Houston Fertility Specialists is proud to serve the LGBT community.
Our fertility treatments for same-sex couples include low-cost natural cycle inseminations as well as high tech fertility treatments, if needed.
Houston Fertility Specialists was named “Best Fertility Clinic” in the 2017 Gayest and Greatest Reader’s Choice Awards from OutSmart, Houston’s leading LGBT magazine. With more than 850 nominees and over 222,000 votes cast across 15 categories, Houston Fertility Specialists was one of only three fertility clinics in Houston that earned a nomination. We are honored by the recognition this award provides, and we’re committed to providing LGBT intended parents with the highest quality and inclusive fertility care all growing families deserve.
Below is the information for different treatment options for same-sex couples.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) — a type of artificial insemination — is a procedure for treating infertility. Donor sperm, that has been chosen and purchased by the couple, are placed directly in your uterus around the time your ovary releases one or more eggs.
Donor sperm should be sent to our clinic and can be stored in our laboratory’s cryo tank prior to your IUI treatment cycle. The actual transfer of the donated sperm to the uterus is a process like a typical Pap test for women. These IUI procedures are performed in a regular exam room at our clinic by our physicians, physician assistants, or registered nurses.
Ideal candidates for IUI should have at least one open fallopian tube. Your physician will discuss these treatment options in detail with you.
Frequently in non-IVF treatment cycles, medications may be used to promote the growth of one or more follicles (containing the eggs) to achieve pregnancy. These drugs are given orally or via small needle injections under the skin. The follicle development is monitored by blood tests and ultrasound measurements. Ovulation is triggered spontaneously or through another small injection. IUI will be used to deliver donated sperm to the ovulated egg(s) at the appropriate time.
Ideal candidates for ovulation induction should have at least one open fallopian tube. Your physician will discuss these treatment options in detail with you.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
Houston Fertility Specialists’ In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) program was established in 1984 and is one of the oldest and most successful in the country. Our program provides a comprehensive array of services tailored to help you achieve your dream of having a healthy baby. For decades, our physicians and laboratory director have been at the forefront of innovation in IVF, and our experienced nurses work one on one with patients during their IVF cycle. Our team is with you every step of the way.
Our IVF program treats the most challenging infertility problems. This includes cases of women with decreased ovarian reserve. If IVF is determined to be the appropriate treatment by you and your physician, an individually tailored plan will be made for ovarian stimulation and subsequent fertilization of eggs with donor sperm. The development of eggs inside the ovary will be monitored with transvaginal ultrasound examinations and blood hormonal assays to ensure a satisfactory and safe response. This monitoring can be done at any of the our offices. The IVF procedure itself is performed in our facility located in the Texas Medical Center on The Woman’s Hospital of Texas.
In vitro fertilization is recommended for patients who have blocked fallopian tubes, advanced age and/or haven’t had success with other treatment methods.
What to expect when going through IVF:
- Routine testing performed prior to IVF includes preconception labs, FDA required infection disease screening, genetic carrier screening and evaluation of the uterine cavity.
- Patients will have a nurse teaching visit for injection training
- Your medications will be ordered prior to the start of the IVF cycle
- Your IVF protocol may include use of birth control pills prior to starting injectable medications
- About 12-14 days after the start of injectable medications, your eggs will be retrieved or extracted. The mature eggs will be injected with donor sperm and embryo development will be allowed for 5-7 days
- The fertilized eggs that reach the embryo stage will undergo biopsy for genetic testing and frozen in our IVF laboratory
- Once we receive your genetic test results on the embryos, you will be prepped for frozen embryo transfer
- A blood pregnancy test will be administered about 10 days after the embryo transfer to confirm pregnancy
Our goal is to help our patients have one healthy baby at a time, minimizing multiple pregnancy rates. Multiple pregnancies are one of the major reasons for poor outcomes in IVF babies based on scientific research. We achieve this goal through PGS selection of chromosomally normal embryos, allowing elective transfer of a single embryo (eSET) maximizing chances of pregnancy and minimizing risk for multiple pregnancy at a low miscarriage rate. We have the lowest multiple pregnancy rate and the highest eSET rate in Houston. Our eSET rate is three-times the national average, which puts us at the forefront of innovation in IVF. We are proud to have one of the lowest multiple pregnancy rates in the United States. Our eSET rate allows our clinic to be selected as a Center of Excellence with insurance companies.
At Houston Fertility Specialists, we make high-quality, reliable genetic screening and diagnostic testing for embryos available to all of our patients.
Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS)
Genetics is the main factor determining whether an embryo will result in the birth of a healthy baby. Even at a young age, many eggs are genetically abnormal. As a woman ages, egg count declines and genetic abnormality rate in the remaining eggs increases, leading to a lower chance for a normal embryo after fertilization. These genetic facts explain why pregnancy rates decline, early miscarriages increase, and conditions such as Down Syndrome increase as a woman ages.
Through a special collaboration with a world-leader in preimplantation genetic screening (PGS), Genesis Genetics, we are able to perform PGS prior to transfer on our very own campus at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas. Genesis Genetics is a pioneer of preimplantation testing of embryos for inherited genetic abnormalities. The genetic tests are done on-site, and your samples are hand-delivered. You can rest assured that you are getting the highest quality testing with rapid results.
Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) can help to select those embryos with the best chance for pregnancy and limit the risk of miscarriage and Down Syndrome.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
Genetic carrier screening can help determine if you are at an increased risk of having a child with a serious medical condition. All of our patients are screened for genetic disease carrier status. Current technology allows us to screen couples for more than 100 genetic diseases. PGD can be combined with PGS to help you have a healthy baby.
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) can be used to prevent transmission of these conditions to your child.
We recommend PGS to all of our patients. If the patient is a carrier for a genetic disease, PGD may be recommended.
We encourage you to speak with one of our doctors about genetic testing and how these technologies can maximize your chance for a healthy baby.
Same-sex male couples
Same-sex male couples can also achieve their dreams of being a parent through a gestational carrier and use of their own sperm.
A gestational carrier, also known as a gestational surrogate is a woman who volunteers to carry the pregnancy for the parents-to-be. A gestational carrier offers you a chance to parent your own biological child by having a surrogate carry an embryo created from donor eggs and your sperm. A number of reputable agencies exist in the United States to bring together hopeful patients and the women who will help carry their babies. Gestational carriers are mothers themselves, and they provide this incredible service because they understand what a difference they can make.
The gestational carrier process includes the following: donor eggs that are obtained through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) are fertilized with your sperm. The fertilized eggs undergo preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) when they reach the blastocyst embryo stage. A single embryo with normal chromosome count is then transferred into the gestational carrier’s womb through a simple procedure.
One of our physicians would be happy to see you as a new patient to discuss how we can help you on your journey to parenthood. We work with most sperm banks, donor egg agencies and our physicians and staff are very knowledgeable about this process.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Houston Fertility Specialists.