What is Reciprocal IVF?
Reciprocal IVF is a fertility option for female/female couples or couples including trans men that allows both partners to participate in the conception process. With reciprocal IVF, one partner provides, or donates, the eggs to be used to create embryos and the other partner carries the pregnancy. The partner providing the eggs starts the IVF process by stimulating their ovaries with fertility medications to produce many egg follicles. Once the follicles are mature, they are extracted from the ovaries during a short egg retrieval procedure. The mature eggs are then fertilized in the lab using donor sperm to create embryos.
In reciprocal IVF the partner serving as gestational carrier takes medications to mimic the naturally occurring hormones that are needed to prepare the uterus for implantation and carrying a pregnancy. The lab monitors the embryo development and then one embryo is transferred into the uterus where it will hopefully implant and be carried to term.
why choose Reciprocal IVF?
- Shared Parental Involvement: Reciprocal IVF allows both partners in a same-sex female couple to be physically involved in the pregnancy. One partner provides the eggs to be fertilized, and the other carries the pregnancy, fostering a deep, shared connection to the child from the start.
- High Success Rates: Like traditional IVF, Reciprocal IVF boasts high success rates, making it an effective option for same-sex female couples desiring a biological connection with their child.
- Genetic Screening Options: Reciprocal IVF includes the option for preimplantation genetic testing (PGT), which helps in selecting healthy embryos and reduces the risk of genetic disorders, ensuring a healthy pregnancy.
- Customized Family Building: This method offers a unique and personalized approach to family building, allowing couples to decide how they want to contribute to their future child’s genetics and pregnancy journey.
- Emotional and Psychological Benefits: Reciprocal IVF can enhance the emotional bond between partners, as both individuals are directly involved in the conception process. This shared experience can strengthen the couple's relationship and their connection to their child.
The Full Reciprocal IVF Journey
Initial Fertility Testing and Diagnosis
You’ll start with testing and diagnosis to give the Pinnacle team a more complete picture of your health and options.
Care Coordination and Financial Consultation
A Pinnacle staff member will go over the financial side of the Reciprocal IVF process with you. Your clinical team will review your calendar, order your medication, and prepare you for your treatment.
Stimulating Egg Production
During this step, you’ll begin hormonal treatments by either taking a pill or an injectable medication. This medication encourages your ovaries to produce more mature eggs than they would naturally. The end goal is to get at least three mature and fully-developed eggs. We’ll track your egg development with blood tests and ultrasounds. It takes time for your body to adjust to the hormones and nurture your new eggs, so this stage can take several weeks.
Pre-IVF Hormonal Preparation
To prepare your body for Reciprocal IVF, you may need to take birth control pills. It might seem counterintuitive, but birth control helps:
- Prepare your ovaries to respond better to hyperstimulation medicine
- Coordinate your cycle so you can plan your treatment around your schedule
In addition to starting birth control, we may perform additional tests and recommend lifestyle adjustments as needed.
Ovulation & Egg Retrieval
Once you’ve produced enough mature eggs, you’ll receive a hormone injection that induces ovulation (releasing the mature eggs). After about 36 hours, you’ll return to our office for the outpatient egg retrieval procedure. An anesthesiologist will place you under IV sedation and our specialists will remove the eggs. This only takes about 15 minutes, and you’ll rest comfortably afterwards in one of our recovery rooms. After about 30 minutes, you’ll be able to go home.
Pregnancy Testing & Monitoring
After the transfer, you'll take medications that help support your pregnancy in the early stages. After about two weeks, you’ll take a pregnancy test. If the test is positive, we’ll administer another test soon after to make sure the pregnancy is progressing successfully. If everything goes well, you’ll be well on your journey to building your family. If your pregnancy test is negative, we’ll schedule a follow-up visit to discuss your options.
The doctor will meet with you to determine the best transfer plan. Our goal is to maximize the chance of a successful IVF pregnancy while minimizing the chance of multiple births. Your age and prior history with IVF will affect your transfer plan.
Once you and your doctor agree on a plan, we’ll perform the transfer. This outpatient procedure doesn’t require sedation––it’s quick and often compared to the sensation of a pap smear. Any high-quality embryos left over can be frozen for use in future IVF cycles.
Any high-quality embryos that are left after an implantation attempt can be frozen by vitrification to be used in a future embryo transfer. Vitrification is a special way to freeze your eggs and embryos that avoids trauma to the cells. Water is removed from the eggs or embryos and replaced with an “antifreeze”. Then the egg is quickly brought to a very cold temperature. By removing the water and freezing it quickly, your eggs or embryos are safe from damaging ice crystal formation.
Real Stories, Real Success: Our Patients Speak
We can't thank you all enough for making our IVF journey such a positive experience. Your team's expertise and warmth meant the world to us. You made our dreams come true, and we're forever thankful.
THEY ARE AMAZING!!! I absolutely love this clinic and everyone who works here! Being a lesbian couple, we were nervous trying to find a fertility clinic for us.. they made us feel so comfortable right away! They are so caring and sweet! I definitely recommend this place!! && Dr. Z is the man!! Nicest doctor I have ever met! I would give them a 100 stars if I could!
Thanks to Dr. Dudley, we achieved a successful pregnancy, a dream that once seemed unattainable. His expertise and empathy made him not just a doctor but a beacon of hope in our most challenging times. We are profoundly grateful to Dr. Dudley and highly recommend him to any couple facing fertility issues!
We've worked with RGI twice now, and have had an excellent experience both times. Dr. Maseelall and her team have been amazing to work with. This time around, we were introduced to the "navigators" who essentially act as a liaison between us and the doctors, which was a change from the last time we were there. We found having access to a dedicated resource - even by text message - was a huge plus.
I highly recommend Dr. Dudley! He is one of the only doctors who explained things clearly, realistically, and positively. His bedside manner is outstanding. A defining moment (without disclosing my medical history) was when I explained something to him and he responded with "I believe in a women's intuition." He believed me, ran a quick test, and pivoted the plan. I can't recommend him enough.
My husband I went to Dominion after struggling with some fertility issues and multiple miscarriages. We couldn't have made a better choice! You can tell that the staff really care about their patients and make you feel at ease. At the beginning of the process, we were feeling a bit overwhelmed, but the doctors were understanding and great at explaining each step to us along the way. We now have a healthy baby boy and we could not be more happy and grateful to Dominion Fertility!!