Happy Pride! LGBTQIA+ Families Welcomed

This June, in honor of Pride Month, Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility is proud to celebrate our commitment to ensuring LGBTQIA+ couples can navigate their unique path to becoming parents. Our team understands that every family is different, and we are dedicated to providing personalized care for all patients who walk through our doors.

Photo of couple with one partner sitting behind the other who is pregnant, on grass with a rainbow LGBTQIA+ pride blanket

LGBTQIA+ Fertility Options 

The first step in starting a family is understanding your fertility options. At Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, we offer a variety of services to help LGBTQIA+ couples conceive.

Same-Sex Male Couples

Male couples who want to grow their families can pursue fertility treatments such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF) with donor eggs.

Same-Sex Female Couples

For lesbian couples, we offer IUI with donor sperm as well as IVF using one partner’s eggs and donor sperm. If both partners wish to use their own eggs, we can help them conceive through separate IVF cycles and then transfer the embryos into the uterus of the partner who will carry the pregnancy.

Transgender and Nonbinary Couples

We understand that transgender and nonbinary couples may have unique fertility needs and we are here to help. There are various options, including cryopreservation of eggs or sperm before gender-affirming surgery. We also offer fertility treatments such as IUI and IVF for couples who wish to conceive with the use of donor sperm or eggs.

LGBTQIA+ Fertility Rights 

Photo of lesbian mothers with their new baby, sitting in a white bedroom on their bed.

Unfortunately, LGBTQIA+ fertility rights are not guaranteed in every state. Discrimination is still common when seeking fertility care. For instance, in many states, same-sex couples have limited access to fertility treatments such as IVF. 

Pride Month is a time to reflect on how far we’ve come and rededicate ourselves to the fight for full equality. Every worthy person deserves the chance to become a parent if they want to.

The team at Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility is committed to ensuring all patients have access to the fertility treatments they need, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We are proud to be a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and we will continue fighting for equality.

No matter what your family looks like, we are here to help you grow it in a way that is right for you. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our fertility services, visit us on Facebook or Instagram. We are proud to serve the LGBTQIA+ community and look forward to helping you build the family of your dreams.

Photo of two fathers, a gay couple, holding their your baby – all in coordinating blue and teal tones.

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Guide to LGBTQ+ Fertility Options

Every couple who dreams of starting a family deserves to experience the joy of raising a child. At Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, many of the LGBTQ+ couples that come to us are unaware of the fertility options available to them, so helping these couples understand how they can conceive a child of their own is incredibly rewarding. 

Fertility treatment is not limited to heterosexual couples, which is why we’ve tailored our services to welcome LGBTQ+ couples and address the needs of all couples regardless of their sexual orientation. While we are happy to work with any LGBTQ+ couple to create a plan specific to their situation, some couples may find it empowering to have prior knowledge of their fertility options before they come to see us. Those who prefer to do research ahead of consulting a fertility specialist will find this guide helpful. 

Same-Sex Female Couples

Female couples have a variety of fertility options available to them, including intrauterine insemination (IUI), also known as artificial insemination, either with an anonymous or known sperm donor, or in-vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF tends to be more common among women who struggle to conceive through insemination. Some couples choose co-IVF or reciprocal IVF where one partner provides the eggs to be fertilized with the donor sperm while the other partner will receive the embryo to carry out the pregnancy. 

Fertility testing is highly encouraged before beginning any treatment. Women over the age of 35 or with a history of infertility should consult with a fertility specialist to increase their chances of conceiving. 

Same-Sex Male Couples 

Male couples can either look at egg donation, whether through an anonymous or known donor, or select a gestational carrier. Both can provide the sperm or can select the partner with the healthier sperm for either of these options. Some gay couples opt for split insemination where half of the eggs are put with one man’s sperm and the other half are put with the other man’s sperm. However, do keep in mind that it is only possible to fertilize an egg with one man’s sperm. 

Gay couples that opt for a gestational carrier can select one through a surrogacy agency or may choose someone in their life. After the sperm fertilizes the donor eggs to create an embryo, Dr. Gelety will then transfer the embryo into the chosen carrier through the process of IVF. 

