It wasn’t long ago when same-sex couples had very limited options for building their families. For many, even adoption was not possible, meaning many same sex couples were unable to have a family, period. Fortunately, nowadays, gay men and lesbian couples have multiple options when deciding to build the family of their dreams.

Dr. Walid Saleh, the fertility specialist at SIRM Dallas fertility center in Dallas, Texas is here to go over the most common fertility treatment lesbian couples utilize to build their families: Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) with donor sperm.

Getting a Fertility Workup

The first step for anyone about to conceive is to get a basic workup. This is to ensure that she is able to achieve and carry a healthy pregnancy. The fertility workup may include:

  • A physical examination
  • An HSG (Hysterosalpingogram)
  • Bloodwork to test hormone levels (AMH) and infectious diseases (FDA requirement)

If the fertility workup reveals that the carrying partner is not able to conceive or carry the pregnancy, the other partner may be tested as well.

What is an IUI?

Most lesbian couples who are reproductively healthy often choose to utilize Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) with donor sperm. This is very effective and much more affordable. In this procedure, a small catheter will be inserted into the partner that will be carrying the child and the sperm will be placed directly in the uterus, giving it the best chance for success.

If one or both partners’ chances of conceiving are lower due to fertility factors (such as ovarian reserve), this may be done in conjunction with fertility medication to encourage ovulation.

Choosing a Sperm Donor

There are many things for couples to consider when choosing a sperm donor. Would the couple like to use an anonymous donor for a sperm bank, or a known donor, such as a friend or family member? This is a deeply personal choice that the couple should decide on prior to beginning treatment. When using a known sperm donor, the donor has to be re-tested for infectious diseases after the sperm is quarantined for 6 months before it can be safely released. While it is possible to sign a waiver, the donor would not be completely safe before this 6 month latency period.

For those who would prefer to use an anonymous donor, there are many factors to consider:

  • Do you prefer specific physical traits, like hair or eye color?
  • Are their certain personal traits, like athleticism or creativity that are important to you?
  • Is the ethnicity or religious background of the donor important to you?

Many sperm banks include comprehensive genetic testing of their donors and provide adult picture in their database.

Want to learn more about choosing a sperm donor? Contact us at 972-566-6686 today to schedule a consultation.

Legal Considerations

There are a variety of important legal issues that need to be considered when using donor sperm, including establishing legal parentage for both partners. At SIRM Dallas in Dallas, Texas, we have several relationships with attorneys who specialize in third party reproductive law and can help you navigate these important legal issues.

Using an anonymous donor has definite advantages. There are no legal constraints about the donor’s parental rights associated when using an anonymous sperm donor.  The clinic would provide a standard consent in that case. When using a known sperm donor, legal advice is recommended to avoid legal disputes in the future.

If you and your partner are considering building your family through Intrauterine Insemination with donor sperm, contact our Dallas fertility center at 972-566-6686 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Walid Saleh today.