Elinor reviews Lesbian Conception 101 by Kathy Borkoski

lesbian conception 101

My wife and I decided a few months back to try to have a baby. Naturally, I’ve been reading everything that exists on the subject. There aren’t a ton of books out there for queer women trying to get pregnant. One of the most accessible is Lesbian Conception 101: An easy-to-follow, how-to get started guide for lesbians thinking about getting pregnant tomorrow or in a couple of years by Kathy Borkoski. Borkoski doesn’t preach about the way you ought to things. She lays out your getting-pregnant options, and offers some cost-saving tips and exercises for figuring out what you want. The book focuses exclusively on conception, which can keep things from being overwhelming when you’re starting the process.

Lesbian Conception 101 isn’t the most comprehensive book about getting pregnant that exists. It’s very short–less than 100 pages–and some of that is devoted to the voices of women who’d gone through the process. While these personal stories are interesting and at times reassuring, they typically don’t delve into a lot of details that you can apply to your own life. It’s decidedly written for cisgender lesbian couples and if this isn’t you, your mileage may vary. Sections include deciding who will carry, ways to get sperm, and options for insemination. Borkoski includes options for using known and unknown donors, and insemination choices from low-tech at home up to IVF.

I wish Borkoski had included more suggestions for further reading. If you want more information about tracking your fertility, for example, a few more resources would have been nice. Also, some of your experiences might be different from the book. Borkoski’s description of intrauterine insemination involved much more medical monitoring than I experienced. Likewise, the section on questions you’ll be asked, while a good way to prepare yourself, might not be anything like the questions you’ll actually be asked. (The weirdest question my wife and I got was, “Are you two adopting or using a surrogate?” To which I got to reply, “We’re going to try to use one of the two uteruses we have between us.” Also, multiple people asked if we could chose the sex of our baby). Still, it’s a good starting off point. If you aren’t interested in ever getting pregnant or having a pregnant partner, you don’t need this book. But if you are, this is one of the easiest books out there about lesbian baby making.

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