Transgender Individuals 

For transgender individuals looking to start family planning, eggs, embryos, or sperm for future use can be frozen before beginning hormone therapy or transitional surgery. Transgender women with female partners can use their frozen sperm to inseminate their partner. Transgender women with male partners can opt for a gestational carrier. Transgender men can have their pre-fertilized frozen embryos transferred to a female partner’s uterus to carry out the pregnancy to term. Some transgender men may also choose to carry out the pregnancy if their uterus remains. 

At Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, we are proud to have helped parents from all walks of life, sexual orientations, beliefs, and cultures experience the incredible journey of childbirth. We are committed to guiding couples seeking pregnancy assistance, whether that includes increasing their fertility or providing alternative solutions. We are happy to discuss every unique situation at length and help individuals discover the most suitable solution to meet their specific needs. Learn how we can help you.


What to Expect While Trying to Conceive as a Transgender, Gender-Queer, or Nonbinary Individual

For the most part, the conversations and imagery about fertility and starting a family revolve around cisgender women and couples. It can become a challenge for transgender, gender-queer, and nonbinary (TGNB) individuals who are hoping to have children to find themselves represented. On top of that, it can be difficult for them to talk to their doctorhealth care provider, or a fertility specialist about their options. This means that many questions they may have about the fertility process go unanswered. 

To answer the most important question: It is absolutely possible to have kids as a transgender, gender-queer, or nonbinary individual or couple. 

At Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, we want all our patients to feel comfortable coming to us with their family-planning and fertility questions. Hoping to clarify and illuminate the fertility process and procedures for TGNB individuals, here are the answers to a few more important questions. 

How can or does my medical transition impact my fertility? 

Fertility preservation after different types of medical transition is possible, although the extent of it after certain therapies is still unclear. This is good news, considering hormone replacement therapy (HRT) often begins in teenage years. Many young adults who identify as transgender or nonbinary are asked to make decisions about their fertility at such a young age—often before they consider whether or how to preserve their fertility before transitioning.  

There currently aren’t very many studies on transgender individuals, hormones, and fertility, so some questions remain unanswered. However, from what we know, the effects of hormone therapy on fertility are reversible. 

How does testosterone therapy affect fertility? 

Data suggests that testosterone does not appear to damage or prevent ovary function in transmen—even if used for several years. 

Because testosterone prevents ovulation, you will have to stop taking the hormone in order to resume ovulation and be able to conceive. Each persons experience is unique, but according to a study done by the University of California, San Francisco, 80% of people will begin ovulating again within six months after they stop taking testosterone. 

How does estrogen therapy affect fertility? 

Unlike testosterone, transwomen who want to use their own sperm to create a baby after estrogen therapy might find it more challenging. Estrogen affects sperm production, motility, and quality, and it isn’t quite yet known if its impact is long-term. If you are considering estrogen therapy and are interested in having a child using your own sperm one day, you may want to freeze your sperm (to use for IVF, IUI, or ICI) before starting your transition. 

How does gender confirmation surgery (GCS) affect fertility? 

Gender confirmation surgeryalso known as gender-affirming surgery (GAS), sex reassignment surgery (SRS)genital surgery, or “bottom” surgery—has the biggest potential impact on fertility, since a person’s reproductive organs are removed or changed. 

With a hysterectomy, which removes the uterus, the ability to carry a pregnancy is affected—but a transman can still use their own eggs to conceive a child after the procedure. However, if an individual chooses to remove their gonads (either ovaries or testes), that removes the ability to use their gametes (eggs or sperm) in the future as well.   

If GCS is part of your transition journey, you still have options. Transmen can freeze their eggs or embryos before the procedure, and transwomen have the option to freeze their sperm before undergoing the surgery. The frozen eggs, embryos, or sperm can then be thawed and used in IVF, IUI, or ICI 


Everyone deserves to feel supported and affirmed when they decide to start to become parents. We understand that deciding to pause HRT in order to conceive can lead to anxiety and gender dysphoria, but at AZCREI we want you to feel safe and supported in every way possible. Our team is here to answer any of your questions and connect you to additional support and affirmative resources to help on your new journey to parenthood. For more information or to schedule an appointment with us, visit us online or call 520-326-0001. 

