How Does Reciprocal IVF Work for Lesbian Couples?
The doctors at the Center for Fertility and Gynecology, which serves Los Angeles, CA, Tarzana, CA, Bakersfield, CA, and surrounding areas, offer a comprehensive range of LGBT fertility services to assist patients of all sexual orientations in starting the family they desire.
Many same-sex couples rely on in vitro fertilization (IVF) to achieve their dream of having a child. During IVF, eggs are fertilized in a lab, and mature embryos are implanted into the intended mother’s (or a surrogate’s) uterus for gestation. Our doctors are proud to offer reciprocal IVF for lesbians, which allows both partners to be intimately involved in fertility treatment and create a biological connection with their child.
What Is IVF?
IVF is one of the most widely offered fertility treatments. IVF is a multi-step procedure that oversees all areas of conception to increase the chance of a successful pregnancy.
During IVF, the intended mother (or an egg donor) takes fertility medication to stimulate the ovaries and encourage the release of multiple mature eggs. Eggs are retrieved during a minimally invasive procedure. Retrieved eggs are fertilized in a lab with the intended father’s sperm or sperm from a sperm donor. Eggs are evaluated for several days to determine which are successfully fertilized. Mature embryo(s) are transferred directly to the uterus of the intended mother or a gestational surrogate in the hopes they will implant and result in a healthy pregnancy.
How Does Reciprocal IVF Work?
Reciprocal IVF works the same way as traditional IVF; it is a multi-step process that gives patients an increased chance of becoming pregnant. The only way that reciprocal IVF differs is that it involves same-sex couples. Reciprocal IVF allows lesbians to each play an active role in IVF treatment and create a biological connection with their child.
In reciprocal IVF treatment, one female partner is the egg donor for the IVF procedure. She undergoes ovarian stimulation, and her eggs are retrieved for fertilization. Eggs are fertilized with sperm from a selected donor. The second female partner is the gestational surrogate. Mature embryos are implanted into her uterus, and she carries the baby for the duration of the pregnancy.
Determining Each Partner’s Role In Reciprocal IVF
Each partner plays a pivotal role in reciprocal IVF, but many patients still struggle when deciding who should play which role in the treatment process. While it is important to consider each person’s feelings and personal preferences, there are many factors to evaluate when determining the roles of reciprocal IVF, such as:
- Age - Chances of successful IVF are usually higher when using a younger partner’s eggs
- Medical history - Fertility testing allows our doctors to evaluate a patient’s medical history and current health to determine if any conditions could interfere with a successful pregnancy
- Future plans - When a couple plans to undergo another round of reciprocal IVF in the future, they may want to consider taking turns carrying a pregnancy so that each has the experience
Reciprocal IVF is a successful fertility treatment that allows lesbian couples to share in the pregnancy and biological connection of their child. If you are considering reciprocal IVF and would like to learn more about the process and whether you and your partner may be ideal candidates, contact the Center for Fertility and Gynecology at your earliest convenience.