Lesbian Couples & Single Women

Fertility services for lesbians and single women who wish to conceive include: assessment of fertility; donor insemination (using sperm from a commercial sperm bank or from a donor known to the patient); in vitro fertilization, preimplantation genetic screening of embryos; embryo cryopreservation; and an embryo donation program. For women using a directed (known) sperm donor with whom they have not been sexually intimate, we are required to determine donor eligibility as mandated by the Food and Drug Administration. These federal regulations are intended to protect recipients from the transmission of infectious disease.

Who can be sperm donor?

There are many commercial sperm banks in the United States that ship anonymous donor sperm to us for intrauterine insemination (IUI). Either IUI ready (has already been prepared for IUI) or ICI ready (needs to be prepared by us for IUI) specimens can be ordered. Sometimes a blood relative or friend is willing to be the donor; this is known as directed sperm donation. The Food and Drug Administration has very specific rules for screening and testing sperm donors to prevent the transmission of infectious disease. We adhere to those rules at the Fertility Center of Oregon.

What is reciprocal IVF?

Reciprocal IVF is when one female partner’s eggs are retrieved, fertilized (with donor sperm) in the laboratory, and transferred to the uterus of the other female partner. This way both women play a key physical role in the conception and gestation of their baby.

How do I purchase sperm from a sperm bank?

Go online to the bank’s website and see if there is a donor who fits your requirements. Order IUI or ICI specimens (but not IVF specimens). The bank will ship your specimens to the Fertility Center of Oregon in a liquid nitrogen tank to keep it frozen until you are ready to use it. Shipping cost is substantial for these heavy tanks, so we usually recommend ordering 3 specimens together to have only one shipping fee. Frozen sperm can be maintained indefinitely in our andrology lab.