Same-Sex Female Family Building Options

Jennifer "Jay" Palumbo

IVF mom of two and infertility advocate

The good news is we live in a time when you have so many options! You and your partner can explore them together and decide which one feels right for you. Of course, adoption is one often considered. Below, however, we’ll discuss some of the reproductive scenarios available if that is something you and your partner are particularly interested in:

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) with Donor Sperm

Artificial Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) with donor sperm is a form of assisted reproductive technology. Up until the last decade, it’s how the majority of same-sex female couples expanded their family. The sperm is donated either from a sperm bank, friend, or a known donor. The woman who would be the mother goes through taking hormone medications to produce more eggs than during a natural cycle. A fertility doctor would then take the sperm and release it through a very thin catheter into the woman’s cervix.

IUI is less expensive and less invasive, which is why some feel it’s the right fit for them.

Reciprocal (or Partner) In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

One increasingly popular option for lesbian partners is Reciprocal IVF. Some couples prefer this (as opposed to IUI or typical IVF) because they feel it’s a more shared experience since both are actively involved: one providing the egg’s genetic makeup and the other carrying and delivering the baby.

Now that we’ve walked you through the IVF process, we can explain what Reciprocal IVF is and why same-sex female couples explore this as an option more frequently. With Reciprocal IVF, Partner A takes hormone injections to produce eggs. After the eggs have been fertilized, the embryo(s) will be transferred to Partner B to carry the baby. It’s one-way Assisted Reproductive Technology can make it possible for same-sex females to have a shared experience.

Egg Freezing

Maybe you both know you want children, BUT neither of you are quite ready just yet; there’s the option of egg freezing. It’s very similar to the IVF process, but once you get to the egg retrieval process, they freeze your eggs using the vitrification technique instead of fertilizing them. Vitrification is a “fast freeze” that instantly preserves your eggs at the age you were when your eggs were retrieved.

It helps to discuss your family building options and comfort level with your partner to decide what works best. The timeline you have in mind is also an important factor to discuss. From there, the best first step is to make an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist who will guide you on this journey.

GoStork welcomes and supports all intended parents, regardless of relationship status or sexual orientation. The platform is here to help you find your ideal egg donor or surrogacy agency as you begin your journey to becoming parents. Start your journey here.