures a more complete genetic lineage in the new family. The directed donor sperm can be used for intrauterine insemination (IUI) or as part of an in vitro fertilization cycle (IVF) cycle with egg donation. Of course, the sibling sperm donor must be genetically unrelated to the partner donating the egg. Additionally, FDA regulations require strict testing and six-month quarantine of sperm donated by a non- intimate partner, which may delay the time for conception.
METHODS FOR BIOLOGICAL PARENTING IN SAME-SEX FEMALE COUPLES:
I. Artificial Donor Insemination or Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
Before undergoing any treatment, all women should have a fertility evaluation. Once completed then an individualized treatment plan is prescribed. Donor insemination requires the selection and purchase of the desired sperm from a licensed FDA approved sperm bank. Donor sperm can be stored at Florida Fertility Institute and thawed at the ideal time as determined by your fertility specialist. Intrauterine insemination, “IUI”, is performed in a cycle in which ovulation is enhanced by oral medication such as Clomid. Using Clomid ensures a higher pregnancy success and shorter duration of treatment.
II. Lesbian Egg Donation
- Egg donation with anonymous sperm donation
In this scenario the partner that donates her eggs goes through an in vitro fertilization cycle (IVF). When the eggs are mature, they are collected and subsequently fertilized with donor sperm. While egg maturation is taking place in the partner donating the eggs, the partner intending to carry the baby (the egg recipient) is taking medications to prepare her uterus for embryo implantation. Typically, one or two embryos are transferred into the uterus of the designated partner.
Fertility Treatment for Same Sex Male Couples
Gay men planning to build a family through fertility treatments will meet with the physician to discuss the details of using an egg donor and a gestational carrier. A semen analysis is performed to test motility, volume, concentration and morphology of the sperm. The couple will then meet with the IVF coordinator to review egg donor options. Donors identified through an agency can also be used as can a family member, if medically appropriate.
Florida Fertility Institute does not provide gestational carriers, but your medical team can refer you to agencies and attorneys who specialize in identifying gestational carriers.
Once the couple has identified both a gestational carrier and the egg donor, one or both male partners will provide sperm samples to be used in the insemination of the donated eggs. Once mature, the embryo will be transferred to the gestational carrier.