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Family Building Options for Same Sex Couples

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Same-sex couples have unique challenges as far as family building. Hello. I’m doctor Wendy Schillings and today I’m going to discuss what a couple will go through if they desire pregnancy. Initially, we see both partners, typically female, and they initially have to decide who will achieve the pregnancy. Therefore, we will evaluate ovarian reserve in both partners, as well and the quality of their uterus. We can do this in both partners, or if a couple does know which partner they desire pregnancy, we will just evaluate that person.

We also advise psychological counseling. This is important because there are different issues with third-party reproduction. We want to make sure the couples understand all the issues. It is very important that the sperm we use is frozen and quarantined for six months. This is to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases to a healthy woman.

We also have to decide if we’re going to use fertility medications to aid in the woman achieving pregnancy. Many women who have regular cycles do not require fertility medications, but it does increase the pregnancy rate. Therefore, many women do choose to use fertility drugs to achieve pregnancy more quickly. Some couples wish to use the eggs from one partner and the uterus from another partner. In these cases, in vitro fertilization is required.

I really enjoy helping couples with their family building needs. I look forward to seeing you in the office soon.

WENDY SCHILLIGNS, MD, FACOG

Dr. Schillings is a board certified reproductive endocrinologist, obstetrician and gynecologist. She leads all aspects of patient care at RMAPA. In addition, she formerly led the medical team at RE & I Specialist with the Lehigh Valley Physician Group. Dr. Schillings is chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Lehigh Valley Hospital Health Network and Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Penn State College of Medicine.