Family Planning for Gay Men
Parenthood is one of the most rewarding and joyous experiences in the world. At the Center for Fertility & Gynecology, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to become a parent if they choose, including members of the LGBT community.
Although conceiving naturally is not always possible, our experienced fertility doctors offer a range of LGBT fertility services to make family planning a possibility for same-sex couples in Los Angeles, CA, Tarzana, CA, Bakersfield, CA, and surrounding areas. Here, we discuss the most appropriate fertility treatment options for gay men.
Understanding the Surrogacy Process
For gay men to build a family through fertility treatment, they need to have a surrogate. There are two surrogacy options available: traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy.
- Traditional surrogacy: When patients pursue traditional surrogacy, they are looking for a surrogate who will not only carry the child, but also use their own eggs for the pregnancy. A traditional surrogate is both the biological mother and the person who carries the baby to term.
- Gestational surrogacy: When working with a gestational surrogate, patients will need to have both a surrogate and an egg donor. A gestational surrogate carries an embryo that has been fertilized with donor eggs and the male patient’s sperm.
The type of surrogate that is used plays a part in determining what fertility treatment option is right for our patients.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
IUI, which is sometimes referred to as artificial insemination, is a fairly straightforward fertility technique. To perform IUI, we collect a semen sample from our male patient. The semen is washed to separate sperm from the seminal fluid and remove chemicals. The washed sperm is placed directly into the surrogate’s uterus. This procedure minimizes the distance that sperm must travel to fertilize the egg, which greatly increases the chance of fertilization. Because the sperm is injected directly into the uterus, IUI is only a treatment option for gay men who are working with a traditional surrogate.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
IVF is the most common LGBT fertility treatment. IVF is a multi-stage procedure that oversees all areas of conception. During IVF, donor eggs are fertilized in a lab using a collected sperm sample. The eggs are evaluated for several days. On day three or five of fertilization, embryos are graded and the most viable are selected for transfer. Selected embryos are implanted directly into the uterus of the gestational surrogate, with the hope that they will implant and result in pregnancy. IVF is an option for patients working with either a traditional or gestational surrogate.
Questions to Consider
Before settling on a treatment technique, there are some questions that gay couples need to consider:
- Whose sperm will be used?
- What type of surrogate will be used?
- Will the surrogate be a close friend or family member, or will you work with an agency?
- If using donor eggs, will the donor be known or anonymous?
These are all personal choices, but our fertility specialists work closely with patients to help them customize treatment so that their unique needs and desires are met. We can even talk to patients about the possibility of using sperm from both partners so that both fathers can have a child with a biological connection.
Contact Our Team to Learn More
If you would like more information about the LGBT services offered at the Center for Fertility & Gynecology, our fertility doctors would be happy to answer any questions you may have. To learn how we can help you pursue your dream of parenthood, send us a message online, or call (818) 881-9800 at your earliest convenience.