Fertility for Female Couples

At The Surrey Park Clinic, we have helped many same sex couples become proud parents. It is truly a privilege to help create families and we always ensure both partners feel fully involved in the process right from the start. There are various options to consider when starting the fertility process which we have summarised below. Your Consultant and the fertility nurses will explain everything in detail during your initial consultation.

Sperm Donor

One of the first things to organise is the required sperm donation. You may have a sperm donor in mind who is known to you or we can put you in touch with specialised sperm donor organisations. These organisations ensure rigorous testing is carried out and they help match the donor to your individual requirements.

To find out more about using a sperm donor, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority website has a lot of information and we can also provide a sperm donor information leaflet.

Conception with Intra-Uterine Injection (IUI)

There are options for achieving fertilisation of the egg. Most women do not have any fertility challenges and therefore a procedure called intrauterine insemination (IUI) is usually recommended.

A sample of sperm is prepared by the embryologist and placed directly inside the uterus using a very fine catheter. The sperm is deposited before the release of an egg or eggs in a natural or stimulated cycle. Conception occurs naturally inside the body. We recommend taking a pregnancy test 2 weeks after the procedure.

Conception with In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

Alternatively IVF can be used. This is a multi-stage process used when a male partner’s sperm is put into the female’s eggs in a laboratory to produce embryos.

  1. Firstly the partner who is donating the egg to be fertilised has her normal hormone production temporarily switched off, using medication. This is so egg production and release can be controlled
  2. Then her ovaries are stimulated with hormone injections (Follicle Stimulating Hormone, FSH) to produce eggs
  3. The partner will be scanned and closely monitored to check follicle growth. When the follicles reach the right size (usually after 12-14 days), and the uterus lining is of the correct thickness, the eggs are collected under sedation
  4. The semen sample is prepared
  5. The eggs and semen are placed together in a dish and left to fertilise naturally
  6. The embryo(s) are placed in the woman’s uterus usually on the third or fifth day after egg collection when the fertilised egg has divided and contains six to eight cells, or is a blastocyst
  7. The other fertilised eggs can be frozen for use at a later date
  8. A pregnancy test should be taken 2 weeks after the procedure

Shared Motherhood (Intra-egg donation)

Many couples opt for shared motherhood. One partner will provide the egg within an IVF cycle and the fertilised egg will be implanted into the other partner’s womb. One partner is the biological mother whilst the other is the birth mother.

Next Steps

To find out more, why not book a free telephone conversation with one of our Fertility Coordinators. They can answer your questions and let you know more about the process.

Enquiry Form