The Path to Fertility Isn't Always Straight - CCRM Family Planning
Family planning feels like an incredibly relevant considering the recent political debates and lawmaking surrounding reproductive rights. Notice how I said, “reproductive rights” not women’s rights? That’s because fertility, pregnancy, gynecological visits, and family planning are not just heterosexual cisgender issues.
When CCRM reached out to me about their LGBTQ Family Planning services I felt like it couldn’t come at a better time — a beacon of light for many people who don’t think they have options when they are hoping to start or expand their families. Yes, there are many individuals who would need the assistance of Family Planning at this life stage, but it’s a necessary consideration for a large population of same-sex and transgender couples. The idea of being able to share this resource with my following online feels crucial, necessary, and quite frankly beautiful. There are many people who might adopt one day, there are many LGBTQ couples capable of having their own biological children without any assistance, and of course there are plenty of people who don’t want to have kids at all — but for those that do, it’s great to know all your options.
My social media has been flooded with trans men I follow becoming fathers in the last year or so, and I find a common trend among many of them — they all live in places that have great healthcare options for trans people (i.e. California or the PNW). As a transguy who wants to have children one day, I know that there is a mass amount of planning that goes into having a family for many of us. There are lots of hurdles we have to jump over, including money and stress, but that’s just the beginning of this process. Knowing there are places like CCRM that do their own in-house research, use innovative technology, and have proven methods resulting in pregnancies more often than the national average makes the process sound a lot less daunting.* CCRM is dedicated to helping people make parenthood a reality, delivering (pun intended) consistent, successful results bringing prospective parents the fastest path to the healthiest baby.
The fact alone that CCRM caters to LGBTQ couples and families and is a welcoming, safe space at such a vulnerable time for prospective parents is awesome to hear. There are unique circumstances surrounding parenthood and fertility for gay, lesbian, queer, and transgender couples (note: obviously transgender couples may also fall under any of those former categories, and a trans couple may have 1 or both individuals that are trans). CCRM’s treatment options include: IUI or IVF with donor sperm, egg donation and gestational carrier services. In support of their commitment to being a leader in inclusive fertility healthcare, CCRM is a proud partner of Family Equality Council (FEC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing full legal and lived equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) families.
According to a recent FEC survey, 48 percent of LGBTQ Millennials are actively planning to grow their families, compared to 55 percent of non-LGBTQ Millennials, a gap that has narrowed significantly in comparison to older generations. I myself want to be a father one day, but being early on in my current relationship, and still in my 20’s, I’m in no particular rush. However, I do know that I want my partner (so long as they consent, of course) to carry at least one of our future children for which we will need to go the route of IVF or IUI, either through a donor we choose or if we decide on a donor we know — and we may even opt to use one of my eggs or my twin sister’s eggs for one or more children. These are all if’s and dreams, but things I have considered and thought about, as I know many trans individuals do when they consider what parenthood may look like for them. It may seem limiting that so much planning has to go into making a family as a trans individual, and also there’s a lot of privilege in being able to afford a lot of fertility options, but the fact that we have so many options is pretty freakin’ awesome. I get to choose to have a kid when I’m ready (or as ready as any parent can be) and that kid will know that they are so wanted because of the steps I’ve gone through with my partner to get there. Also, if I play my cards right I may even get to have a child that’s genetically related to me because I still have viable eggs as a trans man, and somewhere like CCRM could make that path to fatherhood a reality for me.
Check out the following links for more information on the services and resources provided by CCRM!
*it takes the average patient at CCRM 1.2 IVF cycles to get pregnant (versus the national average at 1.6*). National average is based on 2016 SART data. Consolidated CCRM Network data is tracked and reported by CCRM, including the following locations: CCRM, CCRM MN, CCRM OC, CCRM Toronto, Houston IVF, CCRM NY, CCRM Atlanta
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