Assisted reproduction techniques that incorporate donor sperm – and even donor eggs or embryos – have contributed to a steady increase in single women deciding to become single moms.
NEW YORK (PRWEB) April 18, 2019
Whether Mr. Right hasn’t appeared “in time” or a long-held desire to become a mother blends with an independent lifestyle, single women today have an amazing array of fertility options to forge their own path to parenthood, according to fertility specialist Daniel Kort, MD, Associate Medical Director of Neway Fertility.
Assisted reproduction techniques that incorporate donor sperm – and even donor eggs or embryos – have contributed to a steady increase in single women deciding to become single moms, says Dr. Kort. While the decision to take this unique path to start a family comes with its own unique challenges, customized treatment plans can help each woman achieve her goals
“By employing one of many different treatment options , a single woman can decide to become a parent regardless of her relationship status,” Dr. Kort explains. “You don’t have to compromise on your dreams of having a baby if you’re not in a committed relationship or don’t wish to have a partner. It’s wonderful to have a choice.”
Paths toward pregnancy
The decision to conceive with donor sperm or preserve your fertility usually begins with an assessment of your current fertility. When you visit a reproductive specialist to get started, typically they’ll take a thorough medical history. The exam may also include blood tests to check hormone levels or an ultrasound to determine your “ovarian reserve,” the number of potential eggs in your ovaries.
After that, single women can choose from many options to attempt pregnancy or preserve fertility. According to Dr. Kort, these include:
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI): Donor sperm is placed in the woman’s uterus at the time of ovulation. Typically, ovulation has been stimulated with the help of medications. The semen is placed directly in the uterus with a soft catheter and syringe. IUI takes only a few minutes.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF): A woman’s eggs are retrieved from the ovaries, fertilized by donor sperm and placed back into the uterus to implant and grow into a baby. Depending on how many embryos are produced, there may be “extras” that the woman can use for future pregnancies.
- Egg freezing: Since the quality and quantity of a woman’s eggs diminish with age, some women proactively attempt to preserve their fertility by freezing their eggs. Advanced cryopreservation techniques place eggs retrieved from a woman’s ovaries into a “deep freeze,” later to be thawed and fertilized when she wishes to take the next step and attempt pregnancy.
If women aren’t sure what option is best for them, the initial medical consultation and fertility evaluation will help guide them, Dr. Kort says. “Both IUI and IVF can often quickly result in successful pregnancies, while egg freezing has quickly become a logical option for women who aren’t yet in the right situation to have a baby but want to hold on to that potential.”
Using donor sperm, eggs or embryos
All assisted reproduction techniques for single women involve donor sperm. A sperm donor can be anonymously chosen from a registry, where moms-to-be review profiles about a donor’s age, height, hair and eye color, ethnicity, religion, education and other information. Donor sperm from sperm banks is routinely tested for infectious diseases.
Alternately, a sperm donor can be a friend or family member willing to go through the process with them, which should involve careful legal and emotional preparation, Dr. Kort says.
Sometimes, a single woman’s path to motherhood involves using donor eggs or even donor embryos left over from another woman who consents to relinquish them. As with donor sperm, choosing donor eggs or embryos allows women to sift through a donor’s background information. Alternately, egg or embryo donors can also be friends or family members as well.
The wide variety of potential paths to single motherhood can be daunting, but should also make would-be moms optimistic, Dr. Kort says.
“Instead of waiting for the ‘perfect time’ or for a partner, single women today can approach motherhood on their own terms,” he adds.
Daniel Kort, MD, is a double board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist and reproductive endocrinologist and is associate medical director of Neway Fertility in New York City.