Starting Or Growing LGBTQ Families
Do LGBTQ couples lose the opportunity to start a biological family? In the past, one would say yes. Today, many fertility clinics welcome lesbian, gay, and transgender couples. About 29% of LGBTQ+ adults are raising a child, and that number is growing. This is all possible through assisted reproductive technologies or ART. Lesbian or transgender men, in particular, can benefit from donor insemination, a simple yet effective method to become pregnant.
What is donor insemination?
Any successful pregnancy needs healthy sperm and eggs to form an embryo that grows into a healthy fetus. Since lesbian and transgender men need sperm for pregnancy, the couple will have to turn to an external source. Donor insemination is a medical procedure where a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) or fertility specialist inserts donor sperm into the uterus. This procedure happens around the ovulation period. Donor insemination can happen with or without fertility drugs.
Donor insemination vs IUI
Donor insemination used to be reserved for heterosexual couples struggling to become pregnant. Now, the process is perfect for LGBTQ couples who want a biological family. Donor insemination is sometimes used interchangeably with intrauterine insemination or IUI. However, both procedures have one key difference. With donor insemination, the couple will purchase donor sperm from an FDA-approved sperm bank. IUI can use donor sperm. However, the couple can also use a sample from a family member.
The donor insemination process
To start donor insemination, the couple must decide who will carry the pregnancy. From there, the reproductive endocrinologist will perform a fertility assessment. If all is well, the couple will choose a sperm sample from the sperm bank. A fertility clinic will wash the sample to get the highest quality sperm possible. The sperm is prepared to coincide with ovulation which the doctor may support with hormone drugs. Using a catheter, the doctor inserts the sample into the uterus during a short procedure. In about 14 days after the procedure, the doctor may order a pregnancy test.
Using donor sperm with reciprocal IVF
Donor insemination is the easiest, cheapest, and most effective way healthy LGBTQ couples can get pregnant. Yet, there are other effective fertility options. IVF or in vitro fertilization is a process where a fertility clinic creates an embryo to implant into a woman’s uterus. With reciprocal or co-maternity IVF, one person can provide an egg, and the other can carry the pregnancy. Together with donor sperm, reciprocal IVF is a great option.
Try donor insemination
LGBTQ couples, particularly lesbian and transgender men, can benefit from donor insemination. The process has a high success rate for each cycle. Donor insemination provides healthy sperm, which also significantly improves pregnancy chances. Speak with a doctor or fertility clinic to explore all available options.