Fertility Finders is proud to celebrate June as Pride month as we cheer on the amazing LGBTQ+ community throughout the world!
For those who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, we know that there is a unique set of challenges that coincide with struggling with infertility and building their own biological family.
As we work hard to support trans, gay, and lesbian communities, our goal is to help everyone, no matter their background or orientation achieve the family that they dream of.
Whether you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community, or a supportive force for someone who is a part of the community and wants a family of their own, we’ve outlined some of the fertility options for prospective lesbian, gay, non-binary or transgender parents who want to have a baby using fertility treatments.
Getting pregnant as a lesbian couples is often the easiest route amongst the many LGBTQ+ fertility treatment options. Since only a sperm donor is needed, IUI is usually a successful route for lesbian parents to take to achieve their dream baby.
If one or both partners have any reproductive health conditions, such as endometriosis or PCOS, they may be able to have a baby using IVF or through infertility hormone treatments.
Reciprocal IVF is also an option available to lesbian partners. This is a procedure that takes one partner’s egg and fertilizes it in a lab, then reimplants it into the uterus of the other partner. Some lesbian parents prefer this method, as it allows both patterns to be involved in the creation of their child.
Individuals who identify as either transgender male or female have multiple fertility treatment routes they can choose from, and may have certain treatments covered by infertility insurance. Some transgender individuals decide to use egg or sperm freezing before pursuing their transition process. This is due to testosterone or hormone treatments potentially impacting their fertility health.
It is important to note that not everyone who transitions will have their fertility health impacted. For those that do have their health impacted, or are worried about having a biological child one day, freezing their eggs or sperm provides a safety net to secure their families future.
When the day comes that they are ready to build their family, transgender men have two options. If their uterus is still healthy and their ovarian reserves are sufficient, they can decide if they would like to carry their child themselves, or pursue IVF through a surrogacy program.
If their partner has female reproductive organs, a couple can decide if they would like to have their partner carry the child using donor sperm and IUI, IVF, or reciprocal IVF.
If a transgender man decides it is the right option to carry their child within their own womb, they will have to pause their testosterone treatment during the time they ant to get pregnant and during their pregnancy. They can decide to use previously frozen eggs, their own fresh eggs, or a donor egg.
It is important to note that transgender men may expereince increased feelings of dysmorphia during their pregnancy. For this reason, some decide that using a surrogate or having a partner carry their baby is the best option for their family’s health.
For transgender women who do not have a womb there are options of freezing sperm before the transition proccess takes place, or having sperm collected at the time of fertility treatments.
If a transgender woman does choose to use fresh sperm after the transition proccess has begun, hormone treatments must be paused during the time leading up to collection. Feelings of dysmorphia can also be intensified during this period, as it can take around a month for sperm count and health to return to optimal levels.
If a trans women has a partner (whether female, non-binary, or transgender) that has biologically female reproductive organs, the couple can decide if they wish to have that person carry their future baby. This can be done using fresh or frozen sperm in either IUI or IVF procedures.
For transgender women with partners who have male reproductive organs, surrogacy is the only route to building a biological family. Like with gay parents, this includes an egg donor, IVF, and using a surrogate.
The most in depth and highest infertility treatment costs for LGBTQ+ individuals is those that gay couples (or couples who both have male reproductive organs) face. This is because neither have a womb or eggs to grow their child.
Once a donor egg has been chosen, gay couples can choose between either partner regarding whose sperm they would like to use. Next a surrogate (known as a gestational carrier) is chosen to carry their baby.
Through this process, it is essential for gay parents to work closely with a lawyer specializing in LGBTQ+ parental rights to ensure their family’s rights are legally protected.
This is due to each state having different legal protections for gay parents that decide to use surrogacy to build their families. If legal contracts protecting the couples rights over their child are not in place, a gay couple may find that their surrogate has parental rights over their baby after it is born.
At Fertility Finders we make it a priority to provide everyone we can with the treatment and resources they need. Whether it is connecting you with inclusive fertility clinics, providing LGBTQ+ fertility financial counseling and infertility grants, or referring you to specialized fertility mental health support services, we believe everyone, no matter their background or orientation, deserves the chance to have their own family.
If you are interested in seeking LGBTQ+ fertility services, or have any questions regarding LGBTQ+ fertility support, we encourage you to contact us today to speak with one of our compassionate and knowledgeable team members about any of your fertility needs.