A significant uptick in LGBTQ in-vitro fertilization cycles was reported by the Reproductive Science Center back in 2016. The RSC reported a 34 percent increase in cycles from 2015 and a 46 percent increase from 2014. The LGBTQ patient numbers have increased by double-digit percentages for six years as more individuals and couples seek fertility treatment to realize their dreams of having children.
The LGBTQ couples had their significant victory in seeking equal legal recognition after the United States Supreme Court ruling back in 2015 legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Advances in reproductive medicine have made it easier for these couples to have biological children.
The case of gay couple Andrew Pentecost and his husband Leon Etchepare who visited RSC several years ago proved that the IVF preimplantation genetic testing made it possible for them to each fertilize a donor egg and transfer the two viable embryos into their surrogate carrier. The two became the proud fathers of a baby girl and a boy that were delivered via twin pregnancy.
Pentecost said that they both shared a desire to experience the joy of children and the competition of their family, adding that they talked about adopting and finally settled on surrogacy because it was the best fit for their family. Pentecost also said that the gift of perspective and watching them learn all about the world and themselves was the most priceless thing he has ever had. Pentecost was optimistic when he was asked about the awareness of these types of treatments among the LGBTQ community.
He also indicated that the level of awareness has increased even at the micro perspective, although his experience in California exposed him more than any other part of the globe.
The RSC, through Dr. Evan Rosenbluth re-assured the world that it seeks out patients like Andrew and Leon as a result of an international and enduring commitment to serve the diverse and unique patient population.
Rosenbluth, who worked with Andrew and Leon throughout the process said that RSC offers non-judgmental services to all patients, adding that they have an entire team that is dedicated to third party reproduction, an in-house egg donation program and that they offer emotional support and counselling services. He
Nonjudgmental and international communication appears to be essential for providing quality medical care to the LGBTQ community. A study that was conducted back in 2001 published in the Journal of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association found out that nearly one third of gay and lesbian primary care patients – 30 percent – declined to discuss their sexual orientation with their provider, and 47 percent of those withheld that information out of concern for poor medical treatment. A mere 29 percent reported that they were asked about their orientation during the visit.
Rosenbluth says that providing individualized, quality treatment for his patients involves asking important questions to identify their needs.
RSC hopes to break its LGBTQ patient record for a seventh consecutive year by continuing its commitment to creating an environment in which LGBTQ patients feel welcomed.