Lesbian Couple IVF and Fertility Care

lesbian_ivf_mixed_race_coupleAt CRGH we have been helping lesbian couples to create their families for a number of years through lesbian IVF, IUI and reciprocal IVF. We have a specialist team who are dedicated to helping you both on your journey into parenthood. The following information outlines the optional treatments and pathways as well as the IVF process for lesbian couples.

Lesbian couples will be seen at the clinic by a fertility specialist to discuss treatment options, their fertility (for both partners if they are wishing to both have treatment), the use of donor sperm and how to choose a donor. Information regarding legal parenthood and parental responsibility will also be provided.

The three main treatment types for lesbian couples offered at CRGH are:

The couple’s journey to parenthood through the clinic will be as follows:

Initial consultation

An initial consultation will take place with one of our fertility specialist to discuss treatment options. Information will be provided to the couple by the fertility specialist/fertility nurses outlining the treatment discussed, screening and investigation requirements, donor sperm information and information regarding implications counselling. During this initial consultation you will learn about the IVF process for lesbian couples, as well as options such as reciprocal IVF.

Nurse consultation appointment

lesbian-asian-lgbt-coupleFollowing your consultation to discuss treatment, you will have a nurse consultation appointment with a fertility nurse specialist to explain the treatment plan and regime, ensure that all screening and investigations are in place.

During this appointment you will also make sure that the arrangement for donor sperm is in place and that the couple have been contacted by the lab team to arrange the import of their donor sperm (if applicable) or if they are using donor sperm from the CRGH sperm bank.

All required consent forms will be completed at this stage also including the HFEA (Human fertilisation and embryology Authority) Legal parenthood consents, giving both women legal parenthood of any child born as a result of their treatment. At this appointment, the timeline for treatment will also be provided outlining the treatment stages and processes for lesbian IVF, IUI or reciprocal IVF.

Lesbian IVF with donor sperm

  1. Consultation with a CRGH doctor
    You will discuss medical history, screening and investigations, treatment options and information on donor sperm and counselling.
  2. Blood tests and scans
    We need to look at your hormone levels and your ovarian follicles to decide a treatment plan that is right for you. Other investigations such as 3D SIS and endometrial biopsy may also be done.
  3. Consultation with a CRGH nurse
    Your nurse will explain your treatment plan, screening tests, medication and injection teach, donor sperm matching and consent forms.
  4. Donor Sperm
    Arrangement in place for donor sperm – from CRGH sperm bank or elsewhere.
  5. Stimulation
    After your baseline scan, injections will stimulate your ovaries to develop multiple eggs.
  6. Monitoring
    Regular scans and blood tests allow us to monitor your ovarian response to the drugs.
  7. Trigger injection
    When hormones are at the right levels, another injection will trigger the eggs to mature.
  8. Egg collection
    Eggs are collected via a needle passed through the vagina whilst you are under sedation.
  9. Fertilisation and embryo development
    Eggs are fertilised with donor sperm in the lab and are placed in an incubator. Embryo development is monitored by CRGH embryologists.
  10. Embryo transfer
    The best embryo(s) is/are transferred back into the uterus. Any suitable embryos not transferred can be frozen for later use.
  11. Pregnancy test
    Patients take a pregnancy test 16 days after embryo transfer. At this stage we will arrange appropriate support.

You may like to view our handy IVF infographic:

IVF for lesbian couples







IUI with donor sperm

  1. Consultation with a CRGH doctor
    You will discuss medical history, screening and investigations, treatment options and information on donor sperm and counselling.
  2. Blood tests and scans
    We need to look at your hormone levels and your ovarian follicles to decide a treatment plan that is right for you. Other investigations such as 3D HyCoSy may also be done.
  3. Consultation with a CRGH nurse
    Your nurse will explain your treatment plan, screening tests, medication and injection teach, donor sperm matching and consent forms.
  4. Donor Sperm
    Arrangement in place for donor sperm – from CRGH sperm bank or elsewhere.
  5. Baseline scan
    On day 1 of your cycle call CRGH to arrange an appointment in 7 – 9 day’s time.
  6. Monitoring
    Regular scans and blood tests allow us to monitor follicular development.
  7. Insemination and fertilisation
    At the time of ovulation, the prepared donor sperm will be injected into the uterus of the partner who will potentially carry the child for fertilisation to take place.
  8. Pregnancy test
    Patients take a pregnancy test 16 days after embryo transfer. At this stage we will arrange appropriate support.

