From our very beginnings in 1989, CARE Fertility has been providing the LGBTQ+ community with the assistance and support necessary to achieve their dream of starting and building a family.

No matter the sexual orientation or gender identity of either partner, our physicians and clinic staff are committed to helping you on your fertility journey with a personalized treatment plan and compassionate care. Let’s get started!

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Fertility Options for Biologically Female Same-Sex Couples

Fertility Options for Biologically Male Same-Sex Couples

Fertility Options for Biologically Female Same-Sex Couples

The majority of same-sex female couples are not infertile, but simply lack exposure to sperm.

Successful pregnancy depends on many factors, so an initial workup will be performed prior to treatment. This will help us evaluate the potential for conception, and select the optimal treatment plan. The evaluation begins with a detailed review of the patient’s gynecologic and medical history to assess overall health and fertility. Our initial consultations are done via telehealth to allow our patients more flexibility in scheduling. During this consultation, the physician will discuss diagnostic testing and potential treatment options.

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In-Person Evaluation

The initial in-person evaluation will include a physical exam and pelvic ultrasound of the uterus and ovaries. Frequently the woman’s egg reserve or egg count is checked with a blood test called anti-müllerian hormone or AMH. Additionally, the woman’s antral follicle count (AFC) is performed to determine the number of small follicles in each ovary. Both of these tests predict whether a woman has a robust, average or low egg supply.

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Lab Work

We will obtain preconceptual lab work, including a prenatal panel, thyroid and vitamin D on the woman who plans to conceive the pregnancy.

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Structural Evaluation

Depending on past gynecologic history, a detailed evaluation of the uterus and fallopian tubes is commonly performed at the outset. The two tests used to evaluate the uterus and fallopian tubes are hysterosalpingogram (HSG) and hysteroscopy. Both of these tests are important, and complement one another to allow a thorough evaluation of the pelvic structures. Both are performed in the office setting with minimal discomfort.

Treatment options

Biologically Female Same-Sex Couples

IUI with Donor Sperm

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a simple artificial insemination process and a commonly-used treatment option for same-sex female couples. The majority of pregnancies occur in the first few cycles of IUI.

A small, flexible tube is placed through the cervix, which deposits the processed semen sample into the womb. Minimal to mild cramping is associated with IUI. See Figure 4.1.

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Figure 4.1 IUI with donor sperm.

Natural Cycle Donor IUIIf the female undergoing treatment has predictable menstrual cycles, the insemination is typically performed in a natural cycle without the use of fertility medications. This minimizes the risk of multiple pregnancy (twins) and yields pregnancy rates close to the age-matched fertile population. The IUI is timed with ultrasound and the use of an ovulation predictor kit.

Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid) Donor IUIFor females with irregular cycles and normal to high egg counts, natural cycle donor IUI is not an option. Clomiphene citrate or Clomid is a fertility tablet which may be used to stimulate ovulation. Clomid increases the risk of a multiple birth (twins).

See pricing information for IUI →

IVF with Donor Sperm

In vitro fertilization (IVF) with donor sperm offers the highest chance for pregnancy and the lowest risk of a multiple birth. After a single cycle of IVF, many patients (though not all) will have extra frozen embryos which may be used for subsequent pregnancies.

With IVF, eggs are fertilized outside the body, in the laboratory. The embryo created in this process is transferred to the uterus. Embryos which are not transferred may be frozen for use at a future date.

Some couples may opt to begin with IVF rather than donor IUI because of the higher rate of pregnancy, potentially shorter duration to conceive, control over multiple birth, and the potential to have extra embryos to expand their family in the future. 

See pricing information for IVF →  

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Figure 4.2 IVF process.

Reciprocal IVF with Donor Sperm

An increasing number of same sex female couples are choosing to undergo Reciprocal IVF. This option allows both women to be involved in the process. Figure 4.3 shows how one partner, the “egg mom,” provides the eggs, which are fertilized with donor sperm outside of the body, in the laboratory. The resulting embryos are frozen at the blastocyst stage, then one embryo is transferred to the other partner, the “birth mom,” who will carry the pregnancy to delivery. This allows both partners to have an intimate link to their offspring.

In this scenario, the evaluation is split between the two females. The partner who is going to undergo the egg retrieval has an assessment of her egg count and the partner who carries the pregnancy has her uterus evaluated.

See pricing informationfor Reciprocal IVF →  

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Figure 4.3 Reciprocal IVF with donor sperm.

effortless IVF®

Many same-sex female couples are candidates for a simplified IVF process pioneered by CARE Fertility known as effortless IVF®.

This revolutionary technique simplifies the IVF process. Daily fertility injections over 10-12 days stimulate the ovaries, but only two ultrasounds are needed. No blood tests are required. Due to the ease and affordability of the process and the higher success rates compared to IUI, a growing number of same-sex female couples are choosing effortless IVF as their first-line treatment option. effortless IVF can be used for Reciprocal IVF or IVF for the woman carrying her own pregnancy.

See pricing informationfor effortless IVF →

See pricing informationfor Reciprocal effortless IVF →

About Donor Sperm

Donor sperm is obtained from commercial sperm banks. One of our andrology staff members will be happy to assist you in the ordering process. One vial of donor sperm is needed for each treatment cycle, and CARE Fertility has large liquid nitrogen storage tanks on site. 

Fertility Options for Biologically Male Same-Sex Couples

Same-sex male couples can have their biological child through the use of an egg donor and a gestational carrier.

Both the egg donor and gestational carrier are selected by the couple and we take it from there.

Donor Egg. Donor eggs may be obtained from an egg donor who undergoes stimulation of her ovaries for the sole use of the same-sex male couple. Alternatively, donor eggs may be obtained from a commercial donor egg bank. The couple has the option to use sperm from one or both partners.

See pricing information for Fresh Donor Eggs →

See pricing information for Frozen Donor Egg Bank →

Gestational Carrier/Surrogacy. The gestational carrier undergoes a thorough evaluation with a focus on her uterus. The couple and gestational carrier complete a formal legal agreement through a gestational carrier agency prior to the transfer process. The gestational carrier takes oral estrogen and progesterone injections to prepare her womb or uterus for the frozen embryo transfer.

See pricing information for Gestational Carrier/Frozen Embryo →