Donor Sperm Treatment Options for Lesbians
Once you have decided on what type of donor sperm you will be using (sperm from an anonymous donor or sperm from a known donor) to start your family, you will need to discuss donor sperm procedures that will result in a pregnancy with your physician. Lesbian couples use donor sperm, combined with intrauterine insemination (also called artificial insemination) or in-vitro fertilization, to conceive.
Intrauterine Insemination – IUI
Intrauterine insemination – IUI with donor sperm is a good procedure for couples where one of the partners has viable eggs and no fertility issues. During IUI, the doctor uses a catheter to place donor sperm directly into the woman’s uterus. Usually, before the procedure takes place, medication is used to stimulate the ovaries (i.e., Clomid or gonadotropins).
IUI is usually a painless procedure, although there may be some cramping. It usually takes about two to three minutes. Complications are extremely rare.
The success rates are approximately:
- 6 to 10% for an unmedicated cycle
- 8 to 12% for a Clomid/IUI cycle
- 15 to 25% for a gonadotropin/IUI cycle
In-Vitro Fertilization – IVF
In-Vitro Fertilization or IVF involves taking an egg (from one partner or a donor egg) and combining with donor sperm in a laboratory. If the procedure results in a fertilized egg, the embryo will then be transferred to the woman’s uterus. In the uterus, if things go well, the embryo will implant into the uterine lining and develop into a fetus.
When you come to Texas Fertility Center, the doctors will discuss the IVF stimulation protocols (ovarian stimulation) that will work best for you. A few that we use are the:
- Lupron Overlap Protocol (Long Down-Regulation Protocol)
- Antagonist Protocol
- Poor Responder Protocol (Microdose Flare or Low Dose Lupron Protocol)
The most important variables for a successful IVF cycle are:
- A healthy egg
- Normal, functional sperm
- A uterus that is capable of nurturing the growth of a baby
Reciprocal In-Vitro Fertilization
Reciprocal In-Vitro Fertilization is a type of donor sperm procedure that allows both partners to physically take part in the pregnancy. First, one partner donates her eggs. Next, Texas Fertility Center embryologists fertilize the egg(s) with donor sperm, and, finally, they transfer the embryo(s) to the other female partner.
Donor sperm procedures allow lesbian couples to build their families together. Texas Fertility Center has had great success in helping couples to conceive through IUI, IVF and Reciprocal IVF procedures. Contact Texas Fertility Center to discuss the ways we can help you achieve your dreams.