Fertility Resources for LGBTQ+ Couples Growing their Families

Fertility treatments are a wonderful way for individuals and couples to grow a family, and our team at Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility is dedicated to helping gay, lesbian, and transgender people and couples realize their dream of becoming parents. We are honored to guide you through the fertility process, and want you to feel comfortable and confident every step of the way.

There are a number of fertility treatment options available for LGBTQ+ couples and individuals, including:

  • Surrogacy
  • Use of donor eggs
  • Use of donor sperm
  • Artificial insemination
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF), including reciprocal IVF

According to the 2019 Family Equality LGBTQ Family Building Survey, 48 percent of LGBTQ+ people ages 18-35 are actively planning on expanding their families, either becoming parents for the first time, or by having more children. If you’re of that group looking to pursue treatments, here are a few resources to help you plug in to communities, learn more about your treatments and financial options, and, ultimately, navigate your journey to parenthood.

Facebook (Support) Groups

  • Daddy Squared: Gay Dads and Prospective Dads Virtual Meetup is a Facebook group for fathers and fathers-to-be; Monday through Friday they share personal development inspiration, and music and toy recommendations.
  • LGBTQ+ Parents and Families is Family Equality’s private Facebook group that offers peer support for anyone looking to grow their family. The group shares advice, tips, tricks, and insight from other parents, and provides a safe and encouraging space to share the joys and frustrations of the LGBTQ+ parenting journey.
  • LGBTQ+ 🏳️‍🌈 Pregnancy to Parenting is open to anyone in the LGBTQ+ community, including moms-to-be, dads-to-be, and surrogates who have questions or are looking for support.


  • The New Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy and Birth by Stephanie Brill
  • Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood: Firsthand Advice, Tips and Stories from Lesbian and Gay Couples by Eric Rosswood
  • The Ultimate Guide for Gay Dads: Everything You Need to Know About LGBTQ Parenting But Are (Mostly) Afraid to Ask by Eric Rosswood
  • Confessions of the Other Mother: Non-Biological Lesbian Moms Tell All edited by Harlyn Aizley
  • The Kid by Dan Savage
  • And Baby Makes More edited by Susan Goldberg and Chloë Brushwood Rose
  • The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians: How to Stay Sane and Care for Yourself from Pre-conception through Birth by Rachel Pepper
  • Raised by Unicorns: Stories from People with LGBTQ+ Parents edited by Frank Lowe

Financial Support & Grants

At AZCREI we work with every patient to help them achieve their dream of parenthood without experiencing financial strain. Aside from insurance (which may cover some of the procedures for some patients), there are several grants and scholarships available to help mitigate the costs for LGBTQ+ parents-to-be using assisted reproductive technology or adoption.

Other Resources

Stories from past patients:

More articles from AZCREI:

At AZCREI, we gladly offer fertility options to people of every type of lifestyle and partnership. It’s the ultimate gift for us to be able to help LGBTQ+ couples expand their family and have a healthy, happy baby. To schedule an appointment with our team to discuss your options and the best steps forward, visit us online or call us at 520-326-0001.

5 Ways AZCREI Helps Same-Sex Couples Become Parents

There’s no better feeling than helping a couple have a baby. The joy in their eyes when they’re finally holding a healthy, happy baby can’t be topped. When same-sex couples visit our office, they are excited to hear about their options for becoming pregnant. At the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, there are five ways we help these couples start their family.

1. Egg Donor and Surrogate

When a gay couple wants to have a baby, they need both an egg donor and a surrogate. The donated eggs are fertilized with one partner’s or both partners’ sperm, and then implanted into the surrogate, who carries the baby to birth.

