Reciprocal IVF — also known as partner-assisted reproduction or partner IVF — is a form of IVF that allows both female partners to be physically involved in the conception of their baby. This is an appealing option for many lesbian couples who do not have fertility issues.
The IVF Process
During IVF eggs (oocytes) are collected from a woman, sperm is collected from a man, and an embryo is created outside of the body by combining the eggs and sperm in the laboratory.
Preparation. At the beginning of her menstrual cycle, a woman takes birth control pills or natural progesterone to suppress natural hormone processes.
Ovarian stimulation with fertility drugs. The goal is to stimulate the growth and development of multiple eggs within the ovaries. The growth of the follicles is closely monitored during this time to determine when the eggs are ready to be retrieved.
Egg retrieval. This is a minor surgical procedure called transvaginal ultrasound-guided aspiration. This generally takes about 20 minutes, and the patient is under conscious sedation. An ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina, which allows Dr. Jacobs to see the ovaries and other pelvic structures during the procedure. Then, a needle is directed through the vaginal wall and into each ovarian follicle, and the egg and fluid is collected with gentle suction.
Fertilization. The eggs are collected and sent to the laboratory where they are examined and prepared for fertilization either in a Petri dish or through intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), in which a single sperm is injected into the egg.
Embryo Transfer. Embryos are allowed to grow and develop for three to five days in the lab, and then the embryo transfer procedure is performed. A thin, soft catheter is threaded through the woman’s cervix and an embryo or embryos are placed inside the uterus with the goal of implantation and a successful pregnancy. The process only takes a few minutes and has very little discomfort.
After the embryo transfer procedure, the patient should spend one to two days resting.
Two weeks after the transfer, a pregnancy test is scheduled in order to measure the actual quantity of hCG in the patient’s system and determine whether a pregnancy has occurred.
·Pregnancy success relies on a number of factors, including embryo quality, the number of embryos transferred, and the woman’s age.
The Reciprocal IVF Process
- One female partner undergoes ovarian stimulation, and her eggs are retrieved.
- Her eggs are fertilized with donor sperm.
- The resultant embryo(s) are transferred to the other female partner’s uterus, who then becomes pregnant
In reciprocal IVF, because eggs from one woman are used to create embryos that are then transferred into the uterus of another woman, the process has to be treated in the same manner as an egg donation. The partner providing the eggs is screened for infectious and sexually transmitted diseases, which are required by FDA regulations.
Reciprocal IVF for Lesbian Family Planning
At his beautiful Hoffman Estates IL location, Dr. Laurence A. Jacobs offers customized fertility treatment for every patient’s personal and medical needs.
- Diagnostic Testing and Corrective Treatments
- Non-invasive IUI – Intrauterine Insemination – artificial insemination
- IVF – In Vitro Fertilization – including using donor eggs
- Genetic Testing and Gender Selection in conjunction with IVF
- Egg Donor & Gestational Carrier IVF cycles
- Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) procedures
- Cryopreservation – Oocyte (egg), Embryo, Sperm
Click here to schedule your New Patient Telemedicine Consultation via Zoom with Dr. Jacobs – or call 888.325.7389.