LGBTQ and Fertility
At IVF Phoenix, we recognize that every family is unique. We want to help you achieve your family planning goals, whatever that looks like. IVF Phoenix offers a number of treatment options, customized to your needs, in order to help you become a parent.
All patients require an initial fertility evaluation prior to treatment.
- Blood work—a number of basic tests are performed with additional testing based on your history and/or physical exam
- Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) to evaluate your egg reserve
- Thyroid stimulating hormone to rule out any thyroid hormone abnormalities
- Genetic carrier screening including mutations for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Cystic Fibrosis (CF), fragile x syndrome, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia and any other indicated tests based on family history to determine the risk of having a child affected by commonly inherited diseases
- Infectious disease testing if using donor sperm per FDA regulations
- Hysterosalpingogram—an X-ray where contrast is pushed into your uterus to confirm patency of your fallopian tubes (where sperm meets the egg to fertilize it) and evaluate the contour of the uterine cavity to determine if any anatomic abnormalities, such as fibroids, are present. This test is performed cycle day 6-12 of a menstrual cycle
- Ultrasonography—if indicated can also allow evaluation of your antral follicle count and a more detailed assessment of your uterus
Treatment options include:
- Therapeutic donor insemination (TDI) either from a known or anonymous sperm donor from a sperm bank
- TDI can be done with a natural cycle or by ovulation induction
- In vitro fertilization (IVF) is often the next step if intrauterine insemination has not been successful
- Partner assisted reproduction (PAR) allows both female partners to be physically involved in the conception of their baby, where eggs are retrieved from one partner and after fertilization using donor sperm, the resulting embryo(s) are transferred in the uterus of the other partner who will carry the pregnancy
Gay Male Couples
After your initial consultation, evaluation prior to treatment will include a semen analysis to check the health of your sperm of either one or both partners. If any abnormalities are noted, further testing may be required.
Treatment for same sex male couples involves selecting a known or anonymous egg donor as well as a gestational carrier (GC) through a third party reproduction company. IVF is performed after retrieving the eggs from your donor and fertilizing them with either one or both partners sperm (in separate dishes). Once embryos have developed, you may choose to do additional genetic testing of the embryos, called preimplantation genetic testing (PGT), most commonly for aneupliody (PGTa)
Following IVF, one embryo is selected at a time to be transferred in the uterus of your GC. A GC can be a family member or friend who is willing to carry the pregnancy, or selected through an agency. Though the journey to having a baby may seem overwhelming, our team will help you navigate every step of the way to facilitate your path to parenthood.
Transgender Fertility Preservation
One of the key components of the gender transition process is gender affirming hormone treatment. Although hormonal therapy is well tolerated and generally safe, it may negatively impact your future fertility. Some of these changes may be permanent and cause sterility, particularly in the case surgical treatment. Fertility preservation allows transgender females to freeze their sperm and transgender males to freeze their eggs prior to gender affirming therapies for future use with assisted reproductive technology (ART). There are various reproductive options for transgender individuals that currently exist including gamete (egg or sperm) cryopreservation, use of donor gametes, gestational surrogacy, and adoption. For those considering fertility preservation, the ideal time is prior to any hormone treatment.
Estrogen and anti-androgen treatment will prevent testosterone production, which ultimately stops sperm production. Prior to initiating gender affirming hormone therapy, we collect at least two sperm samples after 2-3 days of abstinence, to be flash frozen and stored in a nitrogen tank for future use, if desired.
Trans men can conceive in the future using their own eggs via egg freezing. This process involves ovarian stimulation with injectable medications to help grow multiple follicles and the eggs within them. The eggs are then retrieved and processed for freezing.
Transgender men and women may still undergo successful fertility preservation after initiating hormone affirming therapy. This may be difficult due to the need to discontinue hormones and experience reversal of the medications for quite some time prior to undergoing a fertility evaluation prior to fertility preservation.