Infertility affects both men and women, and as a solution, IVF is a widely used assisted reproductive technology that can help couples overcome infertility. IVF is a complex process that involves the fertilization of eggs outside the body and the subsequent transfer of the resulting embryos back to the uterus. So, can men benefit from this treatment?
Do countries offer same-sex couples the opportunity to have a baby?
In England, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) guidelines state that women can access NHS-funded IVF treatment if they have not conceived after 2 years of regular unprotected intercourse or 12 cycles of artificial insemination.
However, 80% of local clinical commissioning groups still require same-sex couples to have up to 12 rounds of IUI before they are eligible for NHS treatment, which can cost up to £1,600 per cycle at a private clinic.
In Scotland, all same-sex couples can have 6 donor insemination cycles and then 3 full IVF cycles if needed.
In England, 106 clinical commissioning groups ration access to NHS-funded fertility treatment with over a quarter denying access to same-sex couples and only 8 allowing direct access. (1)
Can men have IVF?
Gay couples who wish to start a family, have the option of using egg or embryo donation in combination with gestational surrogacy. The process of fertilization involves the use of sperm from one partner, however, some couples opt for split insemination where half of the eggs are fertilized with one partner’s sperm and the other half with the other partner’s sperm.
This method of conception, although a feasible option for starting a family, can come with a significant investment in terms of time, money, and effort. The medical procedure, legal contracts, agency fees, and other associated costs can put a considerable strain on the involved parties.
To ease the burden, clinics offer comprehensive support to their patients and are here to help you every step of the way. Your doctor can help you create a customized treatment plan that meets your family’s unique needs and experienced staff will be by your side throughout the entire process. Whether you choose split insemination or a different method, your fertility doctors are here to help make your dream of starting a family a reality. (2)
Can transgender people have IVF?
For transgender individuals and couples, some clinics provide pre- and post-transition fertility preservation and treatment options. This offers a way for transgender people to have a genetic connection to their future children through the freezing of eggs, sperm, or embryos prior to hormone therapy or surgery.
Not all transgender patients are capable of getting pregnant on their own, and some may require the help of assisted reproductive technology. The treatment options available include in vitro fertilization which may include donor eggs, sperm, or embryos, intrauterine insemination with the possibility of using donor sperm, or gestational surrogacy.
When undergoing fertility treatments, it may be necessary for transgender patients to temporarily delay hormone therapy. However, the doctor works closely with patients to minimize the disruption to their hormone therapy and to ensure a smooth transition throughout the treatment process.
It’s important to note that fertility preservation and treatment options for transgender individuals can vary depending on the clinic and the patient’s unique circumstances. It is recommended that individuals seek out clinics that specialize in treating the transgender community and have a supportive and inclusive environment. The clinic should also have a team of healthcare professionals who are knowledgeable and experienced in working with transgender patients to provide the best possible care. (3)
Throsby, K., & Gill, R. (2004). “It’s different for men” masculinity and IVF. Men and masculinities, 6(4), 330-348.