Park Avenue Fertility is proud to work with the LGBTQ community. There are a number of options available to help you grow your family. Park Avenue Fertility works with sperm donors, egg donors, and surrogates in addition to performing intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF), for patients who need it. We evaluate your needs and develop a plan that is right for you.
Options for Lesbian Couples
Finding a Sperm Donor
The first step for lesbian couples is to choose a sperm donor. The donor can be anonymous (from a sperm bank) or a known donor. A known donor may be a friend or family member who is not biologically related to the egg source.
When choosing donor sperm, a couple is able to specify their desire for physical attributes such as hair and eye color, height, race and ethnicity. These choices are then matched with potential donors to find the perfect match.
If a sperm bank is to be used, PAF assists in the process by providing sperm bank recommendations and receiving the sample, once it has been selected. Sperm banks follow strict standards and test potential donors extensively. Each potential donor is interviewed prior to testing. Testing screens for potential genetic problems, diseases, and drug/alcohol use in order to ensure that the sperm donated is safe to use.
Donor sperm can be used for IUI or IVF, depending on medical necessity. If intrauterine insemination (IUI) is chosen, the woman’s ovaries and blood hormone levels are monitored closely to determine when she is ovulating. This predicts the optimal time for insemination. In some patients, medications are needed to stimulate ovulation. At the appropriate time, a catheter that contains the donor sperm is inserted into the cervix, and the sperm is released. The patient then typically lies down for about 15 minutes after insemination. If in vitro fertilization (IVF) is needed, donor sperm is used to inseminate the woman’s eggs, after the eggs are removed.
Options for Gay Couples
Finding an Egg Donor
Gay couples need to choose an egg donor. The egg donor can be anonymous or a known donor. An anonymous egg donor is the most common type of egg donor. Park Avenue Fertility maintains an active Egg Donor program. Egg donor candidates are thoroughly evaluated before becoming donors. We follow all industry and regulatory standards to assure high-quality egg donors. The anonymous egg donation process allows you to choose the physical characteristics (eye/hair color, height, etc.) and the nationality and ethnicity of the donor.
A known egg donor is just that, a friend or family member who wishes to donate eggs to you. Known donors must meet the same standards as anonymous egg donors. All egg donors, whether anonymous or known, are evaluated by counseling services to be sure the process is appropriate for all those involved.
Once an egg donor is selected, the fertility team at Park Avenue Fertility will harvest the donor eggs and then complete the fertilization process to produce embryos. Those embryos are then frozen for future implantation.
Finding a Gestational Carrier
Gay couples will need to find a suitable gestational carrier for the pregnancy. The gestational carrier must have no biological link to the embryo. A family member or friend can be your gestational carrier, as long as she is physically and mentally suited for pregnancy. An attorney who specializes in reproductive law is needed to assure all parties are protected.
Options for Transgender Couples
Transgender individuals may seek care for fertility preservation before medical or surgical transition, as the transition process may alter their fertility. Conversely, transgender couples may seek help with family building once transition is complete.
Men who are transitioning to women may freeze their sperm prior to gender affirmation surgery. Women who are transiting to men can freeze eggs or embryos prior to surgery. Depending on the needs of the patient, donor sperm, donor eggs, and/or a surrogate can be used to conceive in the future. If donor eggs and/or sperm are needed, the couple can specify physical attributes such as hair and eye color, height, race, and ethnicity. Park Avenue Fertility has an anonymous egg donor program (see above), or the couple could use a known egg donor. Once egg source, sperm source, and gestational carrier (one of the partners or someone else) are chosen, embryos can be made and transferred for implantation.
If you are ready to begin your fertility treatment and would like to learn more about Dr. Levi and Park Avenue Fertility’s approach to fertility and wellness, contact us to schedule a visit today.