Southern California Reproductive Center (SCRC) is proud to provide gay,
lesbian, transgender individuals or couples the support they need to
achieve their dream of starting a family.
With over 25 years of experience, SCRC introduced and perfected new fertility treatments that lead to impressive fertility success rates. 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. At SCRC we believe that “everyone should experience the gift of parenthood.”
First, all patients will have an initial consultation with their physician to review their 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 develop a protocol and treatment can begin. SCRC 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.
SCRC 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.
SCRC 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. SCRC 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 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. Genetic testing of the embryos to be transferred can also be done if the family desires family balancing.
Sperm donor insemination into one or both partners.
Selecting a sperm donor
Lesbian couples may decide which sperm bank and which donor to use. For couples who prefer to use semen from a known donor, sperm analysis is relatively inexpensive and non-invasive. Sample collection may be performed at either a laboratory, a physician’s office, or in some cases, the privacy of home. Information about a donor’s physical characteristics, race, ethnic background, educational background, career history and general health should be available. We adhere to FDA regulations and make sure mental health professionals educate this lifelong decision. We also make sure legal contracts are in place to protect everyone.
Typically, the couple will decide which partner will carry the pregnancy. This partner will proceed with “day 3 blood work” to test hormone levels and a HSG to determine the health of the uterus and fallopian tubes. If she has a good prognosis, then the couple will select a sperm donor to be used to achieve the pregnancy.
IVF (in vitro fertilization) is a more complex treatment protocol where both partners will be tested and take medication to boost their fertility. The partner who will donate her eggs will also undergo a surgical egg retrieval procedure. The eggs will be inseminated with the donor sperm and once mature, the embryos are placed in the uterus of the woman who will carry and give birth to the baby.
Occasionally some lesbian couples need to use donor eggs to conceive due to the absence of ovaries or the inability of the ovaries to produce viable eggs in both women. Donors may include sisters or other family members, friends or anonymous donors.
Thanks to advances in reproductive technology, there are now options for gay men who wish to become parents and have a child that is biologically related. Gay couples who want to have children 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. The couple will select an egg donor with one of our reputable egg donor agencies. Family members can also be used, if medically appropriate. Once the couple has identified both a gestational carrier and the egg donor, one or both male partners will provide sperm samples to be used in the insemination of the donated eggs.
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.
SCRC 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 and Egg Donation and Gestational Surrogate
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 surrogate’s uterus with the intent to establish a successful pregnancy.
Services for Gay Male Couples
Gay men planning to build a family through fertility treatments will meet with their physician to discuss the details of using an egg donor, who provides the eggs, as well as a gestational carrier (surrogate), who will carry the pregnancy. The eggs can be fertilized with the sperm of one or both partners.
Some clinics are able to combine the sperm of each partner with separate batches of the donors eggs. This could result in twins, each with the same biological mother, but separate dads. If only one child is born, a DNA test will be needed to determine which donor is the father. One of the partners’ female relatives (e.g. a sister) could serve as the egg donor; her eggs would then be fertilized by the sperm of the other partner. In this way, the child would be biologically related to both men.
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