22 February 2019

IUI or IVF for same sex couples?

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Written by

Complete Fertility

Becoming a parent is an exciting journey and for most first-timers there’s a lot to learn about your fertility options as a same sex couple.

For same-sex couples wishing to become parents there are a number of fertility treatment options that can be chosen based on your fertility status and personal preferences.

To simplify things there are two main options for same-sex couples seeking fertility treatment. These are intra-uterine insemination (IUI) and in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).

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What is IUI?

IUI is a treatment that helps a woman to conceive by placing specially prepared sperm directly into the womb at the time when eggs are being released, called ovulation.

What is IVF?

IVF removes the eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilises them with specially prepared sperm in a laboratory dish before placing the fertilised eggs, called embryos, into the woman’s womb.

Same sex women considering IVF may be eligible for egg sharing or may choose reciprocal IVF.

IVF egg sharing

If you would like to donate some of your eggs to an anonymous woman who needs donor eggs to help her to conceive, we can offer you free IVF. Eligibility criteria apply. You will require the use of donated sperm too.

Reciprocal IVF

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Reciprocal IVF allows both partners to be involved in the creation of their baby. One partner donates her eggs to the other who will carry the foetus through to childbirth.

There are two options of reciprocal IVF for same sex women.

IVF with donor sperm and partner to partner sharing

You can donate half of your eggs to your same sex partner and the other half to an anonymous recipient. Donor sperm is required to fertilise the eggs.

IVF with donor sperm and donor eggs

Your same sex partner donates her eggs to you only. Donor sperm is required for fertilisation of the eggs.

So how do you choose which fertility treatment?

There are pros and cons to both procedures. Your choice will need to take into account your fertility health and your personal preferences. Your consultant will discuss this in more detail with you to help you come to a decision.

IUI is often the first choice of fertility treatment for same-sex couples. It is a relatively quick, painless, cheaper, more natural, and less invasive fertility treatment than IVF and it tends to work best for people who don’t have severe fertility problems such as same sex couples. However, it also has lower success rates per cycle than IVF so you may need to try several times.

Same sex couples may choose IVF is they want a treatment with a higher success rate and don’t mind this more invasive technique. IVF generally costs more than IUI but there are options to reduce these costs such as IVF egg sharing.

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Reciprocal IVF may be chosen if both couples want to be actively involved in the creation of their baby together.

Book an appointment to discuss your options

We offer convenient appointments for patients wishing to discuss their fertility treatment options and start their journey to parenthood.

Call us on 023 8120 6980 to speak to one of our friendly team who will be pleased to help you.