About 1 out of every 1,500 to 2,000 children is born intersex, which means that they’re not clearly male or female due to variations in their genitals, reproductive organs, or chromosomes. You may also discover that you’re intersex when your puberty doesn’t go as expected or if you have trouble conceiving a child as an adult.
As someone who is intersex, you may or may not identify as LGBTQIA+. However, many of the issues you face in relation to fertility and reproduction are shared by members of that community.
If you’re now ready to have a baby, Dr. Sharon Moayeri and Dr. Nidhee Sachdev, fertility experts at OC Fertility in Newport Beach, California, want to help. First, they determine if you’re able to conceive on your own, without assisted-reproductive technology (ART). Or, if you need ART to realize your dreams, they help you find the right procedures.
Can you have a baby? Read on to find out, and to find out how.
Do you have ovaries or a uterus or produce sperm?
Even if your external genitalia are not clearly male or female, or were altered surgically at birth to conform to one binary gender or the other, you may still be fertile. If you have a uterus, you may be able to carry a child, either on your own or with the help of hormone therapy.
If you have ovaries, but no uterus, you could produce eggs that are fertilized outside your body (i.e., in vitro fertilization or IVF) either with your partner’s or donor’s sperm. Then, the resulting embryos are transferred to a surrogate’s womb for gestation and childbirth.
If you produce sperm, but can’t ejaculate or ejaculate well, we can help. We can fertilize your partner’s eggs through artificial insemination or IVF. Or, in some cases, we may refer you to a urologist for surgery.
Do you have both male and female reproductive organs?
Some intersex people have both testes and ovaries. You may be able to get pregnant on your own, if you also have a uterus. However, if you have testes, they may be releasing more testosterone than would be optimal for conception and pregnancy.
If you have both testes and ovaries and are having trouble becoming pregnant, we may remove the testicular tissue. We may also recommend hormone therapy to increase your chances of ovulating and becoming pregnant.
Get the answers you need
If you’re uncertain about whether you can have a biological child as an intersex person, the first step is to undergo a fertility evaluation. We conduct a complete physical examination, which may include imaging studies to identify any and all reproductive organs and tissues you may have. We may also test your chromosomes as well as your hormones.
Once we know all of the factors involved in both you and your partner’s fertility, we custom-design a treatment plan or recommendations. Fully armed with information, you’re able to decide for yourself what therapies you want to pursue and how best to build the family of your dreams.
If you’re intersex and wish to have biological children, call us today at 949-706-2229 for a fertility evaluation or book an appointment on our website.