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Reproductive Options for LGBTQ Couples

Starting or growing a family is an exciting time. For LGBTQ couples, with the excitement also comes challenges — and options. Fortunately, there are several options toward parenthood, each with their own set of considerations. 

The number of LGBTQ families are growing. A Pew Research national survey found that 51% of LGBT adults are raising children or would like to have children in the future. At Nova IVF, located in Mountain View, California, our fertility specialists can help guide you through your reproductive options and help you figure out the right path to parenthood.

Reproductive options for lesbian couples

The first step in your journey to motherhood is a comprehensive exam to find out if there are any obstacles to getting and staying pregnant. Some issues may include tubal blockages or ovulation abnormalities.

Once your fertility workup is complete, the fertility specialists at Nova IVF review the best options based on your reproductive health. Some options include:

Intrauterine insemination

Intrauterine insemination, also called IUI or artificial insemination, is when the doctor places sperm inside a woman's uterus to facilitate fertilization.

This can be accomplished either during your natural cycle or with ovary stimulation. The sperm can belong to an anonymous donor or a known sperm donor. 

In vitro fertilization (IVF)

With IVF, a woman's eggs are harvested and combined with donor sperm outside the womb to create an embryo. This embryo is then implanted into the woman's uterus. Usually, a lesbian couple will have discussed who carries the child. 

There are several IVF options for lesbian couples. One woman can carry an embryo created from her partner's egg. One woman can carry an embryo using her own eggs. Both women can carry an embryo created from her own or her partner's eggs.

Reproductive options for gay male couples

Gay male couples will need to find a surrogate and an egg donor. Both the surrogate and the donor can come from an agency, a family member, or a friend. 

There are two types of surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy is when the surrogate uses her own eggs, combined with one of the partner's sperm, and also carries the baby in her uterus. This option may lead to a higher risk of a twin or triplet pregnancy and can be complicated by a more difficult legal path to gain full custody. 

A gestational surrogate can carry an embryo created from a donor egg from another woman and one or both of the male partner's sperm. This type of surrogacy is achieved through IVF. This type of pregnancy is much less complicated with legal issues and is highly successful. This type of surrogacy also limits the risk of multiple gestation.

If you're in an LGBTQ relationship and would like to start a family, our expert reproductive endocrinologists can help you decide the best path to parenthood for you and your partner. Schedule a consultation today by calling Nova IVF or requesting an appointment online.

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