Here’s a general guide to the main treatments we offer. Of course, every case is different and as a transgender person, your own personal circumstances will make some of these options more suitable for you, and your partner (if you have one), than others.
IUI involves a fine tube being inserted into the opening of the uterus (cervix) to transfer sperm. Insemination is scheduled around the time of ovulation, in order to achieve a pregnancy. However, if there is difficulty with ovulation, eggs can be released using Ovulation Induction (OI). This procedure is usually carried out in the specialist’s rooms, you do not need anaesthetic and you will be home the same day.
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) means “fertilisation in glass”. It involves the fertilisation of the egg by partner or donor sperm in an incubator outside the body, and the transfer of the embryo into the uterus of the partner or a surrogate. In the case of male infertility that cannot be successfully treated, donor sperm may be needed to conceive.
Partner IVF is a type of IVF that lets both partners become physically involved in the conception of their baby. This treatment option is available for a birth-designated female who is partnered with a woman, prior to hormone therapy or Sex-Reassignment Surgery (SRS).
In this option, one partner provides the eggs for fertilisation with donor sperm, and the other carries the pregnancy. Because both partners are physically involved in the pregnancy, it can create much stronger feelings of connection to both the pregnancy itself and ultimately the child.
The process of Partner IVF is almost identical to the standard IVF process. Both partners begin a process of synchronising their menstrual cycles by taking oral contraceptive pills. The partner who will be providing the eggs will also need to take medications to stimulate her ovaries and promote growth of follicles, which contain eggs.
Surrogacy refers to an arrangement whereby a woman (the surrogate) agrees to conceive, carry and birth a child for others (the commissioning or intended parent/s) to raise. A surrogate can assist either individuals or couples in their attempt to become parents.
There are two main types of surrogacy: traditional and gestational.
Finding a Surrogate
In Australia, surrogacy must be altruistic; commercial surrogacy is illegal.
All Surrogacy Acts prohibit any advertising to be undertaken by the commissioning couple or agent of the commissioning couple for the services of a surrogate. We cannot advertise or assist you directly in the advertising to attract potential surrogates. Commissioning or intended parent(s) must find the surrogate themselves.
To help guide people through the process of finding a surrogate within Australia, please refer to the brochure provided by VARTA https://www.varta.org.au/resources/brochure/finding-surrogate. It includes material on: what makes an ideal surrogate, asking someone you know, finding a surrogate you don’t know, and possible questions to ask a potential surrogate. It can be used as a guide to ensure that all parties are informed and prepared and that there’s a positive outcome for all.
IMPORTANT: embryos created must be quarantined for a period of six months before release for use. This ensures there is no risk of infection to the surrogate.
If you need a donor to assist you in the family-building process, the clinic offers an active egg and sperm donor program to help individuals and couples in their attempt to become parents. Egg/sperm donors are classified as either “known” or “unknown”.
Whether working with known or unknown donors, the clinic follows a thorough process of preparation for individuals or couples using donated sperm, eggs or embryos. This process involves comprehensive medical assessment, detailed screening, consent forms and counselling of all parties involved in the donation.
As part of the process, donated sperm, eggs/embryos are quarantined for six months, with donors rigorously tested for infectious disease both before, and six months after the donation. Sperm and eggs/embryos are only cleared for use if the donor passes all tests.
Before going ahead with fertility treatment, please consider each state has different legislation in regard to assisted reproductive treatment, for example:
Therefore, we encourage you to refer to your own state legislation for more information and see one of our specialists to discuss your individual circumstances and explore your options.
At Rainbow Fertility, our specialists have extensive experience in helping create LGBTI families. Feel free to contact our friendly team to learn more about the fertility treatment options available to you.