ART Options For Gay Men

For most gay men, having a baby isn’t always straightforward. However, with assisted reproductive technology (ART), there are more options than ever before to grow a family. Men who identify as LGBTQ+ can pursue in vitro fertilization (IVF) using an egg donor and surrogate.


The IVF solution

Assisted reproductive technology is an excellent option for people who identify as LGBTQ+ to start or grow a family. With a little help from science, a baby is possible. Traditional IVF involves medication to stimulate the woman’s ovaries, an egg retrieval, and fertilization in a lab. The embryo is then transferred back into the woman’s uterus in hopes of implantation. For gay men, the process is a little more complex, but pregnancy is still possible.

Finding the right egg

Whether single or in a committed partnership, gay men can only contribute half of what is needed to make a baby. For the creation of an embryo, an egg donor is required. There are different options to choose from when searching for a donor. Some men go with a trusted friend or family member, while others prefer a more anonymous approach using a third-party donor. Since half of the baby’s deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) will come from this person, physical characteristics, like eye color, and any health problems that can be passed down should be considered.

When 2 become 1

Once an egg has been selected, the next step will be to create an embryo. The man will provide a semen sample at the fertility clinic, and the lab will combine the 2 specimens in the lab. If successful, the embryo will remain under the watchful eye of the embryologist for a few days before being deemed ready to transfer.

Embryo transfer

Another pivotal decision gay men or couples must make is who will carry the pregnancy. In some situations, a woman can serve as both the egg donor and gestational carrier. Other times, a third-party surrogate will be used. This woman should be in good physical health, responsible, and understand the serious commitment of surrogacy. Most IVF clinics can refer patients to a trusted surrogate agency that will vet the candidates thoroughly. Legal protections should also be put into place before the transfer. Once the proper paperwork has been signed, the embryo transfer will be scheduled for the correct time in the cycle.

Positive pregnancy test

About 2 weeks after the transfer, a pregnancy test can be taken. If all goes according to plan, this result will be positive, and the intended parents can celebrate knowing a baby is on the way. However, just like with traditional IVF, the process doesn’t always work, and in some cases, more than a single transfer may be needed before success is achieved.

Parenthood is possible

Gay men who desire a family can have a baby with IVF, a donor egg, and a surrogate. Although the process requires multiple moving parts, there is a good chance of success. Men in the LGTBQ+ community have options with advanced reproductive science so that growing a family is easier than ever before.