There are two options for the egg donor: the couple can choose a woman they know or use an egg donor registry to choose an anonymous donor. Before the eggs are retrieved, the donors are screened to make sure they don’t have any diseases or illnesses that can be passed to the baby. Once the egg donor is chosen, the couple also needs to find a surrogate. The donor and surrogate can be the woman, but typically, a third-party surrogate is the most common choice. The surrogate is also screened to make sure she is healthy enough to carry the baby without any issues or complications.

2. Artificial Insemination

Lesbian couples have two options when it comes to getting pregnant; the first is artificial insemination. The couple needs a sperm donor to fertilize the egg. This person can be someone the couple knows or it can be an anonymous donor chosen from a sperm bank. The donor is screened to eliminate the chance of communicable diseases that may affect the pregnancy or baby’s health.

Once the couple has a sperm donor, we can perform the artificial insemination. While this process is relatively simple and inexpensive, it has the same likelihood of achieving pregnancy as intercourse, and may take a few months for a viable pregnancy to occur.

3. IVF

In vitro fertilization (IVF), the second option lesbian couples have to get pregnant, offers a high chance of pregnancy with the first attempt. The process begins the same as artificial insemination—the couple must choose a sperm donor to fertilize the egg. The donor is closely examined to make sure he is healthy and free from any communicable diseases.

IVF is unique in that it allows both women to participate in the pregnancy. One partner can donate the egg (making her the genetic mother), and the other woman, the birth mother, carries and births the baby. We’ve helped many women start their families using this procedure, and they switch roles for their second child; so both partners have the chance to experience carrying a baby. And when the children are conceived by the same donor, the babies are genetically siblings, just with different birth mothers.

4. Advice and Support

While we can’t offer our couples actual legal advice, we can offer them resources and guidance during their pregnancy and at the time of delivery. We are very upfront with what to expect (costs, tests, procedures, etc.) and answer all their questions before beginning their journey of having children.

5. Warm, Welcoming Environment

No matter what procedure a couple needs to have a baby, we are thrilled to help them start their family. Our entire staff is accepting, warm, and compassionate. And once a couple is pregnant, we can refer them to doctors and OB/GYNs who are also very helpful and supportive during the rest of their pregnancy.

We welcome the chance to help same-sex couples start their families. There are many different ways for a couple to get pregnant, and it’s our job to make sure they are able to have a healthy, happy baby. Contact the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, by visiting us online or calling us at 520-326-0001 to schedule your appointment today.

The Best Pregnancy Options for LGBTQ+ Couples

At the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, we’re helping more and more gay and lesbian couples realize their dreams of having a family. Sometimes these couples come in with questions, but by the time they leave, they’re filled with excitement about the number of options available to them. The truth is, these types of procedures are very commonplace at our clinic, and they are a relatively simple way for gay and lesbian couples to have children.

Here is what gay and lesbian couples can each expect when they visit us and decide it’s time to have a baby.

Pregnancy Options for Lesbian Couples

In order to get pregnant, lesbian couples need a sperm donor; this can be a male they know or an anonymous donor from a sperm bank. Using a sperm bank ensures the donors have already been screened in accordance with FDA guidelines, which eliminates the chance of communicable diseases affecting the pregnancy or baby’s health. If the couple decides to use a friend or family member to donate sperm, they would be similarly screened to verify that they are also healthy.

Once they have their donor chosen, the couple has several options for achieving a pregnancy. One partner can undergo artificial insemination, which is a relatively inexpensive and simple process. But just like having intercourse, it may take a few months to get pregnant using this procedure.

The other option, in vitro fertilization (IVF), has a much higher chance of pregnancy right off the bat, and also allows both of the women to participate in the pregnancy. One partner donates the eggs, which are fertilized with the donated sperm, and the other partner can carry and birth the baby. This means that one partner would be the genetic mother, and the other would be the baby’s birth mother. When we present this option to couples, they’re often excited and surprised because it’s not an opportunity they had considered; most come in thinking artificial insemination was their only option.

