Assisted reproduction for same-sex male couples and single men examined
Elsevier today announced the publication of a recent retrospective study in Reproductive BioMedicine Online to better understand treatment considerations and outcomes for same-sex male couples and single men when using assisted reproduction treatment.
The number of same-sex male couples and single men using assisted reproduction assistance to have a family has been increasing over time (since 2003 a 21-fold increase has been reported). However, there is limited published data on using assisted reproduction treatment for this community.
In this study a total of 37 same-sex male couples and eight single men (seven homosexual and one heterosexual) who attended the CReATe Fertility Centre for assisted reproduction services were studied; the mean age was 46 years (24-58). Twenty-eight couples (76%) chose to use spermatozoa from both partners to fertilize their donated oocytes. Most men (32 same-sex male couples and seven single men; 87%) obtained oocytes from an anonymous donor, whereas five couples and one single man (13%) had a known donor. Anonymous donors who were open to be contacted by the child after the age of 18 were selected by 67% of patients. Of all 25 deliveries, eight (32%) were sets of twins.
Most same-sex male couples chose to use spermatozoa from both partners to inseminate the eggs and transferred one embryo from each to the surrogate. As a result, all twins from this group were half genetic siblings. High success can be attained in this population particularly for those men who are persistent in trying to achieve a pregnancy through subsequent frozen and fresh embryo cycles. The majority of the men who came to the CReATe Fertility Centre were successful at realizing their dreams of fatherhood.
Professor Susan Golombok, Director of the Centre for Family Research at University of Cambridge, UK said, "This is the first study to systematically examine the way in which assisted reproduction is used by male same-sex couples and single men. It provides fascinating insights into the decision-making and outcomes of these conceptions including the desire for identifiable donors and for a genetic connection to the child. In contrast to gay couples and single men who create families through adoption, the findings of this study suggest that men who choose surrogacy and egg donation as a route to parenthood value genetic relatedness for themselves and their child."