Any couple may find the process of attempting to have a family difficult. There are some extra considerations to make when you’re in a same-sex relationship. Lesbian couples are seeking solutions to the problem of how to have a child. You and your partner can choose the method that will best serve your goals for starting a family with the help of assisted reproductive technology, a wide range of resources, and a wide variety of options.
How can lesbians have a baby?
Lesbian couples can become parents in a variety of ways.
Possible ways to be a parent involve:
- donor insemination
- IUI (intrauterine insemination)
- adoption or raising
In vitro fertilization is one of the many ways people with fertility issues might assist in conceiving a child. The lesbian couple has the option of using an embryo from donation or one made from one of their eggs through IVF.
Your age is one such variable that affects this. To learn about your options, we advise speaking with your general practitioner (GP) or the integrated care board (ICB) in your area. Everyone, including same-sex couples and single persons, has access to these options. (1)
How can a lesbian couple have a baby when one of them wants to get pregnant?
If you’re interested in how to have a baby when a lesbian couple wants to get pregnant, there are some key ways you should know. Everything depends on your age, fertility status, and, of course, the advice given by your reproductive endocrinologist.
Artificial Intrauterine Insemination with Donor Sperm (IUI):
Artificial insemination is a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in which sperm from a known friend, partner, or donor is used. A fertility doctor uses a very thin probe to input sperm into the womb of the woman intended to carry the child. IUI has lower success rates than In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), although it is less expensive and invasive.
Reciprocal In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) with Donor Sperm:
During mutual IVF, one of the spouses provides eggs. Ideally, this would be a younger/healthier mate to ensure higher egg quality. One of the partners goes through the IVF process, which requires injections of hormones (approximately 10 – 14 days) to produce eggs. Then their eggs are retrieved and fertilized with sperm. The embryo is then transferred to the other partner’s uterus and is expected to implant in the uterine lining.
IVF is more expensive than IUI, but it also offers the possibility of genetic testing and has higher rates of success. You may also consider that genetic testing on embryos, such as Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) or Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening (PGS), is necessary before you or your doctor selects an embryo for transfer. In this case, you can choose to have an embryo test. These tests can result in disease or confirm that the embryo has a normal number of chromosomes. (2)
IVF with Donor Eggs:
Couples with same-sex women are aware that they will require a sperm donor. Sometimes a person or couple wants to become pregnant even when they don’t feel particularly connected genetically to their offspring. In some situations, the age of the spouses or the fact that one or both have been given a diagnosis of decreased ovarian reserve or premature ovarian failure may be the cause of an egg quality problem.
If necessary, there are choices like donor egg and sperm banks. Similar to IVF, the procedure involves combining donor sperm and donor eggs, and then transferring the resulting embryos to the partner who is prepared and willing to carry the pregnancy. (3)
Marina, S., Marina, D., Marina, F., Fosas, N., Galiana, N., & Jové, I. (2010). Sharing motherhood: biological lesbian co-mothers, a new IVF indication. Human reproduction, 25(4), 938-941.