Houston Fertility Center

IVF Options for Lesbian Couples

By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on September 27, 2020

A lesbian couple sitting with their childLesbian couples who want to have children often choose in vitro fertilization, or IVF, to grow their families. There are several IVF options for lesbian couples to consider when deciding to start a family. For instance, reciprocal IVF may be the right option for couples who wish for both partners to be involved in the pregnancy. 

At the Houston Fertility Center, Dr. Sonja B. Kristiansen is proud to offer IVF for lesbian couples, in and around Houston, TX. To learn more about your IVF options, we welcome you to schedule a consultation. 

Understanding IVF Options for Lesbian Couples

IVF provides lesbian couples a way to experience pregnancy and have children of their own. When considering IVF, it's important for lesbian couples to have all the information they need to make the choices that are best for their growing families. 

With that in mind, there are several IVF options that lesbian couples may benefit from. Let's take a closer look at some of these options and how they may be the right fit for you and your partner. 

Reciprocal IVF

Reciprocal IVF offers a way for both partners to contribute to the pregnancy. This is done by harvesting the eggs from one of the partners and placing the fertilized egg in the other partner to be carried. 

If choosing reciprocal IVF, couples will need to decide which partner will provide the egg and which will carry the baby. Also, a sperm donor will be needed to fertilize the egg. 

Reciprocal IVF can help both women feel biologically connected to their baby since both women contributed to the baby's development. 

Standard IVF 

Standard in vitro fertilization is an option for lesbian couples who don't want to go the route of reciprocal IVF. Sometimes, both partners may decide to carry children through standard IVF, each using her own eggs. 

If using traditional IVF, eggs will be harvested from the partner who intends to carry the baby. As with reciprocal IVF, a sperm donation is needed to fertilize the eggs. Eggs are fertilized in a laboratory. The resulting embryo can then be placed in the woman's uterus for implantation. Any remaining embryos can be frozen and stored.

Stored embryos may later be used as standard IVF or reciprocal IVF if the couple chooses. 

INVOcell

At our Houston practice, we offer reciprocal INVOcell as another means for both women to contribute to the development of their children. 

When INVOcell is used during IVF treatment, eggs and sperm are placed within a small device. This device is then placed inside one of the partners and left for five days to allow the eggs time to incubate. 

After the incubation period, the device is removed and an embryo may be transferred to the other partner's uterus for implantation. Any remaining embryos can be frozen and stored for later use.   

Learn More About Your IVF Options

If you and your partner are ready to start a family together, IVF may be the right path for you. To schedule a consultation to learn more about IVF options offered at our fertility center in Houston, call (713) 225-5375. 

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