Reciprocal IVF

By HCRM on December 13, 2019


Fertilizing an egg in a fertility clinicSame-sex couples have many options for having children with a biological and personal connection to their parents. Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine is proud to help same-sex couples in the greater Omaha, NE realize the joys of parenthood. Many of these treatments involve variations on in vitro fertilization (IVF), which remains the most popular fertility procedure offered today.

For lesbian couples, reciprocal IVF is an option worth considering. Let’s take a moment to cover the basics of reciprocal IVF and why it may be right for you.

What Is Reciprocal IVF?

Reciprocal IVF is a process that allows women in same-sex relationships to both experience and participate in motherhood. The process involves an egg from one mother being carried to term in the body of the other mother. In this way, the couple has a biological and personal connection to the baby that’s born.

The Reciprocal IVF Procedure

During reciprocal IVF, one of the mother’s eggs is fertilized in a lab using donor sperm. The fertilized egg is allowed to develop into an embryo. Once the the embryo is ready, it is transferred to the womb of the other mother.

The reciprocal IVF process shares similarities with performing IVF with the aid of a gestational carrier. The key difference here is that rather than relying on a third-party, it is a member of the same-sex couple that carries her partner’s egg to term.

Ideal Candidates for Reciprocal IVF

Good candidates for reciprocal IVF and women who are in good reproductive and general health. The mother providing her eggs should not suffer from medical conditions that impact the viability or health of the eggs she provides. The mother who is carrying the embryo to term should be fit to cary a child through pregnancy.

During your consultation at our Omaha fertility clinic, we will be sure to go over your medical history and discuss the viability of treatment in full detail.

Success Rates for Reciprocal IVF

The success rates of reciprocal IVF are comparable to those of traditional IVF. According to findings from the American Pregnancy Association, those numbers are as follows:

  • As high as 43 percent for women under the age of 35
  • As high as 36 percent for women age 35 to 37
  • As high as 27 percent for women age 38 to 40
  • As high as 18 percent for women older than 40

Generally, women in their 20s and 30s are more fertile than women in their late 30s and older. Keep in mind that general wellness and a host of other factors can play a role in the overall rate of success for an individual couple. That’s why we take time to screen patients and develop the most viable treatments for their needs.

Other Options for Building a Family

If reciprocal IVF is not an ideal option for you, we have many other ways of helping same-sex female couples build a family together. A gestational carrier could be recommended if both mothers are unable to carry a child to term on their own, for example. We can discuss your options for treatment in more detail during a consultation.

Learn More About Family Building Options

If you live in the Omaha area and would like more information about reciprocal IVF, be sure to contact our board-certified fertility specialists. You can schedule a visit to Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine by calling (402) 717-4200.

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Each and every staff member at Heartland Center is tremendous. Dr. Maclin is a woman of grace, and a terrific medical doctor. She is a world-class surgeon, and we are so grateful to know her.

Lene - IVF Patient

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