Proud Supporters of
Reproductive Options for LGBTQ Community
We also understand that same-sex and transgender couples/individuals have unique fertility needs, and we offer a wide array of reproductive options.
The first step is to have an initial consultation with our fertility doctor. At that visit, you will review your medical history, family goals, and any necessary testing. You will also learn about the different options you have for moving forward.
Options for Lesbian Couples
Donor Sperm & IUI, IVF, Reciprocal IVF
Individuals and couples can obtain donor sperm from an anonymous donor (a sperm bank) or from a known donor (someone known to you). This is obviously a big decision and the fertility doctor will go over the pros and cons of both choices. Click here to learn more about sperm donors.
IUI (Intrauterine Insemination)
IUI is when a sample of sperm is directly placed into a woman’s uterus at the time of ovulation. This is a quick and painless procedure done in the office using a very small catheter that passes through the cervix and into the uterus.
An IUI can be performed during a natural cycle which is when a woman naturally ovulates that month without using any medication.
An IUI can also be performed after taking fertility medications which can help women ovulate one or more eggs. Some women are good candidates to start with natural cycles while others might need ovarian stimulation.
IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)
Sometimes IUI is not an effective treatment and IVF is necessary. IVF is when eggs are removed from the ovaries and fertilized with sperm in a highly specialized laboratory. The fertilized egg becomes an embryo which is ultimately transferred back into the uterus.
This IVF technique is when the eggs from one partner are inseminated in the laboratory with donor sperm. The embryos that are produced can then be transferred into the uterus of the other partner who will carry the pregnancy.
Options for Gay Men
Selecting Sperm and Selecting An Egg Donor
One of the first and most important tests to perform is a semen analysis on one or both parents. This can identify if there are any issues with the sperm and can help decide which sperm to use. Usually however sperm from either parent can be used.
Selecting an Egg Donor
Gay men will need to find eggs which can come from either a fresh egg donor or from a donor egg bank.
For a fresh egg donor, the eggs can come from an anonymous donor or from a friend or family member. All frozen egg bank donors were already screened, completed their IVF cycle and egg retrieval, and have had their eggs frozen.
In either situation, the donor will undergo an IVF cycle where the eggs will be removed from their body.
Selecting a Surrogate
Gay men will also need someone to carry the pregnancy. This is called a gestational carrier and can be someone found through a surrogacy agency or can be a friend or family member. RHWC works with a number of well respected agencies in Southern California and across the country.
Options for Transgender Community
For Trans Men, For Trans Women
Hormone therapy can cause significant change to the body. Both testosterone therapy for Trans Men and estrogen therapy for Trans Women cause changes to the ovaries and testicles. These changes can be temporary (at the very least making it difficult to obtain eggs and sperm) and they can also be permanent (causing sterility). That is why planning ahead is important for transitioning males and females.
For Trans Men
Before starting hormone therapy, Trans Men have the option of freezing eggs to be used for pregnancy at a later time. If you have already started testosterone therapy, you will need to stop taking it temporarily to allow time for the eggs to re-develop.
For Trans Women
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