• 18 OCT 18
    • 0
    Same-sex male couples – what to expect when you’re expecting to expect

    Same-sex male couples – what to expect when you’re expecting to expect

    We would like to provide information to the same sex male couple community on fertility treatment.   We see many same sex female couples, as well as transgender patients and couples, but we haven’t seen as many same sex male couples. This made us wonder if this community is being underserved in Halifax.

    Same sex male couples who seek treatment at Atlantic Assisted Reproductive Therapies (AART) will need to have an egg donor and a gestational carrier.  These need to be to be two different people.  Under the current Canadian law, the Human Reproduction Act, it is illegal to reimburse donors and gestational carriers for their services.  Movement is afoot to change the law, but for now it is still in place.

    All of our patients in a situation that involves an egg donor and/or gestational carrier require a legal agreement to be on file.  This is to protect both the donor and/or gestational carrier as well as the intended parents. Also, the donor and/or gestational carrier and the intended parents all need to undergo implications counselling with a psychologist to ensure all parties involved enter into the process aware of any potential concerns.  All partners (including the partners of the egg donor and gestational carrier, if applicable) are required to have routine bloodwork done to screen for infectious diseases, as per Health Canada guidelines.

    When you come for a consult at AART, the partner whose sperm the couple desires to use will have their sperm analyzed to see if it is suitable for IVF treatment.  If both partners want to contribute sperm, both partners will need to have sperm analyses. The couple’s egg donor and gestational carrier will each need to come for an appointment to be assessed for these roles.  Age and overall health play a factor in selection for these roles – for example, a 25 year old egg donor would be a better choice than a 40 year old egg donor, in terms of number of potential eggs and embryos created.  We also recommend an egg donor be someone who is finished their family.  Many couples choose to have a family member or friend act as an egg donor or gestational carrier.  If a couple chooses to use both of their sperm, two cohorts of embryos are produced, then the best quality embryo(s) are transferred to the gestational carrier. There is an increase in cost for the treatment in this situation, as some of the lab processes have to be duplicated order to produce two cohorts, however, this can be done on request.

    Once all the legal paperwork, counselling, and preliminary testing is complete, the egg donor would enter treatment for an egg retrieval.  She would take medications to stimulate egg production, and then her eggs would be retrieved and inseminated with the sperm.  The egg retrieval is a minor procedure done at the clinic under conscious sedation.  In some cases, we use a needle to inject the sperm in a process called Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).  The embryos are then cultured for 5 days in our lab and then transferred to the gestational carrier, who synchronizes her menstrual cycle with the egg donor so she is ready for the transfer.  The embryo transfer is a minor procedure with no medication. If any additional embryos are developed during the cycle you may choose to freeze them for future use.  The gestational carrier then takes a pregnancy test two weeks later.

    During this entire process, our team is in close contact with you to provide updates on the cycle and is here to answer any questions you may have.  The cost for this service ranges but the normal fees per cycle as per our current fee schedule are:

    Initial Consult: $185
    Sperm Functional Analysis: $295 (assuming 1 SFA)
    Registration: $350
    Gestational Carrier Cycle: $10,200 (assuming 1 cohort of embryos)
    Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): $1,500 (if necessary)
    Total:  $12,530 plus the cost of drugs, which can range from $3,000-$8,000 per cycle

    The cost to freeze embryos is $900 plus $300 ongoing annual storage fees.

    AART is a non-profit and all of our fees are at cost.

    We understand that this journey comes with cost and effort, and welcome any questions you may have before you choose to seek treatment here.


    Feel free to reach out to us at info@aart.ca or 902-404-8600 for more information.

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