Reciprocal IVF

Innovative Fertility Center offers reciprocal IVF for lesbian couples to build their families

As the medical director of our Los Angeles fertility center, Dr. Mark Rispler works with individuals and couples who need assistance getting pregnant. The team at Innovative Fertility Center understands that LGBT couples face additional challenges with family building, so we offer a variety of services, including reciprocal IVF for lesbian couples. With this option, each partner can physically participate in the conception of their child.

Dr. Rispler reviews the IVF process

To grasp reciprocal IVF, patients need basic knowledge of in-vitro fertilization or IVF. With traditional IVF, a female patient begins hormone therapy to control ovulation; we monitor the progress with sonograms and blood work. At the appropriate time, Dr. Rispler retrieves the eggs, which are then fertilized in the IVF lab with sperm from the male partner or the donor. After the embryos develop, Dr. Rispler will transfer one or two of the best quality embryos back into the uterus.

Understanding how reciprocal IVF works

For lesbian couples who wish to share the pregnancy experience, reciprocal IVF provides each partner an opportunity to play a role in the baby-making process. The eggs of one female partner are retrieved and fertilized with donor sperm. Dr. Rispler will then transfer the embryos into the uterus of the other female partner.

If couples choose a fresh embryo cycle, Dr. Rispler will synchronize both partners’ cycles with hormones. With frozen embryo cycles, each partner’s treatment can be independent of the other person.

Egg donation and reciprocal IVF

Because eggs from one woman are being used to create embryos that Dr. Rispler will transfer into the uterus of another, Innovative Fertility Center must adhere to strict regulations around “egg donation”. Consequently, the partner that will become the “egg donor” will undergo a comprehensive medical history, physical examination, blood testing, screening for familial, genetic and infectious diseases, and a psychosocial evaluation. Dr. Rispler will review these results with both partners. 

Decisions lesbian couples make with reciprocal IVF

Once you decide on reciprocal IVF, you and your partner will then need to determine who will donate the eggs and who will carry the pregnancy. Both partners should openly and honestly share their feelings.

As you evaluate your choices, we suggest considering:

  • Maternal age
  • Any underlying health issues
  • Fertility status
  • Desire to be carry a pregnancy

At Innovative Fertility Center, our team works to assist our patients in creating or expanding their families as LGBT couples. We provide options such as reciprocal IVF to help you and your partner have the baby–and fertility experience–that you desire.  Contact our office for more information or to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Rispler.