New laws are being passed across the country that protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination; yet, much work remains to change the hearts and minds of those who believe that LGBT individuals should not have equal rights. The Supreme Court decision granting same sex couples the right to marry has fostered renewed discussion regarding reproductive rights of individuals. The State Department has recently introduced the term, ‘sexual rights’ in discussions of human rights and global development. The State Department website defines sexual rights as “an individual’s right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexual and reproductive health, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence.”
Children thrive in families where they are loved and cared for. Happy families need not conform to any one standard. Therefore fertility services should be offered regardless of marital status or sexual orientation. The first step is to meet with an experienced board-certified reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI) specialist capable of offering the full gamut of fertility therapies. Your REI physician will explain the LGBT family building options from the process to evaluation tests, and answer all of your questions.
Insemination using donor sperm by intrauterine insemination (IUI) is an option for single women and lesbian couples who wish to have a biological (genetic) connection to their child. It is also possible to select a sperm donor from a male relative of one partner to be used for insemination in the other partner.
Your chances of pregnancy may be maximized by ovulation induction with fertility medications or even IVF. At the Fertility Centers of New England, we also over same sex couples and additional option called Partner Assisted Reproduction or Reciprocal IVF. This option involves IVF where the ovaries of one partner are stimulated to make eggs, which are collected and inseminated with donor sperm. One or two resulting embryos can then be transferred into the other partner who then carries the baby. This procedure gives both partners the opportunity to further share in the family building experience. IVF also offers the opportunity in cases where more than one or two embryos are available for transfer the possibility of embryo freezing using vitrification so that the other partner may become pregnant from a subsequent cycle involving frozen embryo transfer.
Single men and gay couples who want to become parents can use the same assisted reproductive technologies. For men, the road to their own biological child will require a semen analysis, an egg donor and a gestational carrier or surrogate. It is possible to use donor eggs from the relative of one partner and sperm from the other partner, so that each has a genetic connection to the child.
Parenthood can be one of life’s greatest joys. If you are looking to take the next step, schedule a free consultation with one of our REI specialists so that together we may tailor an individualized program suited to your needs and help you build a healthy family.
If you have questions or want to schedule a free initial consult, contact us!