Parenthood for LGBTQ couples
More options are increasingly becoming available for same-sex couples to experience parenting beyond traditional adoption and parenting. With advances in the area of Assisted Reproductive Technologies, more and more LGBT couples are seeking such alternatives.
Many of the treatments used to help heterosexual couples conceive can also be used to help same-sex couples. Whether you are a male, female or transgendered couple, you may be able to use these treatments to fulfill the dream of forming a family and at the same time have a biological connection with your child.
As in any process of assisted reproduction, success depends on the health and fertility of those involved. In the case of LGBT couples also donating sperm, eggs or even a surrogate mother they will be required to submit to testing, as applicable.
For female couples
According to Dr. Samuel C. Pang, for lesbian couples the simplest process is insemination with semen from a donor. Many women try self-insemination at home and if that fails, they seek help from a professional. The doctor then performs evaluations seeking infertility factors and, depending on the result, different options are presented.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the most viable options to conceive in this sense, although depending on the state of the ovaries or age of the woman, they may need an egg donation. This donation can come from your partner or another woman, if required.
Sometimes couples prefer to use the eggs of one of them, creating embryos by IVF and carry pregnancy in the uterus of the other. This method is used, so that both women may have a biological connection to the child. It also happens that women who have used this technique to procreate, may want a second child, and choose to switch roles for the next pregnancy.
For male couples
In the case of male couples, fertility studies are also conducted to check the health of sperm and to make sure there are no physiological conditions that have an impact on fertility. Semen analysis measures sperm count and verifies that motility and morphology are adequate to fertilize donor eggs.
The process for gay couples involves a donor egg and a surrogate mother to carry out the process of gestation. The shares of both processes are included in the packages Med&ART and both the selection of the eggs and the surrogate mother are performed using a strict monitoring process to ensure the health of the reproductive cells, mother and baby. Also, donors fill out an extensive questionnaire on the history of genetic disease in the family.
Furthermore, the egg donor performs a process where stimulation through ovarian hormones are used to induce production of multiple eggs. Subsequently, using the sperm of one of the men, it proceeds to perform in vitro fertilization.
Med&ART knows the importance of carrying out a process of stress free fertility treatments, so our packages with surrogates include psychological therapy sessions for the mother during pregnancy, which can assist in the stress-free process.
For men and transgender women
For men and women who are in transition period, it is advisable to freeze eggs or sperm before starting surgical or hormonal treatments that could affect the ability to have children.
It is possible that the hormone treatment to stop the production of sperm and eggs can be reactivated, but it’s not certain to happen. On the other hand, no one knows for sure how much hormonal treatment may be.
However, according to Dr. Samuel C. Pang, this second option is not ideal, because disrupting hormonal treatment can be psychologically stressful, therefore it is advisable to consult your physician about this before starting treatment.
Another aspect to consider is the importance of going to a friendly clinic within the LGBT community. At Med&ART, we are aware of that and it is part of our policy to give first class service to all families who visit us.