Trying to Conceive – Same-Sex Female Couples
Support and Options for Same-Sex Female Couples to Start a Family
For years, Northeastern Reproductive Medicine proudly has supported an inclusive environment for same-sex female couples to start or grow their families.
With ongoing advancements in fertility options, same-sex female couples’ dreams of starting a family can be a reality. The first step is to set up an initial consultation and fertility evaluation with a caring Vermont fertility specialist.
Considerations for same-sex female couples and donor sperm
Lesbian couples will need to consider who will provide the egg and who will carry the pregnancy. Our Vermont reproductive endocrinologists can help you make an informed decision. A sperm donor is required to fertilize an egg for pregnancy to occur.
Same-sex female couples can choose sperm from an anonymous donor. There are a number of sperm banks across the country where patients can consider a donor based on a variety of characteristics, including physical traits, family history and academic achievements.
We encourage lesbian couples to consult with us to understand how we ensure thorough screening and testing of donor sperm.
Pathways to pregnancy: Intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization
There is more than one pathway to pregnancy for same-sex female couples. When formulating your personal treatment plan, our Vermont fertility specialist will consider the results of your fertility evaluation and your goals. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, and we work closely with you to consider your preferences.
There are generally three avenues lesbian couples consider in family building.
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI) using donor sperm. This is sometimes called artificial insemination. Your doctor will gently insert prepared sperm into your uterus using a catheter. This is a quick process, as it takes only a few minutes to insert the sperm, and you will be asked to lie down for about 15 minutes afterward. This option is usually considered if there are no existing fertility issues. This is a commonly used option and is less complex than in vitro fertilization.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF) using donor sperm. This advanced treatment has been around for more than 40 years. IVF involves fertility medication, egg retrieval from the ovaries, and fertilization by donor sperm. One fertilized egg (embryo) is then transferred to the partner’s uterus. IVF is an option to consider if you or your partner has fertility issues.
- Reciprocal IVF presents an option for both female partners to be involved in the excitement of pregnancy. One partner provides the egg for the IVF procedure. The other partner will receive the embryo and carry the baby. This is a great way for both partners to share in the joyous experience of the birth of their child.
NRM offers extensive laboratory resources as part of the Ovation® Fertility network. Our state-of-the-art lab serves IVF patients in Vermont, the Northeastern United States and Canada. Contact us to explore your family building options as a lesbian couple.