Reproductive Science Center
of New Jersey

Sponsored Content | July 17, 2020

LGBTQIA+ FAMILY BUILDING SERVICES

At Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey (RSCNJ), we go beyond helping infertile couples. We proudly offer LGBTQIA+ family building services. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex and asexual individuals and couples who dream of having a family can often do so with our assisted reproductive technologies.

Female couples hoping to grow their family do not generally seek fertility treatment due to an infertility diagnosis. In most cases, lesbian couples use the services of a reproductive clinic to enable both women to participate in the family building process, whether it is to contribute the genetic material (eggs) or select a surrogate to carry the pregnancy for the couple.

We will do a full fertility work-up on both partners to ensure that the most effective treatments are used. Both artificial insemination and IVF with a sperm donor are available options. The evaluations performed during fertility tests will ensure that a woman does not have female infertility.  These tests also indicate whether or not a woman’s body is able to carry a pregnancy. This is especially important if one (or both) partners choose to carry their own pregnancy rather than using a surrogate.

Reciprocal IVF for lesbian couples is when one woman donates her eggs for fertilization and her partner carries the pregnancy. Most of the processes are consistent with any IVF procedure: ovulation induction, egg retrieval, egg fertilization and embryo transfer. The woman who supplies the eggs that become an embryo will be biologically related to the child, and the woman who carries the pregnancy will not be genetically related to the baby.

Other candidates for reciprocal IVF include women who can produce healthy eggs but need another woman to act as their gestational carrier or vice versa. Trans men who froze eggs prior to undergoing their transition are also good candidates.

The biggest benefit of reciprocal IVF for lesbian couples is to enrich their experience building a family. It gives each woman the opportunity to contribute to the conception and birth of the couple’s child.

Similar to lesbian couples, gay male couples generally do not seek fertility treatment due to an infertility diagnosis. Most of the time, they are interested in the services of a reproductive clinic due to the complex process of utilizing their own sperm, an egg donor and a gestational carrier.

Much like that of heterosexual family planning, we still recommend male fertility testing before moving forwarded with assisted reproductive treatments and procedures. The evaluations performed during fertility tests will ensure that a man’s reproductive organs are functioning properly (creating sperm) and that there is no indication of male infertility. These tests also evaluate a man’s sperm to ensure that it is viable to fertilize a woman’s egg for pregnancy.

Male couples have a number of options when it comes to conceiving, and they will work with a doctor to determine the best next steps. Since an egg is a necessary part of pregnancy, gay couples will need to use donated eggs, either by someone they know or eggs obtained through an egg donor agency or an egg bank.

From there, a couple can determine if one or both partners would like to contribute their sperm to the pregnancy. One (or both) of the partners’ sperm will be used during IVF to fertilize the egg(s) of an egg donor to create an embryo. The embryo will then be implanted into the uterus of a gestational carrier to carry out the pregnancy.

Depending on the individual circumstances of transgender and other LGBTQIA+ patients and couples, family building steps will involve similar treatment options to those outlined above for gay and lesbian couples. These will usually include egg and/or sperm donors, a gestational carrier, IVF and/or artificial insemination. We are sensitive to the needs of this population and can limit office procedures as necessary for the comfort of our patients.

At the Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey, we are available to answer your fertility questions, perform a complete fertility evaluation, and present you with individualized options for conception, all in a comfortable, caring setting. We are a full-service fertility center experienced in all the latest technologies and look forward to helping you achieve success. For more information call 732-918-2500 or visit www.FertilityNJ.com.