Access to fertility services for lesbian women in Canada

Lesbian women in Canada face several barriers when accessing reproductive care.


Shannon L. Corbett, M.D., Helena M. Frecker, M.D., Heather M. Shapiro, M.D., Mark H. Yudin, M.D.

Volume 100, Issue 4, Pages 1077-1080, October 2013



To determine reproductive services offered to lesbian patients by Canadian fertility clinics, policies of practice, ease of access to these services, and sensitivity of clinics to this population of patients.


Survey sent to assisted reproductive technology (ART) clinic directors.


Academic medical center, university-based ethics institute.





Main Outcome Measure(s):

The percentage of Canadian fertility clinics that will provide reproductive services to lesbian patients; services offered; the presence of clinic policies on lesbian care; and the presence on web sites of heteronormative material.


Completed surveys were received from 71% (24/34) of clinics. All clinics surveyed provided reproductive services to lesbian patients, with the exception of one clinic. Five of 24 (21%) clinics have a written policy on care for lesbian patients; 29% (7/24) will provide services to lesbian patients without prior investigations. All clinics will offer IUI and cycle monitoring to lesbian patients. Twenty-three of 24 clinics (96%) will offer IVF services when required. Fourteen of 32 clinic web sites (44%) make mention of lesbian patients and 27% (8/30) have heteronormative information only.


Lesbians encounter several barriers to accessing reproductive services in Canada. Addressing these issues could improve experiences of lesbian women and couples seeking care at fertility clinics.

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