In recent years we have seen society change in many ways. One of these changes has been the emergence of new family models, distinct from that of the traditional heterosexual couple.
This openness to new family models has been significantly encouraged by women who have chosen to achieve pregnancy without a partner, and by same-sex female couples who have fulfilled their dream of starting their own family. In both cases it is clear that assisted reproduction has played a very significant role in the transformation of family models.
In today’s article we will be discussing single motherhood and the different reproductive options available to become a mother.
Has there been an increase in single motherhood?
As we have mentioned, the range of family models has altered in comparison to the recent past. During fertility consultations at HC we have witnessed how the number of women visiting us to achieve a pregnancy without a partner has increased exponentially during recent years.
Why do women make this decision? Although the answer to this question is a very personal one, we can say that we are convinced that when a woman wants to become a mother, there is no obstacle not worth overcoming for her to fulfil her dream.
The decision may be due to age; when a women reaches a certain age she may consider fulfilling her desire to be a mother even without a partner, or it may simply be that there has never been a suitable partner to start a family with. What we do know is that their decision to start their own family is a courageous, solid and enthusiastic one.
What are the reproductive options for achieving pregnancy without a partner?
Firstly, we must emphasise that women who visit assisted reproduction clinics to achieve a pregnancy often do not do so because of fertility-related problems, or at least not with any more problems than other women generally. In the case of women who choose this reproductive option, they do so simply because they require an anonymous sperm donor to undergo treatment.
In general, the treatments we perform most often are artificial insemination (AI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF), in both cases with donor semen.
To determine which treatment is most indicated, an advance study of the patient’s fertility is required to rule out any potential problems that would hinder pregnancy.
Artificial insemination, this is recommended when there is good ovarian reserve and no infertility problems have been detected, it is the simpler of the two treatments. Following mild ovarian stimulation, the semen sample, having been treated and prepared, is introduced into the woman’s uterus. You could say that artificial insemination is the treatment which is most similar to natural reproduction.
Alternatively, in vitro fertilization involves fertilisation of the patient’s eggs in our laboratory using the donor’s semen sample; this fertilisation produces embryos. Once the embryos have reached the appropriate stage of development, usually from day 5 to the blastocyst stage, they are selected by the embryologist and transferred into the patient. Although it is indicated in many different circumstances, it is recommended in cases where there is a condition that prevents the sperm from reaching the egg or when the patient’s eggs are of low quality.
How are sperm donors selected?
Based on Human Reproduction Law, to be able to access our donor programme at HC Fertility both sperm donors and egg donors are subjected to exhaustive psychological, genetic and immunological checks and tests. All donors must be negative for transmissible diseases in order to guarantee maximum safety and the best results for our patients.
We are aware of the responsibility and trust that our patients place in us on a daily basis, so we take the greatest care to make sure requirements are met by all those who wish to take part in our donor programmes.
HC Fertility, we are with you throughout your journey to motherhood
The decision to be a mother without a partner, although brave, is not exempt from fears and concerns.
Wondering if you will be able to manage the daily routine when your baby is here, or even how in the future you will explain the reasons why you decided to be a single mum and how you managed to achieve it, is to be expected.
Primarily, we believe that the assumption that a woman who chooses motherhood without a partner is alone should be forgotten. Family, friends and colleagues can all be your greatest support.
The team at HC Fertility will also be there to accompany and guide you throughout all the stages of pregnancyas well as to answer any of your questions along the way.
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