Why are the rates of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) for same-sex female couples increasing?
Same sex female couples who want a baby that shares at least one of the parents’ DNA have two options: donor insemination or IVF.
Despite IVF having many unpleasant side effects, more and more women are taking it up. In contrast, donor insemination has practically no side effects and is only slightly less effective at resulting in pregnancy.
In the UK, a couple has to pay for six cycles of donor insemination, which must have failed, before being eligible for IVF on the NHS. However, at a private fertility clinic, for a substantial fee, couples can opt for IVF straight away. Many even receive discounted rates if they do not try donor insemination beforehand and donate some eggs.
Prof Catherine Meads, researcher in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) health (ARU), alongside Laura-Rose Thorogood (LGBT Mummies Tribe) discuss the issues and ethics surrounding the advertisement and use of IVF for same sex females couples, questioning whether the rise in its popularity is truly for the benefit of the individual, or for the clinic involved.