About Reciprocal IVF
Reciprocal IVF, sometimes referred to as co-maternity or partner-assisted reproduction, is an ideal path to parenthood for couples where both individuals have a uterus and/or eggs. The eggs of one partner are retrieved and fertilized with donor sperm in our laboratory, and the resulting embryo is transferred to the other partner, who will carry the pregnancy.
The Typical Reciprocal IVF Process
- Stimulation: For approximately 10 to 14 days before the egg retrieval, the partner providing the eggs will need to inject fertility medications each day. Blood tests and ovarian ultrasounds will help confirm that the eggs are ready to be retrieved.
- Egg Retrieval: The doctor will use an ultrasound probe to gently remove the eggs from the ovarian follicles. The procedure usually takes around 20 minutes, and the patient is sedated.
- Fertilization: In our lab, eggs are fertilized with donor sperm and placed in an incubator where they will mature into embryos that are later tested and then frozen.
- Uterine preparation: The partner who will carry the pregnancy may be given medications to thicken their uterine lining and increase the odds that the embryo will “stick” when it is transferred.
- Frozen embryo transfer: The healthiest embryo is thawed and implanted into the uterus of the partner who will carry the pregnancy.
Decisions to be Made Prior to Reciprocal IVF
If you and your partner are considering reciprocal IVF but unsure about who will carry and who will provide the egg, Dr. Lavy will consult with you and may prescribe blood tests and ultrasound to determine which scenario poses the greater chance of success.
Reciprocal IVF patients can choose a known sperm donor, such as a friend or family member, or an anonymous donor. New England Fertility works with a number of reputable sperm banks that provide a wide selection of anonymous donors.
Dr. Lavy talks with two moms about their reciprocal IVF journey:
Contact New England Fertility for a consultation to discuss reciprocal IVF.