As more and more women are choosing to move forward building their families without a partner, the need for fertility options for single motherhood is becoming paramount. If you are a single woman who doesn’t have a partner but want to have a child or children, you have several options.
If you are unmarried or divorced but you want to get pregnant and give birth to your own child, it is quite possible and you can achieve your dream through IVF. Being a single woman certainly does not disqualify you from profiting from fertility treatment explains fertility consultant, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi.
Dr Ajayi explains further in his piece for Punch. Read his suggestions below
For many years, fertility treatment options for single women have been making motherhood possible and this is enabling more women to embrace single motherhood.
Therefore, if you are a woman that wants to start or grow your family, there are fertility treatments available for you. You can find the right help and support at reputable fertility centres near you that can assist you to welcome a healthy baby into the world.
Normally, the expectation is that once you are determined and ready to be a parent, you should be able to raise a child, regardless of your marital status. This is made feasible because there are some fertility treatments for single women that make parenthood possible.
Since you cannot get pregnant on your own, your single parenthood journey begins with you selecting a sperm donor or egg donor as the case may be.
You may also opt to go through single parenthood fertility treatment using frozen embryos which could also be donated either through known or anonymous means.
The process of selecting a sperm donor to achieve single motherhood is explicit. Every fertility treatment for single women requires a sperm donor and you can either use an anonymous donor through a sperm bank or you can use a known donor. It’s your choice.
With either option, the donor’s sperm must be thoroughly screened, tested and well preserved before use. You may opt for a sperm bank because the donated sperm there has already undergone testing and quarantine.
A known donor is a person that you know and choose to donate a semen sample. This option is usually less expensive compared to unknown sperm donors since the sperm does not need to be purchased. Although, there are many legal risks and challenges with this option, it is recommended that you meet your potential donor following expert advice.
An unknown donor donates sperm through a sperm bank and can choose to keep his identity anonymous. Sperm donors can’t claim legal rights to the children born through their sperm donation so you don’t have to worry about parental issues in the future.
There are specific details you need to look out for when selecting a donor from a sperm bank. For instance, you can view profiles for each donor including information about the donor’s medical history, education, appearance, hobbies, and interests. All this information would make it easier for you to select the right donor for you.
If you are having difficulty becoming pregnant due to the quality of your eggs, you may use donated eggs from another woman. You can decide to choose a donor who is anonymous or known.
An anonymous donor is one you will never meet and a known donor can be a friend, relative or stranger chosen through an agency, but will meet within agreed-upon boundaries. All potential egg donors usually go through an evaluation or screening and may receive ovulation stimulating drugs over time and have their eggs removed once they are stimulated.
Note that the quality of a woman’s eggs diminishes with age and advanced cryopreservation techniques allow for the safe and successful freezing, storing, and thawing of eggs that can be used in the future.
Your own medical and reproductive history is also evaluated before beginning the procedure to ensure that you are matched with the proper type of sperm or egg donor where necessary.
Once you have decided which source of sperm to use, you have the option to choose how to complete the procedure. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) with donor sperm is a basic fertility treatment that can facilitate your goal. It is the process of placing frozen sperm in your uterus at the time of your ovulation.
A reproductive specialist carries out the procedure. The semen is placed directly into your uterus through your cervix with a soft catheter and syringe during your ovulation.
If you are using sperm from a sperm bank, a prepared sperm sample will be sent to the fertility centre directly. The procedure is quick and only lasts for a few minutes.
The process is safe, the sperms are washed and prepared in advance. You would be required to take fertility medications with the IUI or do a natural, unmedicated cycle, depending on your fertility needs.
The other approach is through In vitro fertilization (IVF) with donor sperm. It is a more advanced procedure and also more effective. What happens is that you will first take medications to help your ovaries produce multiple eggs. This is known as hyperstimulation. Then you will be asked to visit the fertility centre as an outpatient for an egg retrieval procedure.
Following this, an embryologist will fertilise your eggs with donor sperm. The fertility centre can also perform a procedure known as preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) to screen for chromosomal abnormalities. Once all this is completed, the embryologist will transfer one healthy embryo to your uterus to achieve pregnancy.
When you are ready to take the first step towards single motherhood, consult a doctor or gynecologist who would refer you to a fertility specialist to help achieve your dream of having a baby. By utilising the most advanced and latest tools and technologies, there is renewed hope for you as a potential parent.