Compassionate Transgender Fertility Experts
At the Los Angeles Reproductive Center, we are proud to help individuals or couples where one of both partners are transgender, to build a family. Learn about Transgender Fertility options in Los Angeles, CA. This aspect of fertility care is quickly evolving and can take-on many forms dependent on the patient’s wishes.
As a starting point, there are two main decisions for patients to consider:
Sperm, Eggs and Uterus
First, patients decide upon a healthy sperm source, egg source and uterus. Options include utilizing sperm or eggs from one or both partners. Even an individual who has been on hormones for a long time can potentially produce sperm or eggs. While this may require a few months without hormones, the doctors at LARC are strongly committed to letting their patients make such decisions. Alternatively, some patients opt to utilize a known or anonymous sperm and or egg donor to achieve a pregnancy.
As far as the uterus, utilizing the womb from one or both partners is possible, even if an individual has been on hormones for a long time. Alternatively, some transgender patients choose to use a gestational surrogate to have their child. The Los Angeles Reproductive Center is very experienced with the sperm and egg donation process, as well as gestational surrogacy, and guides patients through each step of the process.
In vitro Fertilization or Intra Uterine Insemination
The second main decision for transgender couples or individuals is choosing between intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). IUI is the process of inserting a thin plastic catheter through the cervix and injecting pre-washed sperm into the uterus. An IUI is timed to coincide with ovulation. Compared to IVF, the advantages of IUI include lower cost, less time commitment and little or no need for hormones. On the downside, the success rates of IUI are considerably lower than IVF. Further, IUI does not present the option for genetic testing or “banking” embryos for the future.
IVF is the process of obtaining eggs from a chosen ovarian source (one or both partners or an egg donor) sperm from a chosen source (one or both partners or a sperm donor) and combining them to create embryos. Embryos then grow in the laboratory for five to six days at which point they can be transferred back into a prepared uterus, or tested to determine genetic health (Preimplantation Genetic Screening, PGS) and frozen. Alternatively, many patients opt not to test their embryos and simply freeze them for future use.
The biggest advantage of IVF is that it is the most successful form of fertility treatment. In addition, IVF allows PGS (Preimplantation Genetic Screening), which is testing of the embryo to ensure genetic health and identification of gender (if desired). Further, many IVF cycles result in enough embryos for more than one child over subsequent years.
On the downside, IVF can be costly and time intensive. Further, some patients have religious or ideological opposition to IVF.
Dr. Winkler and Dr. Kalan place great importance on offering the widest possible slate of options to all of their patients, including transgender couples and individuals. They work as a team with their patients to determine the best path moving forward. While all these options can be overwhelming and confusing, the experts at Los Angeles Reproductive Center (LARC) are accustomed to walking their patients through the process of fertility treatment one step at a time. At LARC, we believe that each patient deserves an individualized treatment plan based on their unique history, individual biology and personal wishes. By respecting these aspects of each patient, we are able to craft reasonable treatments with exceptional outcomes.
If you have questions about transgender fertility options at Los Angeles Reproductive Center, contact us. We are happy to speak with you.