Like many members of the LGBTQ community, you may be starting to ponder fertility options. The desire to have a baby can be strong, and it's important to do your research regarding various options before jumping into anything. If you or your partner have a uterus and produces viable eggs, then one fertility option to explore is IUI. These initials stand for "intrauterine insemination." This is a procedure by which semen is transferred to the uterus via a catheter. The hope is that one of the sperm in the semen fertilizes the released egg, and the egg then implants in the uterus. Here are some pros and cons of IUI to consider as you make your decision.
Pro: It's not very invasive.
IUI is less invasive than IVF. The parent who will carry the child does not need to have their cervix dilated and generally does not need to take any pain relief medications or anesthetics before the procedure. The catheter fed through the cervix is tiny and will cause minimal discomfort. Because it is so minimally invasive, it is also very safe.
Con: It only works if the individual is producing eggs.
If the person who receives the semen does not produce an egg, there will be nothing for the sperm to fertilize, and they will not become pregnant. Most doctors will therefore recommend testing to confirm that the future parent is, indeed, ovulating before performing IUI.
Pro: It's inexpensive.
This is likely one of the least expensive fertility options available to you. This is partially because so little medication is involved and because there's no recovery period to worry about. If you're on a tight budget, this is a good place to start with your conception attempts.
Con: It does require a healthy uterus and sperm.
Clearly, this is not an option for every LGBTQ couple. It only works if one of you has a healthy uterus and is willing to carry a baby to term and if you have a source of sperm. The sperm can be from one partner, or you can obtain sperm from a donor. Many couples who go this route do decide to ask a friend or family member to be the donor.
IUI is a relatively safe, non-invasive, and affordable fertility option for LGBTQ couples to try. If you have the anatomy to undergo this procedure, talk to your doctor to learn more about it.
For more information about LGBTQ fertility options, talk to a doctor.