We have many couples who have used this option with several of their children. So one partner would carry the baby for the first child, and when they decide to have a second child, the other partner will carry the baby. When they are conceived by the same egg donor, the babies are genetically siblings—they each just have a different birth mom.

Pregnancy Options for Gay Couples

On the other hand, gay couples need an egg donor and surrogate—so it’s a slightly more involved process. The donated eggs can be fertilized with one partner’s or both partners’ sperm, and then placed inside the surrogate, who carries and births the baby.

The donor and the surrogate can be the same person, or they can be two different people. The egg donor can be a woman whom the couple knows, or an anonymous donor chosen from an egg donor registry. Either way, the donor is screened to make sure they are healthy.

Aside from the egg donor, the couple will also need to choose a surrogate. Many women are willing to donate their eggs, but do not want the obligation of carrying the baby for nine months. That’s why using a third-party surrogate—who has already been screened to be healthy and able to carry the baby—is the most common scenario.

It’s always a wonderful opportunity to help LGBT couples start their families. Gay and lesbian couples have so many options when it comes to having a baby, and it’s our joy to walk with them through the process. To schedule an appointment at the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, visit us online or call us at 520-326-0001.

5 Biggest Questions LGBTQ+ Couples Have About Getting Pregnant

At the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, our mission is to help every couple that wants to experience the love and joy that comes with having a baby. As part of our mission, we’ve tailored our services to welcome and serve same-sex and LGBT couples.

Many gay, lesbian, and LGBT couples come in without knowing the pregnancy options available to them, and it’s incredibly rewarding to see them get excited knowing that conceiving their own baby is a possibility. Often, the couples we work with have several questions regarding their options. These are the five most common ones we’ve received.

1. We want to have a baby. What do we do?

By visiting our center, you’ve already taken the first step toward starting your family. Conceiving a child centers on where the sperm or egg donor will come from. The donor can either be a family member or an anonymous donor, either of which will be carefully reviewed and screened for health. Ultimately, couples just need to initiate the process by coming in. We’ll walk them through the donation process and help make their dreams come true.

2. What are our chances for success?

The Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility has an almost 30 percent pregnancy rate for a single live birth, making us one of the top 10 fertility clinics in the country. Dr. Timothy Gelety and the rest of our team have been helping couples get pregnant for more than 20 years. And many of them even get pregnant on the first try, because we have the experience and know what we are doing.

3. As a male couple, what are our options?

For male couples, pregnancy requires three participants: the sperm donor, an egg donor, and someone to carry the baby. The idea is that one of the male partners donates the sperm—the male contribution to the offspring—and then the female component is through an egg donor and surrogate. Sometimes the egg donor and surrogate can be the same person, which makes it easier; other times they can be different people. The woman can either be a family member or another female the couple knows. Or, if the couple wants to go the anonymous route, they can choose a donor based on physical characteristics, ethnicity, education level, and even interests.

4. As a female couple, what are our options?

The process for female couples is as simple as artificial insemination. The women choose the sperm donor, either a male friend or via a sperm bank where they can choose the donor based on physical and personal characteristics, like eye color, hair color, ethnicity, and interests.

Female couples have a unique option that allows both partners to participate in the pregnancy. We can use the eggs from one partner, fertilize them, and then transfer them into the other partner for her to carry. With this process, the baby ends up having two moms: the biological mom who donated the eggs and the birth mom who carried the baby for nine months and gave birth.

5. Who should carry the baby?

If it hasn’t been chosen already, the next question is who is best to carry the baby. For female couples who choose to have both partners participate in the pregnancy, we recommend that the younger partner contribute the egg, and the older partner carry the baby. As long as the eggs we are using are healthy and growing, really, anyone can carry embryos to term and deliver a healthy baby.

To us, it’s the ultimate gift to be able to help LGBT couples start their family, whether they’re a same-sex couple, a heterosexual couple, or a nontraditional couple. The most important part of our job is making everyone we work with feel welcome and confident in knowing all the options they have to get pregnant. To schedule an appointment at the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, visit us online or call us at 520-326-0001.