For LGBTQ+ individuals and couples, there can be a lot to consider when you are deciding to grow your family. It’s an exciting time in your life, and our aim is to help you through the process with an experienced and dedicated team of fertility specialists, nurses, and staff right by your side.
Whether you are just starting to research, or you’ve already begun the process, our doors are always open to have a chat and find out how we can help you achieve your dreams of growing your family.
Here’s how MelbourneIVF can help you on your path to parenthood:
I am looking to use donor sperm:
MelbourneIVF is an experienced fertility clinic providing a comprehensive and supportive donor program to assist anyone needing a sperm donation to help them have a baby.
You can use sperm donated by someone you know or select one of our de-identified donors that we have recruited locally. All our donors undergo rigorous preparation for donation, including medical screening, genetic testing, quarantining. Donors also attend counselling to ensure they understand the requirements, the applicable legislation and the process.
Donor sperm can then be used for either IUI (intrauterine insemination) or IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatment with ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection).
I want to build a family together with my partner
Some same-sex, and gender and sexually diverse couples can use a variety of arrangements to have a family and we can support you in this process. Sometimes the eggs of one partner are used in an IVF cycle to create embryos that are then transferred into the other partner. This means that one partner is the birth parent and the other partner is the genetic parent.
For many couples this is a beautiful process that allows both parents to have a unique linkage to the child.
I plan on using a surrogate / I am looking for an egg donor for my surrogate
For many gender and sexually diverse and same sex couples, maintaining a partial genetic link to their child is important. Assisted reproduction via surrogacy can help you achieve this. Surrogacy involves creating embryos by IVF from eggs and sperm produced by either the intended parent or a suitable donor. The embryo is then transferred into the uterus of the person acting as surrogate.
In Australia, someone who becomes a surrogate must decide to do so for altruistic reasons. Altruistic surrogacy is when the surrogate does not receive any payment other than reasonable reimbursement of medical expenses associated with the pregnancy and birth.
As an intended parent, you have to find your own surrogate. At Melbourne IVF, it’s our policy that a surrogate must not use their own eggs (meaning, the surrogate will not have a genetic link to the child). This may mean that you may also need to find an egg donor.
Our friendly team can help you navigate this process, provide advice and helpful resources.
If you are ready to move ahead with treatment, feel free to get in touch with us today to begin the process.
I’m considering starting gender-affirming medical or surgical treatment and want to know my fertility options
There can be specific recommendations for those who have started or are considering starting a gender-affirming medical or surgical treatment. This is because these therapies sometimes have the potential to limit your fertility down the track.
Many transgender and gender diverse people will want to have children at some stage in their life. One way to assist with this is to consider the option to preserve your fertility. You may or may not choose to go down the fertility preservation path, but it’s important to be aware of the options.
Fertility preservation options can include sperm freezing, embryo freezing (fertilising eggs and then freezing those embryos), egg freezing, or more rarely, freezing gonadal tissue.
Egg freezing can be done at any time during your transition. If you’ve been using testosterone, you will need to stop the testosterone for a brief period of time, and then have injections for about two weeks. Monitoring and blood tests will reveal the growth of the eggs, and after two weeks you’ll undergo a minor surgical procedure to remove your eggs without incisions or stitches. Once the procedure is over, you can then resume your testosterone treatment.
What about carrying a pregnancy? If you have a uterus, successful pregnancy may be possible, regardless of prior testosterone use or other treatments.
Everyone’s fertility journey is unique, just like you.
And if you’re just starting out the process, you may not be aware of personal
fertility factors that can influence your chances of becoming a parent – from
gynaecological conditions, sperm or egg health, age, or other factors.
A good first step is to book an appointment with one of our experienced fertility specialists
They will get to know your individual circumstances, assess your
reproductive health, and start to tailor a treatment plan that aligns with your
desired fertility pathway.