The PNWF Center for Collaborative Reproduction helps patients build families in a number of different ways. We work with egg donation, sperm donation, and gestational surrogacy to provide a range of family building options in line with your individual goals and needs.
What Is Collaborative Reproduction?
Becoming pregnant requires three things: an egg, sperm, and a uterus. However, not all intended parents are able to provide all three of these requirements. This is where collaborative reproduction (also called third party reproduction) comes in. In collaborative reproduction, patients become parents with the help of someone else who has donated sperm or eggs, or who acts as a gestational surrogate. Generally, these donors or surrogates do not play a parental role for the resulting child. In fact, in many cases they do not have any sort of relationship with the parents or child.
Who Does the PNWF Center for Collaborative Reproduction Treat?
Patients who might pursue collaborative reproduction include:
- Single parents
- LGBTQ+ couples
- Heterosexual couples with low egg reserve or quality, low sperm quality, or uterine challenges that prevent carrying a pregnancy
Collaborative reproduction often offers the chance for at least one partner in a couple to have a genetic connection to their child, or for a parent to experience pregnancy in a way that would not otherwise be possible.
What Services Does the Center for Collaborative Reproduction Offer?
Collaborative reproduction options fall broadly into three categories:
- Donor Eggs
- Donor Sperm
- Gestational Surrogacy
Any or all of these options can be combined. For instance, a gay cisgender couple would need both an egg donor and a gestational surrogate. Our Center for Collaborative Reproduction offers a robust donor egg program through our partner, SIMPLIFY. We also work with several independent sperm banks and surrogacy agencies. PNWF provides all the fertility services involved in third party reproduction, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), egg retrievals, sperm preparation, preimplantation genetic testing (PGT-A, PGT-SR, and PGT-M), and embryo transfers.
Egg Donation Through SIMPLIFY
PNWF has developed among the most successful and comprehensive egg donation programs in the United States. We provide both fresh and frozen donor cycles through our partner egg bank, SIMPLIFY. PNWF founded SIMPLIFY in 2009 to offer our patients a high quality and lower cost family building option. To that end, our expert donor egg specialists at the Center for Collaborative Reproduction will help you navigate your egg donation options and choose the right one for you.
All egg donors at PNWF, for both matched and frozen cycles, go through a comprehensive pre-screening process to ensure their eligibility for donation. PNWF conducts medical, genetic, and mental health screenings with very high standards for qualification. These rigorous standards reduce risk and cost for patients and contribute to our exceptional success rates.
SIMPLIFY Guarantees Blastocysts
Our donor egg program goes one step further to provide truly patient-centered services that maximize success and minimize costs. Our SIMPLIFY frozen egg program guarantees blastocysts, not just thawed eggs. Regardless of quality, not every fertilized egg will develop into a blastocyst (an early stage of embryo development). Unfortunately, most donor egg programs charge based on the quantity of eggs purchased, with no guarantee of a transferable blastocyst. This can create extra costs and frustration for patients who must stop their IVF cycle to purchase, thaw, and fertilize an entire new batch of eggs.
In contrast, at SIMPLIFY, we thaw donor eggs, fertilize them, and re-freeze any resulting blastocysts. If no blastocysts develop from the initial set of eggs, we thaw and fertilize additional eggs – with no added cost to the recipient. This approach maximizes convenience and minimizes costs for the patient, and increases success rates as well.
Donor Sperm Options at PNWF
Donor sperm can be used in IUI, IVF, and gestational carrier IVF. PNWF works with several donor sperm banks located across the United States to provide the highest quality options for our patients. We have years of experience helping patients navigate the donor sperm process. All donor sperm from a bank goes through pre-screening, testing, and approval for use following standards set by the FDA.
Some patients wish to use donor sperm from a directed donor (a known friend or family member who is not the intended parent). Directed donors must also pass certain FDA requirements. If you’d like to know more, our counselors at the Center for Collaborative Reproduction can provide additional information on this option.
Gestational Surrogacy Services
Gestational carriers receive an embryo transfer and carry a pregnancy for intended parents who cannot carry the pregnancy themselves. Often, gestational carriers are also called “surrogates.” However, gestational carriers share no genetic relationship with the pregnancy they carry and deliver.
PNWF has helped build many families through gestational surrogacy. We celebrated the Washington state law passed in 2019 that allows intended parents to compensate gestational carriers. This law increased access to gestational surrogacy for Washington intended parents, who no longer have to travel out of state to build their family.
PNWF works with several excellent surrogacy agencies who help our patients find the right gestational carrier for their journey. Gestational surrogacy can involve donor eggs, donor sperm, and/or eggs or sperm retrieved from the intended parents.
Specialists at the PNWF Center for Collaborative Reproduction
Dr. Lorna Marshall, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. leads the Center for Collaborative Reproduction. Dr. Marshall, a co-founder of PWNF, has practiced Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility in the Seattle community for over 25 years. She is passionate about increasing access to family building options and is recognized as an expert in the medical and legal aspects of collaborative reproduction. The Center also includes a team of expert nurse practitioners, coordinators, and counselors, who provide comprehensive patient support and services at every step of the way.
How Do I Begin at the Center for Collaborative Reproduction?
Every fertility journey begins with an initial consultation and evaluation. This first visit provides a picture of your reproductive health, goals, and options. To start your journey, make an appointment with us today.
We offer free initial consultations to gay men pursuing fatherhood through egg donation and gestational carriers. Contact [email protected] for more information.