You may like to view our handy IUI infographic:

IUI for lesbian couples




Reciprocal IVF/Shared Motherhood

Reciprocal IVF in the UK is also known as shared motherhood and involves both partners in the process. To read more about the reciprocal IVF process please read our step by step guide below.

  1. Consultation with a CRGH doctor
    You will discuss medical history, screening and investigations, treatment options and information on donor sperm and counselling.
  2. Blood tests and scans
    We need to look at your hormone levels and your ovarian follicles to decide a treatment plan that is right for you. Other investigations such as 3D SIS and endometrial biopsy may also be done.
  3. Consultation with a CRGH nurse
    Your nurse will explain your treatment plan, screening tests, medication and injection teach, donor sperm matching and consent forms.
  4. Donor Sperm
    Arrangement in place for donor sperm – from CRGH sperm bank or elsewhere.
  5. Stimulation Partner donating eggs
    After your baseline scan, injections will stimulate your ovaries to develop multiple eggs.
  6. Monitoring
    Regular scans and blood tests allow us to monitor your ovarian response to the drugs.
  7. Trigger injection
    When hormones are at the right levels, another injection will trigger the eggs to mature.
  8. Egg collection
    Eggs are collected via a needle passed through the vagina whilst you are under sedation.
  9. Fertilisation and embryo development
    Eggs are fertilised with donor sperm in the lab and are placed in an incubator. Embryo development is monitored by CRGH embryologists.
  10. Embryo freezing
    Embryos are frozen quickly using the vitrification technique.
  11. Ovulation – Partner receiving embryo.
    On day 1 of your cycle call CRGH to arrange an appointment in 7 – 9 day’s time.
  12. Medication
    Medication to prepare womb lining.
  13. Frozen Embryo transfer
    The best embryo(s) is/are transferred back into the uterus. Any suitable embryos not transferred can be frozen for later use.
  14. Pregnancy test
    Patients take a pregnancy test 16 days after embryo transfer. At this stage we will arrange appropriate support.

You may like to view our handy IUI infographic:

Shared motherhood for lesbian couples

At CRGH, we feel that it is extremely important that both couples are involved in the treatment process from start to end and we will ensure that (wherever possible) you will be seen together, especially at the crucial times of embryo transfer and insemination.

How much does reciprocal IVF cost in the UK?

As both partners are involved in the treatment process, reciprocal IVF costs in the UK sometimes exceed that of other options outlined above. At CRGH we have a finance team who will discuss the exact costs with you prior to starting treatment.

Sperm donation

We also welcome couples for treatment if they wish to bring a known sperm donor or a co-parent as part of their journey into parenthood. For lesbian couples who wish to use a friend or family member as a known donor or co-parent then we would also see the donor/co-parent for initial consultation with a fertility specialist and he will then be seen by a fertility nurse specialist to outline the process for them.

For more information about using a sperm donor in your treatment please visit the HFEA and Donor Conception Network websites.

Contact Us

If you would like to book an appointment to discuss lesbian IVF with one of our doctors you can:

  • Speak to the booking team on +44 (0)20 7837 2905  (Mon – Fri 8.30am – 6pm)
  • Email us on info@crgh.co.uk 
  • Visit our Appointments page, fill out the contact form and a member of the team will be in touch

IVF Packages With Access Fertility

IVF Packages With Access Fertility
CRGH is partnering with Access Fertility to offer a series of IVF programmes and packages. For more information please click below.

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