Same Sex IVF Options
Barbados Fertility Centre is a progressive and impartial innovative fertility clinic, our caring and supportive staff are committed to offering all our patients the best chance of having a baby regardless of their marital status or sexual orientation. We have long been treating single and same sex couples wanting to start a family and we have helped already many of them to realize their wish to have healthy babies.
We know that fertility options and issues facing gay couples may be quite different from those available to traditional families. In addition to a host of medical treatment options that require a deep understanding, there are financial, legal and emotional obstacles that require special attention and knowledge.
Reproductive options for lesbian women
The first step is ALWAYS a correct Diagnosis & fertility assessment.
An accurate understanding of your fertility is key, and we have invested in the highest levels of technology and expertise to accurately predict your chances of getting pregnant and make recommendations for improving or preserving your fertility. The doctor after taking your medical history, will prescribe several tests to assess your ovarian reserve and check your womb and tubes for obstructions.
With all these information, our doctors will be able to tell you your fertility status and advise you on how to optimise your chances. Other more complex diagnostic investigations can be prescribed if required.
Artificial Insemination with Donor Sperm
In the vast majority of cases reproductive options for lesbian couples involve a sperm donor.
Donor insemination is a simple procedure, which requires the pre-selection of frozen sperm from a sperm bank, or from a known sperm donor. A known sperm donor will normally require a full panel of infectious disease screening before sperm can be deemed eligible for insemination.
There are many sperm banks from who you can select your anonymous donor. These banks boast an extensive list of screened anonymous sperm donors to include information such as ethnic background, body build, eye and hair colour, skin tone as well as education, profession and hobbies, among other details and attributes.
The chosen donor sperm is purchased in vials, and can be stored and thawed as required. Insemination can be performed during a natural menstrual cycle or a cycle in which ovulation is enhanced by oral medication or injectable ovulation induction agents that can significantly increase pregnancy success and often shorten the duration of treatment.
Combining sperm donation with assisted reproductive technology
In vitro fertilisation (IVF) may be performed in women of advanced reproductive age or those experiencing tubal factor or other types of infertility. In IVF a woman’s ovaries are stimulated with hormone injections to induce the growth of multiple eggs at once. This is followed by an egg harvesting procedure which is conducted trans-vaginally with ultrasound guidance and under sedation. The eggs are then fertilised with the donor sperm to create embryos which are transferred into the recipient’s uterus three to five days later.
A number of same-sex couples choose to do egg-share. Egg sharing is where the eggs of one partner are used in an IVF cycle to create embryos that are then transferred into the womb of the other partner, with the effect that one partner is the birth mother and the other partner is the genetic mother.
This is a beautiful process that enables motherhood to be a shared experience right from conception and allows both parents to have a unique linkage to the baby.
Reproductive options for gay or single men
Reproductive care for gay couples requires the services of both an egg donor and a gestational surrogate.
A Gestational carrier surrogacy is when a woman (called a gestational carrier) becomes pregnant after an embryo is transferred into her uterus. The embryo was created from another woman’s eggs and fertilized with the sperm of one of the partner, and so the gestational carrier is not genetically related to the child. After birth, she gives the child to the biological father. The treatment process involves stimulating the egg donor’s ovaries to produce multiple eggs, harvesting of the eggs, fertilisation of the eggs with sperm, and embryo transfer into the designated surrogate’s uterus.
Egg donors may be anonymous or known. In known egg donation, if the egg donor is related to one of the men in a gay relationship, sperm from the other male partner is used to fertilise the eggs, creating a genetic link in the offspring to both intended fathers.