Month: October 2023

October 31, 2023

Supporting LGBTQ+ Family Building: Fertility Options And Considerations

LGBTQ+ Family Building

In a world that celebrates love in all its forms, LGBTQ+ family building and planning has emerged as a powerful testament to the profound bonds that connect individuals, couples, and families. The journey to parenthood for LGBTQ+ individuals and couples is a unique journey that offers many options and considerations.

LGBTQ+ Family Building

Island Reproductive Services recognizes the diverse reproductive options available to LGBTQ+ individuals. We understand that your path to parenthood involves unique medical and emotional challenges. We are here to offer our guidance and support every step of the way. Continue reading to learn more about LGBTQ+ family building, including donor IUI, IVF, Co-IVF,  Gestational Carrier, and Surrogacy (with IUI or IVF).

Donor Insemination (IUI) 

Donor insemination involves the use of an anonymous or directed sperm donor. Anonymous donor sperm is purchased from an unknown sperm donor from a licensed sperm bank. Directed donor sperm is obtained from a known male who agrees to allow the use of his sperm without being the legally intended parent. Donor IUI is often used for lesbian couples, cis-gender/trans-couples, or for single women. It may also be used for infertile couples who are unable to conceive due to severe male factors, azoospermia, or when a male carries an abnormal heritable genetic trait.  

All certified sperm banks must meet and adhere to federal requirements for donor screening for infectious and sexually transmitted diseases. Many sperm banks screen donors for autosomal recessive genetic traits. Island Reproductive Services is not a licensed sperm bank and cannot provide you with donor sperm, but we can accept donor sperm from any licensed sperm bank for your use. 

Co-In Vitro Fertilization (Co-IVF)

Co-in vitro fertilization (Co-IVF) is a fertility treatment that allows both partners in a same-sex female couple to participate in the pregnancy process. Egg sharing in female couples can be used to allow the dual participation of female couples in the pregnancy process. The oocyte donor-partner provides the eggs, and the recipient partner provides the uterine environment for gestation. This allows for a shared experience. In a future treatment, partners may switch roles to allow both partners to eventually participate in each aspect of the process.  

Gestational Carrier

A gestational carrier involves using a woman to carry a pregnancy and deliver a baby while using another woman to serve as the egg donor. This is a common treatment for male same-sex couples or a single male looking to build a family. In this treatment, the woman carrying the pregnancy is not genetically linked to the pregnancy. Ideally, a gestational carrier is a non-smoker who has already started or completed her family, is free of medical problems, has an appropriate evaluation of her uterus, and has been screened psychologically. If a gestational carrier is used for a male couple, that couple may choose to use the sperm of one or both partners to help create a family of their genetic choosing.


Surrogacy is a treatment where the woman carrying the pregnancy is also the source of the egg. Although surrogacy can be achieved through both IUI and IVF, it is more commonly used in conjunction with IVF. Surrogacy, especially when the surrogate is not a known acquaintance or relative of the intended parent(s), presents different medical legal challenges. For this reason, a gestational carrier is often the preferred treatment.

Learn More With Island Reproductive Services

Allow us to be your partners in building the family you’ve always dreamed of. Your path to parenthood is unique, and we’re dedicated to helping you navigate it with care and compassion. Contact the Island Reproductive team today at (718) 948-6100 to learn more about LGBTQ+ family building.

October 14, 2023

Genetic Testing In Fertility: Pre-Implantation Genetic Testing (PGT)

genetic testing

The journey to parenthood can be a challenging one, especially for couples who face the burden of genetic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities. Luckily, advancements in medical technology have revolutionized the field of fertility treatment, offering hope to couples struggling with infertility. Among these breakthroughs, genetic testing has emerged as a powerful tool to help ensure healthy pregnancies and the birth of healthy babies. 

Pre-Implantation Genetic Testing

Pre-implantation Genetic Testing (PGT) is a significant technique that involves genetic testing of the embryo for chromosomes and/or specific known genetic disorders. Here at Island Reproductive Services, we are pleased to offer this medical technology to help you start planning your future and achieve your parenting dreams. Some patients are worried that a PGT biopsy may harm the embryo. At Island Reproductive Services, we only biopsy the embryo once cells are “hatching out.” That allows us to avoid going into the embryo to perform the biopsy thus avoiding any potential harm to the embryo.

What Is The PGT Process?

Pre-Implantation Genetic Testing is used to assess the genetic health of embryos before they are implanted in the uterus. The PGT process typically follows these steps:

  1. Ovarian Stimulation and Egg Retrieval: The woman undergoes ovarian stimulation to produce multiple eggs, which are then retrieved.
  2. Fertilization: The retrieved eggs are fertilized with sperm in a laboratory setting, usually through IVF.
  3. Embryo Development: The fertilized eggs develop into embryos over a few days.
  4. Embryo Biopsy: A few cells are carefully removed from each embryo for genetic analysis. This process does not harm the embryo’s overall development since we only biopsy cells as they are extruded out of the embryo..
  5. Genetic Analysis: The extracted cells undergo genetic testing to identify chromosomal abnormalities or specific gene mutations, depending on the type of PGT being performed.
  6. Embryo Selection: Based on the results of the genetic analysis, our doctors choose the embryo that is most suitable for implantation.
  7. Embryo Transfer: The selected embryo is transferred into the woman’s uterus for potential implantation and pregnancy.

What Can Embryos Be Tested For?

Usually, at the blastocyst stage, embryos are genetically tested by removing a few cells from the outside of each embryo. Embryos are frozen, and the cells are sent to a specialized genetic laboratory for analysis. Embryos can be tested for the following:

  1. Chromosomes: Chromosome errors can occur randomly in any egg or sperm. Errors are more likely to occur in eggs and increase with a woman’s age.  Even in women at age 35, approximately 50% of eggs are chromosomally abnormal. Errors can involve an entire chromosome or part of a chromosome.
  2. Structural abnormalities: Some men and women carry chromosome abnormalities that may be passed along to their children. These are usually translocations and often lead to infertility, miscarriages, or an affected child.
  3. Genetic diseases: Some families may have a known genetic disease in family members. A man or a woman may have the disease or may carry an abnormal disease mutation. These include autosomal recessive diseases (both the egg and sperm must carry the mutation to cause the disease in a child), autosomal dominant diseases (if either the egg or sperm carries the mutation, a child has a 50% chance of getting the disease), or X linked (usually passed along from the eggs of a woman who carrier the abnormal mutation).

PGT genetic testing offers numerous benefits to couples seeking to have healthy children. It allows for the identification and selection of embryos with the best chance of successful implantation and development, reducing the risk of miscarriages and genetic disorders.

Work With Island Reproductive Services 

Pre-Implantation Genetic Testing (PGT) represents a remarkable stride in fertility treatment, providing hope to couples grappling with genetic risks and disorders. The ability to screen embryos for specific gene mutations before implantation significantly enhances the chances of healthy pregnancies and births. 
Our team at Island Reproductive Services is here for you through the process. We have resources and information that can help you make decisions. Are you interested in scheduling a consultation with our team? Check out our website or give us a call for more information.