LGBTQ+ family building options
Dedicated to helping gay, lesbian, and transgender people realize their dream of parenthood, SGF offers a full range of services — from low-tech to highly advanced — to help you achieve successful outcomes.
Fertility options for gay men
If you are a same-sex male couple planning to build a family through fertility treatments, you will meet with your physician to discuss the details of using an egg donor and gestational carrier.
Couples have the opportunity to utilize dual insemination wherein each partner provides sperm that can be used to create an embryo which will then be transferred to a known or recruited gestational carrier to carry the pregnancy.
The partner(s) wishing to use his sperm will undergo a semen analysis to test motility (movement), volume, concentration, and morphology (shape) of the sperm.
Selecting a gestational carrier agencies & attorneys
Finding a gestational carrier is often one of the first steps for patients. Our medical team will refer you to experienced and reputable attorneys and agencies to find a gestational carriers, a woman with no genetic tie with the child she is carrying. The average wait to be matched with a gestational carrier is 3 to 6 months. All gestational carriers and intended fathers must seek legal counsel, even when working with a friend or family member.
Legal contracts as well as all medical and psychological screening for the gestational carrier must be completed prior to selecting an egg donor.
Selecting an egg donor
Most patients utilize the in-house egg donors. For a variety of reasons, patients may opt to select an egg donor from Donor Egg Bank USA’s frozen donor egg bank or other agencies.
For patients using an SGF egg donor, one of the major advantages is the ability to participate in the Shared Donor Egg Program to reduce cost. With the Shared Donor Egg Program, a single donor’s eggs can be split between two or three recipients — saving the recipients up to 50% on treatment costs.
Fertility options for lesbian women
If you are a same-sex female couple, when you begin your fertility journey, one of the first decisions you must make is who will carry the pregnancy. The partner carrying the pregnancy will then proceed with an infertility work-up. If there is a good prognosis, the next step is to select a sperm donor.
Selecting a sperm donor
SGF works with certified sperm banks where donors are appropriately screened. Sperm registries offer childhood photos, personal demographics, and essays written by the donor.
If you may opt to use a known sperm donor such as a relative or friend, your care team will coordinate this process for you and your donor.
After you select the donor, the cryobank sends the frozen sperm sample directly to SGF. From there, you will undergo an intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization cycle using the donated sperm.
Lesbian couples have the opportunity to share in the pregnancy through co-IVF, also known as reciprocal IVF. With co-IVF, one partner provides the egg and the other partner will carry the pregnancy. This is a more complex treatment protocol where both partners complete fertility testing and both will take medication to boost their fertility. Many couples enjoy this option which allows both partners to feel more connected to the pregnancy and the child.
Fertility options for transgender individuals
For transgender patients, hormonal transitions from birth sex to identified gender can impact fertility potential. For those patients who wish to have biological children, there are options for family building including fertility preservation.
To protect future family building options, individuals should consider freezing eggs, sperm or embryo. This should ideally occur prior to hormone therapy or surgery.
Trying to conceive
There are many ways for transgender men and women to be included in the family building journey with their partner.
Transgender men (FTM) with a female partner
Transgender men and their partner can conceive using donor sperm. Treatment options will vary based on individual fertility testing but most patients are likely to conceive with intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Co-IVF is also an option for transgender men and their partner. With co-IVF, one partner provides the egg and the other partner will carry the pregnancy.
Transgender men (FTM) with a male partner
Transgender men with a male partner can work our medical team to review and temporarily postpone hormone therapy, allowing the couple to conceive with intercourse. If fertility treatments are needed, they may be eligible for intrauterine insemination (IUI) or IVF with or without a gestational carrier.
Transgender women (MTF) with a female partner
Transgender women with a female partner most often opt to use intrauterine insemination (IUI) to conceive. If sperm was frozen prior to hormone therapies or surgery, that frozen sperm can be used. Otherwise, hormone therapy can temporarily cease for spermatogenesis to resume in order to obtain sperm. Alternatively, donor sperm can be used.
Transgender women (MTF) with a male partner
Transgender women with a male partner will need donor egg treatment using a gestational carrier. If sperm was frozen prior to hormone therapies or surgery, either the frozen sperm or the partner’s sperm may be used.