How it Works
Your Baby: Conceiving through IUI
An IUI is a relatively simple and painless procedure and can be performed either during a natural menstrual cycle or a cycle in which ovulation is improved by the oral medication Clomid. Utilizing Clomid offers significantly higher pregnancy success and a shorter period of treatment.
The IUI is a painless procedure and does not require anesthesia. It is performed by one of our physicians or a trained nurse in our LGBT Fertility office. An IUI, in comparison to IVF, is a much less complicated and less expensive procedure.
Your Baby: Conceiving Through Reciprocal IVF
Reciprocal IVF allows you and your partner to be physically involved in conception. One partner donates her eggs, which means she is supplying the genetic makeup of the child; the other partner is the recipient of the embryo and carries the pregnancy. This arrangement creates the ultimate two-mother family, providing legal recognition and social privileges of complete, dual motherhood.
The partner providing the eggs for a reciprocal IVF cycle is required to undergo diagnostic fertility screening. This includes a review of medical records, blood tests, physical examination, screening for familial, genetic and infectious diseases and a psychosocial evaluation.
Steps to Motherhood
For fresh IVF, your cycle must be synchronized with your partner’s. This ensures that the embryos are placed in the recipient partner’s womb at the optimal time for implantation.
Step 1. The recipient partner has a transvaginal ultrasound to ensure her lining is thin and her ovaries are cyst-free.
Step 2: If everything looks good, the recipient partner begins estrogen replacement medication to prepare the lining of her uterus for implantation of the embryo.
Step 3: Approximately two weeks later, the recipient partner has another transvaginal ultrasound and blood work to ensure the lining is developing properly.
Step 4: If all is well, the recipient partner will begin progesterone injections when instructed by her nurse.
Step 5. The egg-donor partner begins subcutaneous hormone injections to stimulate her ovaries in order to produce a surplus of eggs (approximately 10-20). The egg-donor partner begins injections about 1-2 weeks after the recipient starts her medications.
Step 6: The egg-donor partner is regularly monitored in one of the LGBT Fertility offices. A transvaginal ultrasound is used to measure the size of the developing follicles and routine blood work monitors her estradiol levels.
Step 7: When the egg-donor partner’s lead follicles reach 18-20 mm, which typically takes about 10 days, she is given an injection to trigger egg maturity.
Step 8: Exactly 36 hours after the trigger shot, the donor partner’s eggs are retrieved through her vagina under ultrasound guidance and brief anesthesia in a procedure known as a transvaginal oocyte retrieval. The procedure takes about 5-10 minutes as is performed at the LGBT Fertility Center in Frisco, Texas.
Step 9: After eggs are collected, they are fertilized with donor or directed-donor sperm. The directed sperm donor cannot be a blood relative of the egg-donor partner, but can be a blood relative of the recipient partner. A directed donor he must complete a legal agreement and counseling before sperm can be used.
Step 10: Once the eggs are inseminated or placed with the sperm, they are housed in an incubator.
[Occasionally, an issue might arise and synchronization of both cycles is not possible. In this case, any embryos created are cryopreserved with the intention of transferring them in another cycle. This is referred to as a Frozen Embryo Transfer cycle.]
Step 11: Three or five days after the egg retrieval, the donor recipient undergoes an embryo transfer (ET) performed under ultrasound guidance at the LGBT Fertility Center. Once the patient, embryologist and physician have confirmed the plan for the embryo transfer, the physician will insert a speculum. An abdominal ultrasound is used to visualize the uterine cavity. The embryologist loads the embryos into a small catheter which is then gently inserted through the cervical opening into the uterus. The embryos are placed into the uterine cavity along with a very small amount of fluid. The catheter is then carefully removed. During the procedure, you and your partner can see the embryos as they are placed. The procedure takes 10-15 minutes and does not require anesthesia.
Step 12: Following the ET, the recipient partner will remain lying down in the recovery room for 30 minutes before being released for 24 hours of rest at home.
Step 13: A pregnancy test called a quantitative bhCG is performed 14 days after transfer. A bhcg level of 50 or higher is the goal. This test is repeated several times at various intervals to ensure that it is rising appropriately. Results are typically called the same day. *If the pregnancy test is negative, a follow-up visit is scheduled to review the cycle and discuss options.
Step 15: At 7 weeks, the recipient partner has her first ultrasound.
Step 16: At 8 weeks, the recipient partner has a second ultrasound and if a heartbeat is detected and all looks well, she is released into the care of her obstetrician for the duration of her pregnancy.