Lesbian Couples

Helping lesbian or single women start their family

Getting Started

Excited about becoming a parent? Nervous? Don’t know how to start the process? If you are a lesbian or single woman wanting to have a child, you have come to the right place.

First of all we want to start by congratulating you on your decision. Becoming a parent is one of life’s greatest joys, and we are excited to guide you through the fertility treatment part of your journey.

For lesbian couples or single women, motherhood is achieved in using donor sperm and Artificial/Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or through In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

Artificial insemination or IUI is the process where sperm are isolated from the male semen ejaculate, washed and concentrated, and then placed into a woman’s uterus using a thin flexible plastic catheter. This process is almost always used in conjunction with an ovulation induction medication. This procedure is painless and takes only a few minutes and is performed in the office.

Some lesbian couples wish to have both women participate in the process and opt for IVF. In this case, we do IVF with the egg from a genetic lesbian partner with the other partner carrying the pregnancy. Sometimes this is called Reciprocal IVF or Co-maternity IVF.

The first step to building your family is just a phone call away at (513) 924-5550. You may also send us your contact information and we will call you. Our experienced staff will happily assist you in scheduling your initial consultation in one of our offices: Cincinnati, Ohio, and Florence, Kentucky.

Ready to give it a go? Click here to Contact Us!

Donor Sperm

The Institute for Reproductive Health is not a sperm bank, but we are happy to work with any FDA approved sperm bank. We are also able to use known sperm donors if patients have a known donor they would like to use. Sperm is sold in individual vials which are available in various preparations:

ICI Ready (Intracervical Insemination): These are unwashed sperm samples that will require further processing by our andrology laboratory. This is the recommended type of sample for artificial insemination (IUI) performed at IRH since this allows our trained andrologists to verify the individual sample counts which are reported by the sperm cryobank. Many sperm cryobanks will offer guarantees as to the quality and concentration of sperm in their specimens. In addition, it is often less expensive to purchase an ICI ready sperm sample.

IUI Ready (Intrauterine Insemination): These are prewashed samples that will not undergo further processing after receipt. There is less quality control since we cannot verify the counts or motility of the sample we have received from the sperm bank. In general, these samples are more expensive than ICI Ready.

IVF or ART Ready: These samples generally have lower numbers of sperm with lower motility since lower numbers are sufficient for IVF or IVF with ICSI. These samples may be purchased for the use in IVF cycles only.

CMV (Cytomegalovirus) Testing

When purchasing donor sperm one must first know the CMV status of the female recipient. CMV (cytomegalovirus) is a community acquired virus that many people have had exposure to unknowingly and in general causes no harm except for cold-like symptoms at initial exposure. However, if CMV is contracted during pregnancy it can lead to miscarriage or birth defects. Women who have had previous CMV exposure (determined by a simple blood test) can select male donors with either CMV negative or positive exposure status. Women who have not yet been exposed to CMV and therefore have no immunity, should restrict their choice of donor to those that are CMV negative only. These distinctions will be found on every donor sperm bank website or listing.

Cost of Donor Sperm

The cost per vial of frozen donor sperm varies from sperm bank to sperm bank and is also dependent on the type of sperm being purchased (see above). Costs per vial can range from $200 to as high as $600 per vial. In addition, shipping costs, which average $150-200 per shipment can add significantly to the cost of using donor sperm. We recommend patients consider the number of attempts and number of vials they wish to purchase in order to have multiple vials shipped at once. In addition, if couples wish to secure sperm from the same donor for multiple children, this should be considered as well prior to the purchase.


Costs are an important subject when it comes to fertility treatment and at IRH, we try to help up front to lay out all of the costs involved in the process. The Institute for Reproductive Health is contracted with all major insurance companies and we will help you investigate your benefits before you start any treatment.

At IRH, all new patients who want to be pregnant have to go through diagnostic fertility testing. This is true even for lesbian patients who may not be in our office due to infertility issues.ee