LGBTQI+ Families and Fertility Treatments


30 June 2021

In this article, we go over some of the most common queries about fertility treatment and IVF for same-sex couples and the members of the LGBTQI+ community.

Everyone deserves the right to start a family. At Monash IVF, we’re committed to supporting members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) community in accessing world-leading fertility treatments. We’ve been at the forefront of IVF in Australia since the 1970s, and we’re proud to provide life-changing fertility treatment to every member of our community.

Many people in same-sex and queer relationships have questions about what different kinds of reproductive options are available. There is no one answer, as it will differ depending on individual circumstances. Our team of fertility experts is here to guide you through every step of the journey. Whatever your circumstances, we are happy to talk you through your available options to give you confidence in your reproductive choices. In this article, we go over some of the most common queries about fertility treatment and IVF for same-sex couples and members of the LGBTQI+ community.

What options are available to help us get pregnant?

Firstly, IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) is not the only option. There are different treatments available for different families. These depend on your circumstances. If you are planning on having a baby with a partner, discuss your shared desires and expectations for pregnancy together while leaning on the informed guidance of the experienced team at Monash IVF. Some treatments you might consider include:

  • Sperm donation
  • Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
  • In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
  • Egg donation
  • Surrogacy

How to choose a sperm donor

Women often wonder where to start with finding a sperm donation. The team at Monash IVF has years of experience in the field and can help you decide what is the right pathway for your circumstances. At Monash IVF, we have three possible pathways when looking to access donor sperm:

  • clinic-recruited sperm donors
  • overseas sperm donors
  • known sperm donors

How to choose an egg donor

Many people find that donor eggs are their only option for pregnancy. This might be because of any number of reasons such as advanced maternal age, complications from serious medical treatment, same-sex couples with no access to eggs, or genetic conditions. If your fertility specialist does recommend considering donor eggs, you could consider

  • using a known egg donor
  • importing eggs from overseas
  • accessing clinic-recruited egg donors

Assisted insemination

If you have made decisions about access to healthy sperm and eggs, you may talk with your fertility specialist about options for assisted insemination. You might initially try intrauterine insemination (IUI), a minimally invasive insemination option that increases your chances of pregnancy. If there are challenges with this method, couples might try in vitro fertilisation (IVF). IVF can work in different ways. Some same-sex female couples might plan to use one partner’s egg while the other partner carries the pregnancy and then reverse this process in the future, while others might decide that only one person in the relationship will carry the pregnancy and then decide on whose eggs to utilise. This is often termed egg sharing rather than donation.

How to find a surrogate

Same-sex male couples might consider using a surrogate to create a family. In Australia, surrogacy most often occurs as gestational carriage – a non-biologically related female will carry an already fertilised egg from another source, which has then been in storage. This is a complex progress. We can guide you through the various decisions you will need to consider when potentially finding a surrogate.

LGBTQI+ Fertility at Monash IVF

Monash IVF will always strive to be a progressive organisation committed to the future of fertility. We understand how daunting it can be for same-sex couples to think about trying to conceive. We also know this: it’s an incredibly exciting time to identify as LGBTQI+ person and start thinking about having a baby. We’re proud to support brave families every day in accessing the powerful reproductive options made available by modern science.

If you’re considering starting a family, book a consultation with a Monash IVF fertility specialist to chat about which options might be right for you.

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