Houston Fertility Center

Reciprocal IVF Success Rates

By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on June 16, 2019

Fertility treatment under a microscopeIf you’re part of a same-sex couple, you should know that there are fertility treatment options available to help you have a child. This goes beyond artificial insemination and gestational carriers. Dr. Sonja Kristiansen can use variations on traditional in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help couples build a family.

The team at our Houston, TX fertility clinic would like to consider reciprocal IVF. This procedure allows lesbian couples to both be active participants in pregnancy and childbirth. We’ll cover the basics of the procedure as well as the success rates for the treatment.

What Is Reciprocal IVF?

Reciprocal IVF is a different form of IVF that is used to help lesbian couples share in the experience of pregnancy and childbirth. During reciprocal IVF, a woman’s eggs are harvested and then fertilized in the lab using donor sperm. When the woman’s egg develops into an embryo, it is then transferred into her partner’s uterus so she can carry it to term.

The treatment is similar to IVF using a donor egg and donor sperm, except in this case the donor egg is from one of the same-sex partners.

The Reciprocal IVF Procedure

The reciprocal IVF procedure is performed much like traditional IVF. Fertility drugs are used to help regulate a woman’s cycle and trigger the time release of specific hormones. These drugs help with the maturation of a woman’s viable eggs and ensure her partner is ready to receive the fertilized egg as part of the embryo transfer phase.

During the consultation process at Houston Fertility Center, we can help determine whose eggs should be used and who should carry the child to term.

How Effective Is Reciprocal IVF?

The success rates of reciprocal IVF can vary from couple to couple based on a multitude of factors. In general, younger couples tend to have higher rates of success than older couples.

The American Pregnancy Association notes the following live birth success rates by age for IVF treatment:

  • Women under age 35 - 41 to 43 percent
  • Women age 35 to 37 - 33 to 36 percent
  • Women age 38 to 40 - 23 to 27 percent
  • Women over 40 - 13 to 18 percent

The age group of each partner can skew your potential for success, so keep that in mind.

How Can the Success Rates of Reciprocal IVF Be Increased?

Generally, the success rates for reciprocal IVF will be higher if both women are younger and in good reproductive health. This is why the consultation process is so crucial. We can weigh a number of factors that could impact the success of an IVF cycle, and make sure each partner understands the risks involved during treatment.

A Sense of Connection During Pregnancy

If you are interested in reciprocal IVF, it’s a wonderful way to feel greater connection to your partner and your child. You will both have close bonds to your baby, and get to experience the wonders of being pregnant and giving birth. We’re more than happy to answer your questions or address your concerns about these matters.

Contact Houston Fertility Center

To learn more about reciprocal IVF and other family building options for same-sex couples, be sure to contact a skilled fertility specialist. You can schedule a consultation with Dr. Sonja Kristiansen by calling (713) 862-6181.

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