June is Pride month and we are happy to say that we live in a world that is becoming more inclusive and accepting of family-building for LGBTQ+ individuals and couples. Fertility care, traditionally tailored for heterosexual couples, is increasingly adapting to meet the unique needs of the LGBTQ+ community.

The needs of LGBTQ+ individuals and couples in the realm of fertility care are diverse and specific. Understanding these needs is the first step towards offering effective and empathetic support.

  • Lesbian Couples and Single Women: For lesbian couples and single women, the primary fertility need is access to donor sperm. This can be sourced through sperm banks or known donors. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) are common procedures used to achieve pregnancy.
  • Gay Couples and Single Men: Gay couples and single men typically require both an egg donor and a surrogate. This involves a more complex process, including IVF with the donor’s eggs and the surrogate carrying the pregnancy.
  • Transgender Individuals: Transgender individuals may have unique fertility preservation needs, especially if they plan to undergo gender-affirming treatments that could impact fertility. Options include freezing eggs or sperm prior to starting hormone therapy or surgeries.
  • Non-Binary and Gender Non-Conforming Individuals: Non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals might require a combination of the services mentioned above, tailored to their specific circumstances and medical histories.

For LGBTQ+ individuals and couples, there are a few things to consider before beginning your journey to starting a family:

  1. Initial Consultation: The first step involves meeting with a fertility specialist who has experience working with LGBTQ+ individuals and couples. This consultation will involve discussing medical history, fertility goals, and potential treatment options.
  2. Legal Considerations: Legal issues can be a significant aspect of LGBTQ+ fertility care. This includes contracts with donors and surrogates, parental rights, and ensuring all parties understand their legal standing. Consulting with a lawyer who specializes in reproductive law is crucial.
  3. Psychological Support: Fertility treatments can be emotionally taxing. Access to counseling and support groups specifically for LGBTQ+ individuals can provide valuable emotional support throughout the journey.
  4. Medical Procedures: Depending on the fertility plan, individuals may undergo IUI, IVF, egg or sperm donation, or surrogacy. Each of these procedures has its own timeline, costs, and success rates, which should be thoroughly discussed with the fertility specialist.
  5. Pregnancy and Beyond: Once pregnancy is achieved, regular prenatal care is essential. Additionally, LGBTQ+ parents might face unique challenges and should seek supportive communities and resources to navigate parenthood.

LGBTQ+ fertility care is a dynamic and evolving field. Whether through sperm donation, egg donation, surrogacy, or fertility preservation, the journey to becoming a parent is one that deserves respect, compassion, and celebration. The fertility specialists at UNC Fertility have experience working with all kinds of couples and individuals and are proud to help them on their journey to parenthood.

For more information about fertility care and support call our Raleigh office at 919-908-000 or contact us online today!