Lesbian Couple Fertility Options for Building a Family

There are three common paths for lesbian couples to build a family—IUI, IVF, and reciprocal IVF, using sperm from an anonymous or known donor. Read on to learn more.

lesbian fertility options for family building

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) with Donor Sperm

Lesbian couples can utilize intrauterine insemination (IUI) and the help of a sperm donor to grow their family. After deciding who will carry the pregnancy, the couple chooses an anonymous or known sperm donor. The sperm is washed and placed in the uterus with a thin tube.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

Another fertility treatment for lesbian couples is in vitro fertilization (IVF). With IVF, the couple decides which partner’s eggs will be used. Her eggs are retrieved after she takes ovary-stimulating medication. The eggs are fertilized in a lab with donor sperm, and the best-grade embryo is transferred into her uterus.

Reciprocal IVF

Another option for lesbian couples is reciprocal in vitro fertilization or reciprocal IVF. With reciprocal IVF, both partners take part in the pregnancy and IVF process. This is possible as one partner’s eggs are used while the other partner carries the pregnancy. During a reciprocal IVF cycle, one partner undergoes ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval. Her eggs are fertilized in a lab with donor sperm, then transferred into her partner’s uterus to carry the pregnancy.


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