Lesbian Fertility

Options for Lesbians

Home LGBTQ Fertility Options for Lesbians

At Boston IVF, we believe that all women deserve the chance to become moms.

We felt this way when we first opened our doors 30 years ago, and more than ever today.

OUR history: at a glance

Back in 1986, we became first fertility center in New England to assist a lesbian couple achieve pregnancy - as well as the first fertility center to assist in a pregnancy where both partners were recognized as birthmothers on a birth certificate.

Our partner-clinic, IVF New England, was also the first center in the country to launch an all-LGBTQ fertility website at www.gayivf.com.

your first steps

An initial consultation with a Boston IVF fertility expert is the first step in your path to parenthood. At this first appointment, we will discuss your medical history, your overall family-building goals, and donor sperm options that may accompany any treatments.

After this first consultation, we will help you to schedule an initial round of basic fertility testing that will provide important insight for developing a treatment protocol that meets the goals of both yourself and/or your partner.

a team approach

Along with a Boston IVF physician, our clinical team will be by your side every step of the wayThey'll serve as the main contact for all treatment-related matters, provide guidance, and ensure you are confident in your care. 

insurance guidance

Our financial team is a tremendous resource for patients who need assistance with navigating the fertility insurance process. Each team member will work directly with you to clarify and assist with all aspects of coverage.

common questions

It's completely normal to have many questions when taking the "first steps" to treatment. 

With that being said, before we delve into the various tests and options available at our fertility center, let's first start with two important, frequently asked questions we receive from our patients.

Whose Egg?
Lesbian individuals/couples have several options when choosing an egg to be used for treatments. For standard IVF, couples choose to use the eggs of the partner who will carry the baby. In Reciprocal IVF/PAR, both partners have a biological relationship to a child. One partner provides the egg, which is fertilized with anonymous or known donor sperm  – and the resultant embryo(s) is transferred into the other partner who then becomes pregnant.

Whose Sperm?
The decision to conceive with sperm from a friend or a sperm donor is completely up to the individual/couple. The vast majority (95%) of our donor insemination cases now use anonymous sperm via our close partnerships with national sperm banks.

Diagnostic testing provides important insights that help us to evaluate your treatment options and fertility success.

Most individuals and couples undergoing any type of fertility treatment will go through a standard evaluation that includes bloodwork and testing. This will be true for both yourself and your partner. A combination of these tests, as well as other information, will be used to develop a customized treatment plan.

DAY 3 TESTING
A Day 3 blood test (conducted on the second, third or fourth day of your menstrual cycle)
provides us with important information regarding the likelihood that you will respond to treatment with fertility medications, should they be necessary. They measure the hormone levels in your blood to assess reproductive health and ovarian reserve (egg quantity).

It is important to know that female fertility health is intimately tied with hormonal balance. Hormones initiate egg development, signal proper ovulation time, and determine how the embryo implants in the uterus. Hormone levels, balance, and timing must be precise. For this reason, we rely primarily on different types of hormonal tests to assess female fertility.

A number of different hormones factor into fertility health, but they can be checked simultaneously with one standard blood draw. This all-in-one test measures:

+ Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which stimulates the ovaries to mature an egg

+ AMH (anti Mullerian hormone), which indicates the size of a woman's ovarian reserve

+ Estradiol, which prepares the uterine lining for implantation

+ Luteinizing hormone (LH), which stimulates the release of eggs from the ovaries

ULTRASOUNDS TESTING
Traditional ultrasound tests allow your doctor to assess the health of your ovaries, uterus, and follicles. Transvaginal ultrasound can look for tiny follicles (called antral follicles) in the ovaries. This ultrasound can also supply information about the lining of the uterus (the endometrium).

HYSTROSALPINGOGRAM (HSG) TESTING
To examine the walls of your uterus and Fallopian tubes, we use an x-ray test called an HSG. This test allows your doctor to simultaneously see whether your fallopian tubes are open, check for the presence of fibroids, and assess the shape of your uterus. The technique involves placing a small catheter in the uterus and injecting a fluid that can be seen on an x-ray screen. The entire test takes just 15 minutes and is conducted between days 5-12 of a menstrual cycle.

DONOR SPERM
Individuals and couples using donor sperm may choose to obtain sperm from either a known (family member of friend) or anonymous donor. The vast majority (95%) use anonymous sperm from a sperm bank. For patients who choose to use an anonymous sperm donor, our exclusive partnership with Seattle Sperm Bank offers our patients the highest quality sperm donors with the most comprehensive screening. Click here to learn more about donor sperm.

IUI (INTRAUTERINE INSEMINATION)
Utilizing donor sperm, IUI is a minimally invasive office procedure and the least costly assisted reproduction technique. The procedure itself is quite fast. It takes a few minutes to perform and does not require anesthesia. The donor sperm sample is placed directly into a woman’s uterus when she is most fertile. Click here to learn more about IUI.

IUI & OVULATION STIMULATION
For some women, fertility medications to stimulate egg production may be necessary in conjunction with IUI. If testing has revealed a fertility issue, IUI may include the use of fertility medications to stimulate ovulation and egg production. When medications are utilized, it is called "controlled ovarian hyper stimulation." Combined with IUI, this can increase the chance of pregnancy.

IVF (IN VITRO FERTILIZATION)
Sometimes IUI with donor sperm treatment is not effective, and IVF becomes a necessary treatment option. Click here to learn more about IVF.

RECIPROCAL IVF / PARTNER ASSISTED REPRODUCTION (PAR)
This IVF technique enables both female partners to be physically involved in the conception of their baby. The eggs from one partner are inseminated with donor sperm. A resulting embryo is then transferred into the uterus of the other partner who will carry the pregnancy and live birth. The partner who provides the eggs for PAR must undergo an IVF cycle. 

ASK RHONDA
Have questions about your fertility? Need info on available treatments or just general advice on where to begin? Don't hesitate to call or email Rhonda! For 30 years, she has been a phone call (888-300-2483) or email away and the perfect resource if you need answers.

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We look forward to speaking with you, and will be in touch as soon as possible!