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TIPS IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING SAME SEX IVF
1. The benefits of using a fertility clinic over self-insemination
include lower risk of infection from the donation, compulsory
counselling for all parties and security of access, identifica-
tion and records.
2. It is possible for you both to use the same donor if you wish,
however NSW legislation defines each woman as a separate
family which means you’ll require two of the donor’s available
3. The form of fertility treatment that is best will be unique to
your situation depending on many factors including your own
fertility and the quality of the donor sperm.
4. Some couples choose to ‘egg share’ where the eggs of one
partner are used in an IVF cycle to create embryos that are
then transferred into the other partner.
5. Medicare will only provide a rebate for fertility treatment
if there is a medical problem present. Consult your fertility
specialist to understand if you are
For more information about IVF for same sex couples visit
always wanted a family. When I met
my partner several years ago, already
in my 30’s, I knew that we would have
to broach the subject at some point.
“ I ’d love to have kids someday,” I add-
ed casually over a chai latte one morning, as
we basked in the bliss of our strengthening
relationship. My partner took small bites of
her corn fritter while I waited for a response.
She cast me a look that made me feel adored
and said, “Let’s look into it.”
That was my signal to begin a swathe of
research. As usual, ‘my research’, was actually
my partner’s excel spreadsheet comparing
options, fertility clinics, methods, success
rates and costs. It was important to us that
any clinic we chose would be open to work-
ing with same-sex couples. In such a delicate
process we didn’t want to be subjected to
judgement from clinics or practitioners who
were not on our team.
Once we had chosen a clinic and at-
tended our compulsory counselling session,
we embarked on a number of tests designed
to find out if there were any fertility issues or
health concerns that would hinder the out-
come of assisted conception.
Of course we couldn’t proceed without
choosing a donor. We decided to use an
unknown donor (facilitated by the clinic). We
busily surveyed files of possible candidates,
eventually settling on one that we thought
It was then time to decide on a course
forward – IUI or IVF. IUI, or intrauterine in-
semination, is a form of assisted conception
that’s all about getting the right things in the
right place at the right time. It’s a less invasive
process and a great start for couples like us.
After a few unsuccessful rounds we switched
to in vitro fertilisation (IVF). With IVF the eggs
are collected and combined with sperm
outside the body. Once fertilised the result-
ing embryo is then placed in the uterus in
the hope that a successful pregnancy will
follow. For me, this was really where the
expertise of the embryologist and the magic
of science played their part.
Our journey has not been without its
challenges. There was poking and jab-
bing as my cycle was tracked, injections
to induce ovulation (and produce more
eggs than the sole egg in a normal cycle),
hormonal fluctuations and, of course, the
disappointment of each negative pregnancy
Sadly, there’s also the possibility of
miscarriage, which, although not a taboo
subject, is not discussed nearly enough by
women who have felt its grief. However,
from loss, comes new beginnings and the
resolve to try again, when the time is right. A
professional and caring team of nurses and
practitioners, and a sense of resilience, are
key in overcoming any barriers one faces on
a journey to motherhood.
One morning, two weeks after a frozen
embryo transfer, my partner and I stared at
each other in the bathroom, waiting for a
dip-test result. “ Is that a line? I think it’s a line
a faint line!” For several days afterwards
we performed the same test, and the line
got darker and darker as each day passed.
With a positive pregnancy signalling good
fortune, we celebrated the first step on a
journey we knew could change our lives.
Our little bundle is expected to arrive in
a couple of months. We couldn’t be happier.
Although late nights with friends will soon
be replaced by sleepless nights, late night
feeds and a chaotic house, we’re more than
happy to switch the bars for the bassinet,
the sporty two door for a family wagon, and
expand our little world to three.
A Journey to Motherhood
BY AMANDA KEELING
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