Reciprocal IVF Success Rates

By Dr. Kalan on July 28, 2019


A mother and her babyIn the past, adoption was the only option for same-sex couples to build a family together. Thanks to advances in assisted-reproductive technology, there are now variations on in vitro fertilization (IVF) that allow same-sex couples to parent biological children. Dr. Marc Kalan and Dr. Nurit Winkler have helped many LGBTQ patients in the greater Los Angeles, CA experience the joys of parenthood thanks to IVF procedures.

For lesbian couples, reciprocal IVF allows both mothers to participate in the process of pregnancy. Let’s go over the basics of the procedure and note the potential success rates.

What Is Reciprocal IVF?

Reciprocal IVF gives women in same-sex relationships an opportunity to connect over the birth of their child in a way that was not possible in the past.

The procedure uses donor sperm to fertilize one mother’s egg. Following fertilization, the other mother carries the embryo in her body. It is similar to the use of a donor egg and gestational carrier during an IVF cycle, except in this case the two women are in a relationship with one another.

How Reciprocal IVF Works

Fertility drugs are given to both mothers as part of the reciprocal IVF process in order to sync up their cycles and ensure the best possible results.

Eggs are taken from one of the mothers to be fertilized in a lab using donor sperm. Both mothers can pick the donor based on physical characteristics, educational background, and talents. After the egg has developed into an embryo, it is transferred to the other mother in order to implant in the uterus and be carried to term.

Good Candidates for Reciprocal IVF

Good candidates for reciprocal IVF are same-sex female couples who would like to build a family together. They should be in good health and ideally be under the age of 40 as a means of avoiding birth defects and potential health complications.

During the consultation at Los Angeles Reproductive Center, we will go over all of the risks and benefits involved in treatment so you know what to expect.

The Success Rates of Reciprocal IVF

Though the success rate for reciprocal IVF can differ from patient to patient, they generally follow the pattern of effectiveness for traditional IVF treatment. According to these numbers from The American Pregnancy Association, age is a primary factor in the success rates of IVF:

  • Women under age 35 - A 41 to 43 percent success rate
  • Women age 35 to 37 - A 33 to 36 percent success rate
  • Women age 38 to 40 - A 23 to 27 percent success rate
  • Women over 40 - A 13 to 18 percent success rate

Other factors that play a role in IVF success include general health and wellness of each mother and the presence of certain medical conditions.

What Happens After a Failed Reciprocal IVF Cycle?

Sometimes an IVF cycle does not work out, which may just be the result of bad luck. Patients can either try another IVF cycle or consider another fertility treatment. We can discuss the pros and cons of each option in more detail during the consultation process. We are here for you regardless of your decision.

Contact Los Angeles Reproductive Center

If you are in a same-sex relationship and would like to learn more about building a family and what procedures can help, contact our skilled fertility doctors about your treatment options. Dr. Kalan and Dr. Winkler can be reached by phone at (818) 208-5481.

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Los Angeles Reproductive Center is a unique fertility clinic focused on treating patients like family and built upon the principles of communication, compassion, warmth, openness, and service that accompanies an exceptional pregnancy rate. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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