Family Building Checklist for Lesbian Couples

Family Building Checklist for Lesbian Couples

When it comes to family building, lesbian couples have many options to consider. 

What do you need to make a baby?

  1. Eggs

    Eggs may potentially come from either partner.  If neither partner can produce viable eggs, options include working with an egg donor or using a donated embryo.
  2. Uterus

    Either partner may be the gestational carrier, depending on uterine health and the desire to be pregnant.
  3. Sperm

    Sperm may come from an anonymous donor via a sperm bank  or from a known donor.

How do you get the egg and sperm together?

Intravaginal insemination

Sperm is placed inside the vaginal canal of the parent-to-be.  This DIY approach is done at home, and the same parent-to-be provides both the egg and the uterus. 

IUI (intrauterine insemination)

Sperm is concentrated prior to being placed directly into the uterus via a small plastic tube known as a canula.   An IUI is done with the aid of a professional – either a midwife, nurse practitioner, or doctor – and may take place either at home or in the doctor’s office. Drugs are sometimes used to stimulate the ovaries to produce more than one egg per cycle.  The same parent-to-be provides both the egg and the uterus. 

IVF (in vitro fertilization)

IVF involves:

  • stimulating the ovaries with medications to produce several eggs
  • surgically retrieving the eggs
  • fertilizing the eggs to create embryos
  • transferring the embryo(s) back into the uterus 

Once a couple pursues IVF, it becomes possible to separate the parent who provides the eggs and who is the gestational carrier. 

Preparing for the possibilities:

1. Evaluate both partners for egg viability and uterine health. 

2. Identify a sperm source. If working with a known donor, get a semen analysis.

3. Consult with professionals to discuss your family building options. 

These may include:

  • fertility specialist for your medical options
  • a counselor to sort through the options to suit your family.

4. Support the holistic health of both partners. In our clinic, treatment plans for family building focus on overall health, fertility support, and stress reduction. Modalities include:

If you live in the Bay Area and are looking for family building support, please contact us.

Leslie Oldershaw, L.Ac., FABORM
Medical director
Fertility Acupuncturist East Bay
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Updated June 2022