Same-Sex Female Family Building Options
As the largest fertility financing platform, we believe strongly that everyone should afford a family. So, for Pride Month, we'd like to walk you through all of your family building options and how we can help. Below, however, we'll discuss some of the paths to parenthood and the approximate cost of each.
Family Building Options for Gay Couples
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) with Donor Sperm
Often referred to in shorthand as IUI, Artificial Intrauterine Insemination with donor sperm is one of the most commonly pursued paths to a family for same-sex female couples. First, whichever partner is planning on carrying the pregnancy would take hormones (injectable or oral depending on what your doctor recommends) to produce more eggs than during a typical cycle. Then, a Reproductive Endocrinologist would take the sperm and put it through a process called "sperm washing." This collects a concentrated amount of healthy sperm from the semen, and the; it will be released through a catheter into the partner's cervix, who will be carrying the pregnancy.
IUI can vary widely in cost from $650-$4,000 or even more. Why? It really depends on the protocol the doctor prescribes. For example, if you are prescribed an oral medication like Letrozole, it would be $40. Whereas an injectable gonadotropin (often used for older patients or those with lower ovarian reserve) can cost $2,000. Overall, IUI tends to be less expensive and less invasive, making it a primary choice for many.
The IVF Process
Whether you're a single female or a same-sex male couple, IVF is a form of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) to familiarize yourself with. In the IVF process, either donor eggs are used (through a donor egg bank, shared donor, a friend, or one of the partners involved.). First, an embryologist will combine the eggs will be combined with sperm, ideally resulting in embryos. Then, similar to IUI, the embryo(s) are put into a catheter where it is transferred to the woman's uterus (or a gestational carrier) in the hopes that it will implant into the uterine lining.
The cost of an IVF per cycle in the US is $16,000-20,000, depending on a number of factors such as where you live, the clinic, and the protocol prescribed. However, in general, the clinic will charge about $12,000 per cycle. Medications are charged separately and cost between $4,000-$8000 per cycle, depending again on your protocol. It is important to get a detailed estimate from your clinic for the costs of your treatment.
Please note, it may take more than one cycle to achieve a pregnancy (the average in the US is about 2.2 cycles).
Reciprocal In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) has grown in popularity in the past decade as it can create a more shared experience for same-sex female couples. Since you now have an overview of the IVF process, we can explain Reciprocal IVF. One partner provides her eggs which will be fertilized after being retrieved, and the other partner will be the one to carry the pregnancy. Costs are similar to IVF above.
Donor Egg or Donor Embryo
If either partner in a same-sex female couple is unable to use their eggs or if you're in a same-sex male relationship, donated eggs will be needed. Donor eggs can range significantly. Whether you're working with a friend who is donating her eggs, you're using a fresh or frozen donor, or a shared donor, it can be as low as $9,950 to well over $40,000.
For same-sex female couples, donor sperm is needed. Donor sperm is donated either from a sperm bank, friend, or a known donor. Depending on which route you go, the cost will vary. In general, vials cost anywhere from $400-$1,000.
The Surrogacy Process
Surrogacy is an arrangement often supported by a legal agreement with a woman who is not genetically tied to the embryo/baby. She will carry the child for another person or persons, who will become the child's parent after birth.
Surrogacy is the most expensive in this list and can cost upwards of $130,000 to cover agency, surrogate and legal fees, insurance, medical and living expenses for the surrogate.
How We Can Help
The EggFund platform is here to help you begin your journey to becoming parents. We were founded by a person living with infertility who experienced the high cost and stress of treatment firsthand. Her mission to make the process more affordable and less stressful. We can help get you matched with your pre-approved offers in 60 seconds. Start your journey by clicking here.