Pathways to Pregnancy: IUI for Lesbian Couples
At Park Avenue Fertility, our Connecticut fertility center offers treatment and support for lesbian couples wanting to become parents. For women wanting to experience the joy of motherhood, intrauterine insemination (IUI) can provide an effective pathway to pregnancy. Dr. Andrew Levi welcomes all women seeking IUI for lesbian couples. In customizing a treatment plan for each couple, he considers age, overall health and fertility factors, including the health of both partners’ uterine lining and ovarian reserve.
How does IUI for lesbian couples work?
For any couple to conceive, an egg, sperm and uterus are needed. So, family building for lesbian couples involves the use of a sperm donor – either a known donor, or more commonly, an anonymous donor from a sperm bank, who has been carefully screened. Couples can consider donor characteristics such as hair and eye color, height, race and ethnicity.
IUI for lesbian couples (also called artificial insemination) can be a good option because it is relatively non-invasive and affordable compared with assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). Our team will care for you through every step of the intrauterine insemination process, which includes:
- Undergoing a fertility evaluation. Getting this baseline information can verify that at least one partner has a healthy uterus and a good ovarian reserve, and can also uncover any potential fertility challenges.
- Monitoring ovulation, possibly stimulating ovaries. Our Connecticut fertility center will time the IUI to coincide with natural ovulation (when you release an egg from your ovary and can become pregnant) and may use medication to promote egg development, which is closely monitored.
- Preparing sperm. Sperm will be “washed” before treatment, meaning the healthy sperm are concentrated and separated from the seminal fluid. If using a sperm bank, this is usually already done, and the sperm arrives frozen. It is thawed at an appropriate time before your procedure.
- Intrauterine insemination. In a simple procedure that just takes a few minutes, your physician places a speculum in your vagina, much like a Pap test. Then, a thin catheter is inserted through your cervix, and the washed semen is carefully injected directly into the uterus. This is usually painless. In bypassing the cervix, sperm has the advantage of a shorter journey to the fallopian tubes, enhancing the likelihood that sperm will get closer to the egg.
- Post-procedure steps: You will be asked to briefly rest after your procedure. You may be prescribed progesterone to help maintain the uterine lining. Patients will return to the Connecticut fertility center in approximately two weeks for a pregnancy test.
Full support for intrauterine insemination
Park Avenue Fertility has effectively used IUI for lesbian couples to make their dreams of parenthood a reality. Our team will provide thoughtful guidance and compassionate support through every step of the IUI process. Contact us to learn if IUI is right for you.