LGBT Families 2017-04-24T11:38:26+00:00

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Families

Mid-Iowa Fertility believes that everyone should experience the gift of parenthood and we have many options for LGBT families. Our treatments include sperm donation, insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF) for same sex female (lesbian) couples and egg donation and gestational surrogacy for gay male couples.

Getting Started

First, all patients will have an initial consultation with either Dr. Young or Dr. Cooper to review medical history, perform diagnostic testing, and discuss financial options. All diagnostic testing and treatment is done at our facility. Once testing is complete, your medical team will discuss options with you and then your treatment plan can begin. Mid-Iowa Fertility works with only the most discreet and highly reputable agencies that provide careful screening and uphold strict criteria for egg and sperm donation, surrogates and gestational carriers. This ensures highest medical safety and protects couples from potential legal complications.

Mid-Iowa Fertility most commonly refers patients to one of the following sperm banks:

California Cryobank

Fairfax Cryobank

Northwest Andrology

Cryogenic Laboratories

Cryogenic Laboratories

Click here to view their website

Banks will provide you with a questionnaire of characteristics to help select possible donors. Please refer to the above website FAQs for specifics on testing procedures, privacy policies, etc.

You will need to contact our office when you are ready to place your order so that we may contact the sperm bank and have the sperm shipped to us.

Call 515-222- 3060, ext. 112 for more information about this process.

Lesbian Couples

Mid-Iowa Fertility is committed to helping lesbian couples who desire their own biological children. Success depends on many factors and prior to treatment a work up should be performed to evaluate the likelihood of conception. In order to maximize the success of conceiving we need to select the optimal treatment for each patient.

For lesbian couples, one partner may choose to donate the egg and the other partner will carry the pregnancy. In order to accomplish this, in vitro fertilization is necessary, as the partner donating the egg would be stimulated with hormones and have her eggs harvested and fertilized and then transferred into her partner’s uterus to carry the pregnancy. However, if one partner is providing the eggs and carrying the pregnancy, in vitro fertilization is not necessary.

Instead insemination can be performed and sperm used to fertilize the eggs can be from a friend, relative or anonymous donor through a sperm bank.

Options

Mid-Iowa Fertility offers same sex female (lesbian) couples two primary fertility/pregnancy options:

Artificial insemination (IUI) with donor sperm (Intrauterine)

IUI is often used because of its superior success rates with frozen sperm. Sperm is injected, using a syringe and a thin catheter into the uterus via the cervix, at the time of ovulation.

Partner IVF (in vitro fertilization)

IVF is fertilization of an egg outside the body and is the oldest assisted reproductive technology (ART) and still the most frequently used. Mid-Iowa Fertility recommends IVF when one female partner wishes to provide the eggs and the other is interested in carrying the pregnancy. IVF can also be used if the chance of pregnancy with IUI is low (because of age or low egg number). Thus, the partner providing the eggs has a genetic link while the partner carrying the pregnancy maintains a gestational link to their offspring.

Sperm donor treatment options

  • IVF, using the eggs of one partner and fertilized by donor sperm, the embryo is implanted into the other partner.
  • IVF, using the eggs of one partner and fertilized by donor sperm, the embryo is implanted into a surrogate.
  • IVF, using donor eggs and donor sperm, the embryo is implanted into one partner.
  • IVF, using donor eggs and donor sperm, the embryo is implanted into a surrogate.
  • IVF, using eggs from both partners and donor sperm, the embryo is implanted into one partner.
  • IVF, using eggs from both partners and donor sperm, the embryos are implanted into both partners.

Selecting a sperm donor

  • Known Donor
  • Sperm Bank Donor

Known Donor

Couples may choose to use semen from a known donor. A semen analysis will be completed to ensure the sperm count and motility are adequate for the planned treatment. Sample collection may be performed in the privacy of their home or in our collection room. An appointment is necessary for dropping off semen samples and/or to use the Mid-Iowa Fertility collection room. Samples must be dropped off by the donor. When using a known donor, the FDA requires the sperm to be frozen and quarantined for 6 months. Screening labs and physical are required at the time of collection and again after the 6 month quarantine. Once testing is complete, the sperm may be released for the planned treatment.

Gay Male Couples

Gay couples that are wanting to have children have options as well. As a male couple, you will need an egg donor, who provides the eggs, as well as a surrogate, who will carry the pregnancy. The partner wishing to use his sperm will undergo a semen analysis to test motility, volume, concentration and morphology of the sperm. Federal regulations require sperm to be quarantined for 6 months and then the sperm donor must be re-tested for infectious diseases. If the second set of tests is also negative for infectious diseases, the quarantined sperm is allowed to be released for donation. Even if you choose a known donor, that donor still goes through the same quarantine and testing process.

The couple will select an egg donor either from Mid Iowa Fertility’s egg donor list or an egg donor agency of your choosing. A known egg donor may also be used. Click here to learn more about Egg Donors.

Our egg donor program meets the highest level of professional standards and discretion based on criteria set forth by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Call 515-222- 3060 for more information about this process.

Options

Mid Iowa Fertility offers gay male couples two primary options:

Traditional Surrogacy with Artificial Insemination (AI)

  • In this case the surrogate is artificially inseminated with the intended biological father’s sperm.

IVF with Egg Donation and Gestational Carrier

  • IVF (in vitro fertilization) is used to control the ovulatory process, removing eggs from the donor’s ovaries and letting sperm fertilize them in a fluid medium (in vitro). The resulting embryos are then transferred to the gestational carrier’s uterus with the intent to establish a successful pregnancy.

Services for Gay Male Couples

  • IVF, using donor eggs and sperm from one or both partners, the embryo is implanted into a gestational carrier.
  • IVF, using donor eggs and donor sperm, the embryo is implanted into a surrogate.
  • Traditional Surrogacy—the egg from a surrogate is fertilized by a partner or donor sperm.

Call 515-222- 3060 for more information about this process.

Using a Third Party to Carry

Using a third party to carry your child makes it possible for an intended parent who does not have the ability to successfully carry a pregnancy to full term to have a genetically-related child. An intended third party carrier does need to go through medical and psychological testing.

It is mandatory that there is a legal contract between your carrier and intended parents that outlines all aspects of the arrangement so that there are clear expectations of all parties prior to proceeding.

Mid Iowa Fertility can assist in making recommendations to attorneys who specialize in these contracts. All attorneys’ fees are the expense of the intended parents.

Please know Mid Iowa Fertility will not proceed with a third party carrier until a legal contract has been executed. This is to protect all parties and the practice should there be any disputes.

The cycle will be coordinated once the contract is signed by all parties.

Please call 515-222-3060, ext. 111 or ext. 112, for more information about this process.