Fertility Treatments for single-mothers: all you need to know

With the breaking down of taboos and the delay in seeking a first child, it is no wonder that today’s women, empowered and with the support of science, decide not to give up their desire of motherhood and become single-mothers.

Therefore, it is not surprising that at IVF-Spain we have seen an increase in the number of fertility treatments for single-mothers compared to last year, reaching up to 10% of the total treatments.

Thanks to the advanced techniques of assisted reproduction applied during the age range recommended by the medical community, becoming a single-mother is a reality. This is how family models are changing, an example are the single-parent families.

How are women that choose to be single-mothers?

A woman that wishes to be mother knows that this is a life-changing decision and that becoming a parent will be more difficult than for a couple. Just because of the fact that a couple are two and one baby. But a woman that wishes to be a mother also knows that the number of parents has nothing to do with the amount of love that she will be able to give the child herself or with help from her loved ones.

Women that decide to start maternity on their own, normally are independent and empowered women, that see how the years pass, but their wish to start a family stays or even increases. The profile of single-mothers by choice is one of a woman that studied and grew professionally until she reached a financial independency that will allow her to educate and raise her child the best way possible. Often it is a mother that decided to first get to know herself better, to grow and even to travel to become the woman she is now.

It is also true that these women often count on a big support of family and their closest friends, who will help them to raise their child.

What treatment options are there for single-mothers?

In order to choose the right treatment, it is important to make a detailed fertility analysis of the future mother. Not all techniques and treatment get the same results in each patient.

These are the most demanded fertility treatments for single-mothers:

Artificial Insemination

Artificial Insemination is an is a simple, minimally invasive technique where sperm that was prepared in the laboratory, is placed inside the uterus mother’s uterus when she is ovulating. The goal is to produce the encounter of the egg and the sperm, to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. The fecundation takes place in the fallopian tubes.

In Vitro Fertilisation

In vitro fertilization or IVF, is a procedure where the fertilization of egg and sperm takes place the laboratory. The oocytes are extracted trough ovarian puncture to be fertilised with the donor’s sperm. This technique requires ovarian stimulation to obtain an adequate number of oocytes to guarantee the success of the treatment.

The embryos will develop in the laboratory until they reach the blastocyst stage (day 5-6 of development). Thanks to time-lapse technology, they are constantly monitored by the embryologists without having to leave the incubator. In this way, the culture conditions are kept intact. All the information collected during the development of the embryos, allows the embryologists to select the embryo with the greatest chance of being implanted.

These two treatments are the most used for single women who want to become mothers, although there are other ones such as:

Egg donation, an in vitro fertilization treatment with eggs from a donor, or embryodonation, the adoption of the embryos from another couple who has decided to donate them so they can become a baby.

How does the treatment work?

First you will have a consultation with a fertility specialist. In this first visit you will have the chance to meet the entire team who shares one goal: help you to become a mother.

Something important to bear in mind is the ovarian reserve. This is the quantity and quality of the patient’s eggs. The ovarian reserve decreases over the years, according to specialists beyond the age of 35 the quantity and quality of the oocytes decreases significantly.

In order to evaluate the patient’s ovarian reserve, we perform a complete check-up of the female fertility, a crucial step which is carried out during the first consultation. Several parameters are taken into account such as age, number of antral follicles and AMH-levels (anti-mullerian hormone).

The problem when a woman decides to start a family on her own is that the decision is usually made around the age of 38 or even later, at which age the probability of achieving a pregnancy through artificial insemination is unfortunately quite low.

However, once all the necessary tests are made, the fertility doctor will decide the treatment that best suits the patient’s needs. And this will be the moment for one of the steps that raises most questions: the selection of the perfect donor.

How does the selection of the donor work?

Firstly, donation is an act of solidarity, altruism and anonymity. It is carried out under Spanish legislation, which guarantees the anonymity of both the donor and the baby, so that their identities will never be known.

On the other hand, to guarantee the health of the future baby, tests are carried out on the sperm donor, such as seminograms and blood tests, to ensure that they are suitable for donation.

Once the donor has passed all the tests, the choice of the most suitable donor in each case will be made according to similar phenotypical criteria to the future mother, meaning by this that they share physical characteristics such as: height, corpulence, skin colour, hair, eyes, etc.

If you wish to be a single-mother

Nowadays there are more and more women that choose to start their single-parent family thanks to Assisted Reproduction. It is a difficult, but overall brave process that will change their lives forever.

At IVF-Spain we have a great team of fertility specialists that work for a common goal: help you to be a mother.

If you wish to become a mother, you can ask for an appointment with our specialists, who will inform you about the entire process.