Partner IVF for Lesbian Couples

Happy lesbian couple 300x200Partner IVF is a type of IVF for lesbian couples that lets both partners become physically involved in the conception of their baby.

In this option, one partner provides the eggs, which are fertilised with donor sperm, and the other carries the pregnancy.

Partner IVF is a very appealing concept for many lesbian couples. Some couples may use this type of treatment to conceive their second child, with their original sperm donor and carrier roles reversed. The beauty of it is that each partner gets to both experience childbearing and have a biological connection to a child.


Partner IVF: What is Involved?

The process of Partner IVF is almost identical to the standard IVF process.

The first step is to choose a sperm donor, who can be either a known one or clinic-recruited (unknown donor). Lesbian couples who are considering Partner IVF will have to decide which type of sperm donor is right for them. For help in choosing the right option for you, visit our Donor Program page.

Rainbow Fertility has a range of donor sperm available, with no wait times.  Call our Fertility Advice Team on 1300 222  623 to find out more.

Once a sperm donor is chosen and he has gone through the routine medical assessment, detailed screening, consent forms and counselling, the medical procedure can start. Here’s what happens:

  • Both partners begin a process of synchronising their menstrual cycles by taking the oral contraceptive pill.
  • The partner who is providing the eggs will also take medications to stimulate her ovaries and promote the growth of follicles, which contain the eggs.
  • While the ovarian stimulation process takes place, the partner who will carry the pregnancy takes medication to support the development of the endometrium (lining of the uterus) in preparation for embryo transfer.
  • Once the ovarian stimulation phase ends, eggs will be retrieved from one partner and fertilised with the donor sperm to create embryos.
  • Embryos are transferred to the partner who will carry the pregnancy. (Embryos can also be frozen for future use, if a couple decides they’re not ready to conceive just yet.)
  • Fourteen days after embryo transfer, a blood test is carried out on the carrying partner to determine if pregnancy has been achieved.

For full details on the IVF treatment procedure and the lowdown on what to expect, head to our IVF page.

Before you agree to undergo this type of treatment, you should take time to decide which partner will contribute the egg and which partner will carry the pregnancy. Carefully consider the pros and cons of each role and talk openly with each other about your expectations for the pregnancy.



  • People wishing to have assisted reproductive treatment in Victoria must undergo a criminal records check and child protection order check. For further information please visit our page Legislative Requirements – Victoria.
  • All treatment procedures are carried out in our Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee (RTAC)-accredited fertility clinics, where gametes (eggs and sperm) and embryos are also stored.


At Rainbow Fertility, our specialists have extensive experience in helping create LGBTI families. Feel free to contact our friendly team to learn more about our donor program and the fertility treatment options available to you.

Call: 1300 222 623




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Rainbow Fertility has a responsibility to provide Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) based on relevant state or federal laws and guidelines. All individuals/couples are encouraged to obtain their own legal advice regarding the relevant legislation applying to their circumstances.