Starting or growing a family is a dream for many so many people, including — and especially — members of the LGBTQ+ community. We’re here to support those dreams!
While there are many different paths to parenthood, fertility treatments can be a great option for those who may need assistance. There are a variety of fertility treatments available, and the best option for you will depend on your individual circumstances.
LGBTQ+ patients have a variety of options to consider. During your consultation with our providers, we’ll discuss your situation and consider the options that give you the best chance for success.
Below are some of the most common fertility treatments for LGBTQ+ families.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
IUI is a relatively simple and inexpensive fertility treatment that can be used by lesbian couples, single women, and transgender men who want to conceive. During IUI, sperm is placed directly into the uterus using a thin catheter. This can be done at home or in the office.
It is also a good option for couples with unexplained infertility, mild male factor infertility, or cervical factor infertility.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
IVF is a more complex and expensive fertility treatment than IUI, but it can be very effective for couples who are struggling to conceive. During IVF, eggs are retrieved from the ovaries and fertilized with sperm in a laboratory. The fertilized eggs, or embryos, are then transferred to the uterus.
IVF is typically recommended for couples who have been trying to conceive for at least one year without success, couples with severe male factor infertility, couples with fallopian tube damage, and couples with unexplained infertility.
Egg donation is a fertility treatment option for lesbian couples, single women, and transgender men who want to conceive but cannot produce their own eggs. During egg donation, eggs are retrieved from a healthy donor and fertilized with sperm from the recipient or a known donor. The fertilized eggs are then transferred to the recipient’s uterus.
Egg donation is a good option for women who have premature ovarian failure, women with certain genetic disorders, and women who have undergone cancer treatment that has damaged their ovaries.
Sperm donation is a fertility treatment option for lesbian couples, single women, and transgender women who want to conceive. During sperm donation, sperm is collected from a donor and used to inseminate the recipient.
Sperm donation is a good option for women who do not have a male partner, women who have had cancer treatment that has damaged their partner’s sperm, and women who have a genetic disorder that they do not want to pass on to their children.
Surrogacy is a fertility treatment option for LGBTQ+ people who want to start a family. This special arrangement allows for another woman to carry your baby in her uterus to term.
There are two types of surrogates: traditional surrogates, and gestational surrogates.
With traditional surrogacy, the sperm inseminates the egg of the surrogate. With a gestational surrogate, your egg is fertilized and placed in the surrogate’s uterus. The fertility experts at Columbia Fertility Associates offer gestational surrogacy, which is referred to as a gestational carrier.
Choosing a Fertility Treatment
The best fertility treatment for you will depend on your individual circumstances. If you are unsure which treatment is right for you, it is important to talk to a fertility specialist. They can help you assess your options and choose the treatment that is most likely to be successful for you.
Support for LGBTQ+ Parents
If you are an LGBTQ+ person who is considering fertility treatments, there are a number of resources available to support you. There are many online and in-person support groups for LGBTQ+ parents, and there are also a number of organizations that provide information and resources on LGBTQ+ family building.
Fertility treatments can be a great option for LGBTQ+ people who want to start or grow a family. As you’re weighing your decision, we want you to know that Columbia Fertility Associates is an ally, and we’ll work with you to find the right approach. We’ll do all we can to help you realize your dream of growing your family.