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    Celebrating Diverse Paths to Parenthood: LGBTQ+ Fertility Care Options

    By Prelude Fertility|June 25th, 2024

    Anyone who wants to become a parent, regardless of gender identity or sexuality, deserves to experience the joy of having children. With advancements in fertility care, LGBTQ+ couples and individuals can grow their dream families more easily than ever before. To celebrate Pride Month, we want to highlight some LGBTQ+ fertility care options for all types of aspiring parents.

    Egg and Sperm Donation

    LGBTQ+ couples and individuals usually require an egg or sperm donor to grow their families. For example, a cisgender gay male couple needs an egg donor because they can’t produce eggs themselves. The same goes for lesbian couples and sperm donors. Non-binary and transgender couples and individuals may also need an egg or sperm donor to conceive. 

    Your fertility clinic can help you navigate the egg or sperm donation process. Once you pick a donor, you’ll undergo intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). In an IUI procedure, the donor sperm is inserted directly into the uterus of the partner who wants to carry the child. Cisgender male couples will likely need IVF, which involves fertilizing donor eggs and sperm from one of the partners in a lab and then transferring those embryos to a surrogate.


    Cisgender gay male couples typically work with both an egg donor and a surrogate. However, all types of couples can choose surrogacy, including trans couples, heterosexual couples, and even intended single parents. There are two types of surrogacy — traditional and gestational. A traditional surrogate is both the biological mother and carrier of the baby. Most surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics only facilitate gestational surrogacy arrangements, where a separate, anonymous egg donor is the biological mother of the child.

    Intended parents will work closely with their fertility clinic and surrogacy agency to find an egg donor and gestational carrier. Then, the donor eggs are retrieved and fertilized in a lab with sperm from one of the intended parents or a donor. A reproductive specialist then transfers the embryos to the surrogate via IVF. She will then carry and deliver the baby. Both the surrogate and egg donor concede all legal rights to the parentage of the child. 

    Reciprocal IVF

    Reciprocal IVF allows both partners in a cisgender lesbian relationship or trans-male relationship to be physically involved in the conception and pregnancy process. In reciprocal IVF, the eggs from one partner are retrieved and fertilized in the lab with donor sperm. Then, the ensuing embryos are transferred to the womb of the other partner. 

    Fertility Preservation

    In addition to the fertility care options discussed above, many transgender and nonbinary couples and individuals pursue fertility preservation. Fertility preservation involves freezing sperm, eggs, or embryos before undergoing gender-affirming therapies or procedures.

    Start Building Your Dream Family Today

    There are various family-building options available for all couples and individuals within the LGBTQ+ community. To learn more, consult with The Prelude Network®. We offer exceptional treatment options and patient care to anyone aspiring to become a parent. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us today.