The IVF Process For Gay Men
For gay men, family building necessitates the need for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) with an egg donor and a gestational carrier.
IVF is a process which consists of a series of coordinated steps. First, the egg donor takes a medication (usually birth control pills) that will keep her from ovulating prematurely. She then administers fertility medications in order to maximize the amount of eggs (follicles) that grow that month. The donor will be seen in the office for a series of blood tests and ultrasounds to assess her response and assure that we are stimulating her safely.
Once it is determined by ultrasound that the majority of her follicles are mature, she administers an injection that completes the maturation process and will cause ovulation to occur. The eggs are removed from the ovary via an intravaginal procedure called the “egg retrieval” that is performed in our OR suite in the Norwalk office. They are then fertilized with sperm and embryos (fertilized eggs) are created and allowed to grow in the laboratory to the blastocyst stage. A blastocyst is an embryo at the stage at which it implants in the uterus, so visualization at this stage, most physicians feel, is important in the embryo selection process.
At this point, the embryos may be frozen if genetic testing is desired or they are replaced as fresh embryos via an intrauterine catheter. If frozen, they will be thawed and then replaced into the uterus of the gestational carrier. After transfer, any remaining, viable blastocysts can be frozen for later use if desired by the IP(s). A pregnancy can be detected 11 to 12 days after the embryo transfer.