top of page

Navigating Reciprocal IVF: Process, Costs, and Considerations

Reciprocal In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a revolutionary reproductive option designed to empower same-sex couples, particularly lesbian partners and trans-men with functioning ovaries. This method allows both individuals to actively participate in the conception process, with one partner providing the genetic material and the other carrying the pregnancy to term.

Defining Reciprocal IVF:

Reciprocal IVF encompasses a range of methods within the IVF process, including the use of sperm or egg donors and gestational carriers. In this unique approach, one partner contributes the genetic material, while the other partner undergoes embryo implantation and carries the pregnancy to term. This method facilitates an inclusive and shared experience of conception and parenthood.

Navigating Parental Roles:

Determining parental roles in reciprocal IVF can be a multifaceted process. While one partner is the genetic parent, both individuals actively participate in the conception and pregnancy journey. This shared experience, often referred to as co-maternity, allows both partners to feel deeply connected to their child. Legal implications should be considered, particularly in the event of any future challenges in the parental relationship.

Considering Costs:

The financial investment for reciprocal IVF typically ranges from $10,000 to $50,000, encompassing both the procedure and medication costs. Given the involvement of two individuals, additional expenses may arise. While some insurance providers are expanding coverage for fertility treatments and LGBTQ+ inclusive support, others may not yet offer comprehensive options. Organizations like Family Equality offer grants and financial assistance to LGBTQ+ couples pursuing fertility treatments.

Understanding Success Rates:

The success of reciprocal IVF, like any fertility treatment, is influenced by various factors. Individuals under 35 have an average live birth rate of 41–43%, which decreases with age. Those over 40 experience a live birth rate of 13–18%. Both the health of the egg provider and the individual carrying the embryo are crucial considerations for success.

Addressing the Likelihood of Multiple Births:

Reciprocal IVF elevates the likelihood of having twins or multiples compared to natural conception. Your doctor can help mitigate this probability by strategically implanting fewer embryos, although this may lead to increased costs if additional attempts are required.

Exploring Alternatives:

Couples seeking conception have several alternatives to consider. One partner may choose to provide both the egg and carry the baby, utilizing donor sperm. Insemination options include IVF, Intracervical Insemination (ICI), and Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). Concurrent IVF, third-party gestational carriers, or utilizing both partners’ eggs with a sperm donor are also viable alternatives.

Sourcing Donor Sperm:

Couples requiring a sperm donor have the choice between an anonymous or known donor. Known donors may be family members, friends, or individuals from donor networks, necessitating clear donor agreements to establish parental roles and rights. Anonymous donors from reputable cryobanks simplify this process, as the cryobank manages legal considerations.


The decision of how to conceive a child is deeply personal, with a multitude of options available. Regardless of the chosen path, support and resources are readily accessible.

Connecting with like-minded communities and seeking professional guidance can be invaluable on this journey towards creating a loving family. We extend our best wishes to you!

For additional resources, visit our website.


bottom of page