Fertility treatment options for single women
Have you always always wanted to be a mother but the timing has never been right? Increasingly more single women are choosing to start families on their own. Through access to donor sperm and assisted reproductive technology single women can fulfil their dream of having a baby.
If you are considering the possibility of becoming a single parent, Rotunda IVF can offer you a range of treatment options and our experienced team can guide and support you through the process.
If you’re not ready to start a family just yet, you might consider freezing your eggs to help preserve your fertility and give you a greater chance of pregnancy success in the future.
Sperm donation is suitable for same sex couples, single women and in heterosexual couples where there is a significant male factor involved. As recommended by the doctor and depending on other factors involved, donor sperm may be used in combination with IUI, IVF or ICSI as appropriate.
- Who are the sperm donors?
Donors are ordinary, physically healthy men from a broad cross section of society who's ages range from 18-50 years. Most of them are students from institutions of higher education. They receive only small remuneration for donation and it is believed that they are genuine in their wish to help others.
- How are the donors assessed?
All donors undergo rigorous assessment before being accepted and all are examined and given final approval for donation by a medical doctor. Assessment involves screening both for genetic conditions and infectious diseases.
- Genetic screening
This involves a full medical assessment and a medical history covering grandparents and any descendants. The medical history places particular emphasis on any heritable conditions that may be present in the family and all donors are karyotyped. In specific situations, tests for other heritable diseases may be carried out (sickle cell disease, thalassaemia, Tay Sachs, cystic fibrosis.
- Infectious diseases
All donors are tested for Chlamydia, HIV-I and -II, HTLV-I, Hep B surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis C (HCV-Ab), syphilis, gonorrhoea. These tests are carried out once every three months and all semen samples are quarantined for six months before they can be used to ensure as far as possible that the samples were negative for these diseases at the time of donation.
- What information is available about the donor?
The majority of the donor sperm that we use in Rotunda IVF is obtained from a Danish donor bank. Regulations in Denmark require the donor bank to keep, at a minimum, the following information about donors on file:
Colour of eyes, colour of hair, height, weight, type of build, race, peculiarities of appearance (eg. complexion), age, education/occupation, blood type, karyotyping, psychological profile, and infectious screening results.
Extended profile donors have much more detail available on file concerning their characteristics and personality. This is only available to you if you request an extended profile donor which entails an additional cost.
- Identifiable Donors
At Rotunda IVF, we only offer identifiable donors. This means that you the parent will not receive the donor's identifying information but any child born using an Identifiable donor will, at the age of consent, be entitled to the donor's identifying information. Regardless of this, the donor is not allowed to receive information about the identity of the recipient couple or the child. The donor has no paternal rights to a child born as a result of treatment to an anonymous couple using his sperm.
- What happens if we need to use donor sperm?
If treatment using donor sperm has been recommended and all issues have been discussed and considered with the doctor and the counsellor, suitable donor sperm is selected for the couple or single woman. The physical characteristics of the patient(s) are recorded. The hair colour, eye colour, height, build, and blood group are noted and these are used to pick the closest matching donor. In heterosexual couples, the characteristics of the donor are matched as closely as possible with those of the male, but if the exact combination of characteristics is not available, it is sometimes necessary to match some characteristics to that of the female. In same sex couples or single women, we can either match to the female or match to characteristics the female would find acceptable.
- If we have a child using donor sperm can the same donor be used for more treatment?
Yes, in most cases reservation of donor sperm for future siblings is possible. As soon as you know you have an ongoing pregnancy, if there is still some of that same donor available at the donor bank, we advise you to contact the clinic in order for us to advise you on how to reserve some for future treatment.
- What are the treatments for single women?
Donor sperm can be used for either artificial insemination (IUI) or IVF with ICSI.
Many single women that attend our clinic do not have fertility problems and wish to access the mildest form of fertility treatment to conceive.
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Artificial insemination involves inserting prepared semen through the neck of the womb (the cervix) and into the uterus, close to the time of ovulation. Sometimes, fertility drugs may be used to stimulate the ovaries and encourage the release of eggs.
- In-vitro Fertilisation
IVF is a treatment where fertility medications are used to prompt a larger number of eggs to grow (usually 5-10). These eggs are collected from the ovaries and combined with the donated sperm in the laboratory via IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), where an individual sperm is injected directly into the egg. The embryo develops in the laboratory for 2-5 days before being transferred back to the woman
Social Egg Freezing
The Rotunda IVF Fertility Preservation Programme gives women and men the opportunity to conceive a child in the future, if their fertility is at risk due to medical illness or they want to proactively preserve fertility for social reasons.
- What are my fertility preservation options?
Fertility preservation options for women include freezing eggs or embryos. Fertility preservation options for men include sperm freezing.
- What is egg freezing?
Egg freezing is the process of extracting, freezing and storing a woman's eggs so that they may be used to conceive a child at a later date. There are no absolute guarantees but egg freezing does give a woman the opportunity to try for a baby in the future.
To find out more about the fertility treatment options for single women please contact us or book an appointment with a fertility specialist.