More and more single women choose to go through IVF alone in order to become a mum. In fact, in 2013, 952 singles were registered with a fertility clinic in the UK. This represents an increase of 226% since 2006! Whether having expressly chosen to remain independent or having simply not yet found the right man to have a child with, for these women and others like them, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) represents an excellent solution to becoming pregnant without a partner.
Why choose IVF?
Opting to have a child alone is not an easy decision to make. However, whether it’s due to the ticking of the biological clock or simply a matter of choice, some women decide that it’s not because they are single that they are forced to give up on their dream of becoming a mum. In vitro fertilisation is often a second option for women who first try artificial insemination without experiencing any success. IVF is therefore seen as an alternative for singles who require a sperm donor in order to conceive.
In short, IVF is a fertility technique that involves the fertilisation of eggs with sperm in a laboratory dish. The result, called the embryo, is then placed into the woman’s womb. Regarding the woman’s fertility, the eggs can be hers or those of a donor.
Where to find a sperm donor?
To get pregnant through IVF, solo women can find their donors in various ways. They can opt for an anonymous donor chosen from a sperm bank or a fertility clinic. Some prefer to select a donor they know, for instance a close relative or a friend. One of the advantages is that they are already familiar with the donor’s personality and physical appearance.
Another alternative is to find a sperm donor on the internet, via a website. On these online platforms, women who want to become a mum have access to different profiles that will help them to find the right donor. There, they’ll have the chance to get to know him, to meet him and to ask him questions. You also have women who deliberately choose this option because they want to offer their child the opportunity to have a relationship with their donor.
How does IVF work?
First of all, it’s important that the woman goes to her GP to get informed about all of her options for becoming pregnant. She’ll have to undergo a series of tests to ensure that her body is able to have a baby. If the woman is using her own eggs to become pregnant via IVF, she’ll have to use medication to supress her natural menstrual cycle and then boost her egg supply by taking a fertility hormone. The next step is to collect the mature eggs with a needle in order to fertilize them with sperm. After developing in the laboratory for up to 6 days, the embryo is finally transferred to the woman’s womb with a catheter. Once that is done, patience is the name of the game, as our potential mum must then wait for 2 weeks before taking a pregnancy test.
The success rate of IVF is dependent on a woman’s age: 32,2% of women under 35 will have the chance to have a baby via this method as opposed to only 1.9% of women over 44. Becoming a mum can certainly present a lot of hurdles when you are a single woman. However, let’s stay hopeful: the joy of motherhood will be worth the effort!
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