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.