Reciprocal IVF as a reproductive choice for lesbians
Reciprocal IVF offers lesbian couples seeking to have a child together the option to do so with both partners physically involved in the process.
With this option, the partner who provides the eggs is the biological parent and the partner who carries the pregnancy is the birth parent.
Here are some basic facts about Reciprocal IVF that might help you decide if this option is for you.
What is Reciprocal IVF?
Reciprocal IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is similar to the standard In Vitro Fertilization procedure, but with one partner assuming the role of the egg donor and the other partner assuming the role of the pregnancy carrier.
How does Reciprocal IVF work?
The process is very similar to the standard IVF. Retrieved eggs from a partner are fertilized using donor sperm.
An embryo is selected and will then be placed in the uterus of the partner who will carry the pregnancy.
If pregnancy is achieved, prenatal care can begin.
What does Reciprocal IVF involve?
A couple who decides to use reciprocal IVF will begin a process almost identical to standard IVF:
- Both partners choose a sperm donor
- Both partners go on medication to synchronize their menstrual cycles
- Partner A uses medication to stimulate the maturation of multiple eggs
- Partner B uses medication to prepare her body for pregnancy
- Partner A’s eggs are retrieved
- Any mature eggs are fertilized using donor sperm
- The best-looking embryo(s) is/are selected and placed in the uterus of Partner B
- Partner B is monitored and if pregnancy is achieved, prenatal care can begin
What to consider with Reciprocal IVF?
There are several things you and your partner need to consider if you decide to use Reciprocal IVF, which includes:
- Understanding the whole Reciprocal IVF process and its success rate
- Availability and accessibility of the service in your area
- Fertility clinics that offer services to same-sex couples
- Cost, which varies and depends on many factors like your clinic, location, country, sperm donor, number of attempts, etc.
- Insurance coverage depending on your insurance provider and policy
- Length of time needed, which varies for everyone
- Choosing a sperm donor
- The role of each partner in the process: who will provide the egg, who will provide the womb
- The role of each partner after the child arrives
What other things to expect with Reciprocal IVF?
Reciprocal IVF is an increasingly popular option for prospective lesbian parents. But just like other reproductive assistance procedures, the whole experience can be very physically, emotionally, and financially taxing.
Both partners must be fully committed to the whole process, but at the same time fully prepared to face any challenges that may come.
The experience is different for every couple who’ve undergone Reciprocal IVF and there are no accurate answers to some of the questions you may have, like its cost and how long it will take.
Just make sure to seek professional medical, financial, and legal advice to make sure you are making informed decisions.
Once you’ve chosen a clinic, make sure to be open to your doctor about what you and your partner want, need, and are concerned about so that your doctor can inform you of your options and what to expect.
Despite some of the difficulties that you may face, what’s important is that you, as a couple, are happy with your choice to start a family.
It is truly a blessing that a reproductive option like Reciprocal IVF makes it possible for lesbian couples to contribute to the miracle that is bringing a child into the world.