There is a wide variety of pregnancy options available for lesbian couples who wish to conceive a baby. They can choose the one depending on their budget, health, fertility preferences, and personal values.
However, the most commonly used method for lesbian couples to achieve pregnancy is through a sperm donor. This blog post will take you through the different fertility treatment options such as IUI, IVF, etc., and other things to consider as a lesbian couple having a baby.
Table of Contents
Different Pregnancy Options for Lesbian Couple
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
IUI is the simplest and cheapest form of fertility treatment. It is artificial insemination in which donor sperm is first washed and prepared. And then, the doctor inserts sperm into the woman’s uterus with a thin plastic tube.
In some cases, a fertility specialist may recommend taking medication to increase the odds of pregnancy. Your doctor may also use different fertility techniques to ensure the timing of ovulation.
Success Rate of IUI
The success rate of IUI depends on factors like your overall fertility health, age, and type of sperm used. There are 1 to 5% chances for conceiving through IUI for women under 38 years old. And when drugs are used to stimulate ovarian reserve, the chances of conceiving rises between 4 to 10%.
Costs of IUI
Costs of IUI vary from person to person, depending on their situation. Factors contributing to the overall cost are fertility medications, donor sperm, and treatment procedure or monitoring. It can range from $500 to $4000 depending on many factors.
IVF is a more time-consuming and expensive fertility treatment than IUI. In this technique, the doctor collects the egg from the female body and then fertilizes it with the donor sperm outside the body in a laboratory. And then wait for them to develop into embryos. And once it grows into embryos, it is transferred back into the woman’s uterus.
In IVF treatment, the partner carrying the pregnancy may be given various drugs to prepare their body and induce ovulation. There is a separate procedure for the removal of eggs.
Lesbian couples can choose to undergo partner IVF or a reciprocal IVF in which one partner donates the egg, and the other partner carries the pregnancy to the term.
Success Rate of IVF
There are many factors on which the success of IVF depends, including the cause of infertility, women’s age, overall health, etc. The younger the women, the higher the chances of conceiving through IVF treatment.
Costs of IVF
It is more expensive than IUI and can range from $4700 to $ 3000 per cycle.
This is popular among lesbian couples. However, it is not allowed in all countries. In this reciprocal IVF, eggs are retrieved from one partner, and after fertilizing with donor sperm, it is transferred to another women’s uterus. In this way, both women become a part of the pregnancy. One is genetically related to the baby, and the other is the one to carry, give birth and breastfeed the child.
But before planning for reciprocal IVF, you need to find out whether this treatment is allowed in your country.
Non-Biological Options for Lesbian Pregnancy
Lesbian couples can even opt for non-biological options like surrogacy. It is an arrangement where another woman carries the baby till birth. There are two types of surrogates:-
One is termed traditional, and the other is termed gestational surrogacy. A conventional surrogate also donates her eggs, carries the pregnancy till birth, and is genetically related to the baby. A gestational surrogate is not genetically related to a baby as they carry that baby and deliver it.
Success Rate of Surrogacy
The success rate depends on the surrogate’s health, the eggs used, your situation, etc.
Cost of Surrogacy
The cost of surrogacy depends on the type you choose and where you live. The price of surrogacy includes care costs, legal fees, medication, and other costs. However, in some places, payment to the surrogate is illegal.
Lesbian couples can opt for the different public, private, and international adoption options. A public adoption can be done through the local child welfare system, whereas a private adoption is usually done through an agency. Adopting a child from another country is termed international adoption.
In the case of fostering, lesbian couples can be foster parents temporarily or adopted. This could be a child whom the couple knows who needs a home, such as the orphan of a relative, or by seeking help from an adoption agency.
Costs depend on the type of situation you choose. Public adoption involves little expense, whereas private and international adoption can cost between $20,000 to $50,000.
Things to Consider When Starting a Lesbian Pregnancy
The following are the things to consider when starting a fertility treatment: –
Who Will Carry the Child
Before starting fertility treatment, lesbian couples must decide who will carry the child. And for this, there are many things that need to be considered, such as health, age, and personal preferences, which might influence the decision.
Donor Sperm Selection
Choose the sperm donor on which you and your partner both are ready. Collect the information you want to know about the donor and whether you want your child to be able to contact the sperm donor in the future.
Cost of Lesbian Pregnancy
Cost is significant, which you need to consider as it can add up quickly with multiple procedures or appointments. When using assisted reproductive technology, you can incur high costs. Even without the expense of ART like IVF, lesbians may need to work with lawyers or other agencies to ensure they are both legal parents of the child.
Preferred Location for Lesbian Pregnancy
You first need to find a fertility clinic to help you become a parent, as not all countries and clinics provide fertility treatment for a lesbian couple. Consider your legal options as a lesbian couple as it varies from country to country.
Medical Issues in Lesbian Pregnancy
Pregnancies that use ART, like IVF, can have a higher rate of complications such as gestational diabetes, pregnancy loss, etc.
Emotional Issues in Lesbian Pregnancy
Planning for a baby is itself an emotional feeling. There can be a complicated situation in a pregnancy that can make the process emotional and frustrating. So, it’s better to find support for both you and your partner.
Many fertility treatments are available for lesbian couples, such as IVF and IUI. They can even opt for a non-biological process such as surrogacy or adoption. Depending on their interest and other essential factors, they can opt for the best possible treatment and become happy parents.