Navigating Fertility Options for Same-Sex Female Couples in Canada: A Comprehensive Guide

Posted on June 7, 2024

For same-sex female couples in Canada, the dream of parenthood is closer than ever. From pathways such as assisted reproductive technologies to adoption, various fertility options empower these couples to build the families they desire. In this guide, we'll delve into the landscape of fertility options for same-sex female couples (or singles) in Canada, offering insights, tips, and essential information to help you build your family.

First and foremost, couples need to understand their fertility treatment options. Options for same-sex female couples are as follows.

If you are ready to begin your fertility journey, here are some details of the important steps you will go through on your path to building your family. These steps include:

  1. Consultation and Evaluation: The fertility journey begins with a consultation with a reproductive endocrinologist. During the consultation, your medical history and any potential fertility concerns are discussed. If you are a part of a couple, both partners may undergo fertility evaluations.
  2. Sperm Donor Selection: Cisgender lesbians generally work with either a known or anonymous sperm donor. Anonymous donor sperm can be obtained through a sperm bank.
  3. Egg and Carrier Selection: Depending on the results of the fertility evaluation and/or personal preferences, partners will choose whose eggs will be used to create the embryo, as well as who will carry the pregnancy. This part of the process will also determine the type of fertility treatment used to initiate the pregnancy.
  4. Fertility Treatment: Depending on various factors, cisgender lesbian couples and individuals have the option of undergoing intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF), both using donor sperm as mentioned above. They may also opt to do reciprocal IVF at this stage. With IUI, the sperm is washed to remove the ejaculate fluid and then placed into a thin catheter which is passed through the cervix and into the uterus. The sperm are deposited directly into the uterus so they can continue their journey to the fallopian tubes. With IVF, mature eggs are retrieved and fertilized using donor sperm in our laboratory.
  5. Legal Considerations: Legal processes, such as parental rights, need to be addressed early on in the process. This can be difficult to predict, as reproductive laws vary from province to province. Fortunately, PCRM has worked with many excellent attorneys specializing in 2SLGBTQI+ family-building and fertility law and will be happy to refer you to the right professional.
  6. Emotional Considerations: It’s strongly recommended that everyone involved in the family-building process see a certified counselor to discuss the emotional and psychological aspects of using donor sperm.
  7. Pregnancy: Once the intended recipient becomes pregnant, the pregnancy is monitored very closely by a fertility doctor until it is time to transfer your care to an OB/GYN.
  8. Childbirth, Parenthood, and Beyond: At the point of childbirth, all legal processes for parental rights will be finalized. Most importantly, you get to start bonding with your baby immediately and bring them home so you can start a new chapter of your lives as a growing family.

Same-sex female couples in Canada have a wealth of fertility options available to them, allowing them to pursue their dreams of parenthood with confidence. At PCRM, we provide medical expertise throughout the family-building journey, as well as recommendations and guidance for emotional support and legal representation. Book your consultation with one of our doctors today and start your family-building journey.

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About the PCRM Blog

Welcome to the Pacific Fertility Centre for Reproductive Medicine Blog! Nationally and internationally recognized for providing exceptional reproductive care, our team believes in empowering people with the knowledge they need to navigate their unique fertility journeys.

From information on the latest fertility treatments to valuable insights on egg donation, surrogacy, and everything in between, the Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine Blog is your ultimate resource for all things reproductive care and support. Read on to learn more, and contact us today if you have any questions or want to schedule a new patient appointment.