Lesbian couple who want a baby ‘told by GP to sleep with a man’

A lesbian couple looking to start a family have said they were asked by a GP why they did not find a man to sleep with to get pregnant.

Elissa Hillier, 32, and her wife Kaylee, 35, from Manchester, said they were also asked during the shocking consultation whether they knew that to have a baby they needed “human sperm”.

Elissa Hillier and her wife Kayle said they were shocked by the comment


The couple had booked an appointment with a GP at the Orient Road Medical Practice in Salford to discuss their options in February 2023.

But they said the GP did not know how to proceed and that his advice left them feeling “scared, disappointed and upset”.

The couple, who then decided to go private, have since found a clinic in Denmark and one in the UK, where they have done three rounds of fertility treatment which failed.

The couple have launched a fundraiser to help them start a family


They are currently doing IVF and, having spent in total around £15,000 on treatments, have launched a fundraiser to cover their costs and help them start a family.

The pair are also launching a podcast about their fertility journey called NoMoreMen.

“We went in really excited thinking this was the start of our journey and that we were going to be having a baby,” said Elissa who is currently studying English and creative writing at the University of Bolton and works part-time as a careers advisor and in retail.

“When we left, we just sat in the car in silence and were like ‘Did that actually just happen?’”

During the consultation, they said the male GP asked: “You do know that you need a man to have a baby?”

The couple were asked ‘You do know that it needs to be human sperm?’


They were also asked: “You do know that it needs to be human sperm?”

“Then he just stared at us for a bit and was like ‘Why don’t you just go out and find a man to sleep with?’” added Elissa.

The GP offered to put them on a “three year” waiting list for a fertility appointment with the NHS.

“He gave no explanation about what that would entail and basically said ‘I don’t really know how to help you or why you are here’,” said Kaylee, a Senior Studio Director for BBC radio operations.

“All he said was, ‘I’m going to put your name on this list and you’ll get a call’.

“He wasn’t being rude or mean, you could tell that he was genuinely just trying to understand,” added Elissa.

“He did suggest a number of times, ‘why don’t you just go find a man?’ and we kept reiterating that I don’t want my wife going off and sleeping with someone else.”

They thought they were being filmed for a TV prank show


The couple said they could not “believe this was really happening” and even wondered whether they were being pranked on television.

“Do straight couples get asked if they know that you need human sperm to have a baby?” said Kaylee.

They began researching private options online and found three possible procedures, Intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and Reciprocal IVF.

With IUI, sperm is injected directly into the woman’s uterus, whereas in IVF the egg is surgically removed from her ovaries and fertilised in a lab.

The experience nearly put the couple off altogether


To find out more, Elissa and Kaylee booked a free consultation with the Care Fertility clinic in Manchester and were invited to attend a fertility webinar.

But they said the session focused primarily on IVF and male fertility issues.

“There was only one slide which said ‘We can help same sex couples’ and it was a picture of two men,” said Elissa.

“It just really put us off the whole thing,” added Kaylee.

The GPs advice left them feeling “scared, disappointed and upset”.


Just when they were about to give up, Elissa spotted a news article about a same sex couple who went to Denmark for their fertility treatment.

They contacted Diers Klinik in Aarhus, the country’s second largest city, and were invited to have a one-to-one video chat with a nurse.

“She explained everything in a very low-key natural way, step-by-step,” said Elissa.

“After our experience, we were almost worried about being a same sex couple on this call, but she didn’t even blink.”

The couple decided they would try IUI as it was about £3,000 cheaper than IVF which costs upwards of £5,000.

Danish nurse ‘didn’t even blink’ upon realising they were a same sex couple


“She said basically, as soon as you start ovulating, just ring us and we’ll book you into the clinic and do the procedure,” said Elissa.

“From feeling in the dark and on your own, this was the first place we had contacted which made us feel safe and that somebody was actually on our side,” added Kaylee.

The couple travelled to Denmark in July 2023 to have the IUI procedure and were delighted when 14 days later they had a positive pregnancy test.

But a few days later, Elissa got her period and it turned out, she had what is known as a “chemical pregnancy”, a very early miscarriage.

“You get that positive test and you think, ‘We’ve been blessed’,” said Kaylee.

“I was at work and I got the call from Ellie and the floor gets taken away from under you.

The couple travelled to Denmark in July 2023 to have the IUI procedure


“All that elation that we had just evaporated.”

The couple did not let this stop them and after getting some financial help from Elissa’s parents, they went for another round of IUI in August 2023.

Unfortunately this time, it simply did not work.

Running low on funds and not wanting to go through the stress of travelling to Denmark again, the couple decided to look for a clinic closer to home.

Elissa had joined several fertility Facebook groups and was contacted by a woman in Manchester who recommended CREATE Fertility clinic in Wilmslow.

“It was more expensive than Denmark but we thought that taking away the stress of travelling might be better,” said Elissa.

“We booked a consultation and it was really thorough and we just felt that this was a good experience, it felt safer and they just seemed to be more clued up about lesbian couples.”

Sadly their third IUI attempt did not work, and so the couple decided to try IVF after being offered a discount by the clinic in November 2023.

“We can’t keep doing it because it costs too much money and the emotional toll is too high,” said Kaylee.

“I’m watching my wife put her body through so much, so it got to the point where we thought: ‘Do we just keep doing this or do we try IVF and give ourselves a better chance?’”

The whole process has cost the couple around £15,000 and they have now launched a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help start their family.

Elissa is currently going through her first cycle and they will find out whether it has been successful in the next few weeks.

“We’re hoping for Kaylee to have a baby after I’ve had one,” said Elissa.

“Hopefully sharing our story will help other people figure out what they can do,” added Kaylee.

“Every donation we’ve had so far, it doesn’t matter how much, we’ve been so humbled.

“You don’t feel like you deserve it and it feels like a privilege that someone would donate to us and help us have a family.”

To find out more about Kaylee and Elissa’s experience follow @NoMoreMenPod on Twitter and Instagram.

Orient Road Medical Practice in Salford said they could not offer a comment due to patient confidentiality.

The Care Fertility clinic has not responded to a request for comment.

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