Reciprocal IVF, also known as shared motherhood, partner IVF, co-IVF and ROPA (reception of oocytes from partner) is a an assisted reproduction treatment that allows female couples to have a family. One parent's eggs are removed from the ovaries, fertilized in a laboratory, and then one or more of the resulting embryos are placed in the other parent's uterus to create a pregnancy.
The ovum is fertilised with semen from an anonymous donor. Sperm donation, an altruistic, unselfish act, is subject to medical control at IVF, where we interview donors and perform tests to ensure that the sperm is suitable.
Donor anonymity is guaranteed by Spanish law and ensures that the donor cannot discover the identity of the baby born and that the child will not know the identity of the donor.
The ROPA method starts with controlled, personalised ovarian stimulation, using state-of-the-art techniques.
To achieve the best success rates, IVF-Spain performs a detailed medical study, carefully choosing the most appropriate technique for each parent. The quality of the laboratory and the advanced technologies applied in each technique, and the ability to provide a tailored treatment, are crucial to the success of the treatment.
Step 1: Ovarian stimulation
The ROPA Method starts with ovarian stimulation. At our fertility clinic, ovarian stimulation is part of an in-vitro fertilisation treatment carried out according to personalised protocols to obtain sufficient embryos and increase the possibilities of achieving pregnancy.
This initial step takes between 10 and 20 days. During this period, the patient is controlled with ultrasound scans to check that she is responding as expected to the medication prescribed and that the follicles are growing according to plan. When the follicles reach a suitable size, the puncture is performed and she is one step closer to conception.
Step 2: Follicular puncture and aspiration
Once viable oocytes (eggs) have been obtained with ovarian stimulation as described above, ovulation starts, and vaginal ultrasound-guided follicular puncture and aspiration are performed. This is a minor procedure performed in the operating theatre with mild sedation to ensure that the patient does not experience any discomfort.
Step 3: Embryo fertilisation and culture
After follicular puncture and aspiration, the ova obtained are fertilised in our fertilisation laboratory. Our team of highly qualified embryologists specialises in the field of assisted reproduction.
At IVF-Spain, embryos are cultured in the laboratory under constant supervision and controlling multiple parameters, therefore the success of in vitro fertilisation is largely dependent on the quality of the laboratory. We have technology capable of monitoring embryos to provide constant information about their cell division.
This information is of vital importance in order to select the embryo with the best potential for implantation. All the embryos are monitored in incubators, which provide optimal conditions for development until the moment of transfer.
The clinic stays in constant contact with patients, keeping them informed of the evolution of their embryos and all the steps that make up the ROPA treatment.
Step 4: Embryo transfer
The penultimate step in the ROPA Method is embryo transfer. This step is our patients’ first contact with their embryo after the first phase of the treatment and is an emotionally memorable moment.
Embryo transfer is a quick, painless process whereby the doctor inserts a cannula through the cervix (the neck of the uterus) and deposits the embryo.
At most clinics, several embryos are transferred, however at IVF-Spain in the vast majority of cases we transfer a single embryo: the most viable one selected using advanced technology which enables us to identify which is most likely to achieve pregnancy.
Step 5: Embryo vitrification
After embryo transfer, some good quality embryos may remain. These embryos are vitrified for possible use in a later cycle. This means that there is no need to repeat the first two steps of the process, going straight to embryo fertilization and culture.
*The viability of the treatment depends on the medical diagnosis.