By Diana Chavkin, MD, FACOG –
I was in high school when I went to my first gay pride parade. I will never forget how impressed, amazed and overwhelmed I felt by the passion of the people marching with me. Men, women, old, young, families and grandparents. Family is not about marital status or sexual orientation. Single women, women in relationships, married women: all deserve to love and be loved and if what you want is a child, GENESIS can work with you to understand where you are in your journey and what your personal range of options are.
During your first consultation at our offices, we will discuss all of your options, from choosing a sperm donor to evaluating your fertility to the best way for you to get pregnant.
FINDING A DONOR
The first step will be choosing the sperm source. A sperm donor can be a friend, somebody you know or an anonymous donor.
There are a variety of reasons to choose a known sperm donor: expense is one, and the potential for a future personal relationship for your child is another. A known donor will be tested for infectious diseases such as HIV and then his sperm will be frozen. Six months later, the donor will be retested for these same diseases. Most fertility centers adhere to strict FDA guidelines that require freezing of sperm because this quarantine process significantly decreases the chance of disease transmission.
Most women opt for an anonymous donor because they want privacy, greater safety from infectious diseases and the elimination of potential legal parental rights issues. Typically, the donor is subjected to a detailed sexual history undergoes a physical exam and is screened for genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis.
Different sperm banks offer varying degrees of anonymity. Most banks will keep all the identities anonymous, including donor, mother and child. Some offer identity release programs and registries so that adult offspring over the age of 18 can look for the donor and for any half-siblings.
As with known donors, sperm banks do not release sperm for insemination until at least a 180-day quarantine period has passed and repeat testing for infectious diseases is completed.
All sperm banks should be licensed by the state.
There are many reasons why women may have infertility. If you have not regularly been exposed to a source of semen, you won’t know what your personal story is when it comes to fertility.
Hormonal imbalances, advanced age, low egg reserve and tubal blockage may make conceiving difficult. Bringing an understanding of these potential issues with you as you move forward in your journey towards parenthood will help you navigate the emotions, the economics and the impact on your body.
At Genesis, we know how crucial it is to take into account your unique history and personal preferences during this evaluation process.
There are a number of possible treatment options to achieve a pregnancy.
IUI: With this type of artificial insemination, sperm is placed in the uterus. You have a greater chance at conception when the sperm is placed directly into your uterus (via Intrauterine Insemination – IUI) as opposed to in your vagina or cervix.
Our reproductive specialists will determine the prime time in your cycle to achieve pregnancy. Your physician may recommend that you be prepped with fertility medications to increase the chance that pregnancy will result. During the procedure, a speculum will be placed into the vagina and a thin, flexible catheter filled with washed sperm will be placed into your uterus with a syringe.
IVF: During In Vitro Fertilization, sperm and egg meet to form an embryo in a petri dish in the embryology lab rather than in your fallopian tube. The embryo is then placed into your uterus in much the same way as the IUI procedure.
Your reproductive endocrinologist may recommend IVF rather than IUI if:
1) multiple insemination cycles have not resulted in a pregnancy
2) you have a diagnosis of infertility and your reproductive specialist
recommends IVF as the most efficient method to achieve conception
3) your fallopian tubes are obstructed and therefore IVF is the only option
Reciprocal IVF: With this process, a fertile lesbian couple can have an embryo formed using an egg from one partner and placed into the uterus of the other partner. At a later date, if the couple decides to have another child, the woman who carried the embryo can opt to use her eggs to form another embryo and her partner can carry the second child.
We want to make it as easy as possible for all women who want to be mothers to conceive a healthy baby.
Our dream is to help you achieve your dream.
If you would like to learn more about GENESIS Fertility or are ready to schedule an appointment, please speak with one of our New Patient Liaisons at 718-283-8600