I am single and I want to have a baby. What are my options?
If you are single or a woman in a same sex partnership, the happiness of getting pregnant and becoming a mother may seem like a distant dream. Especially when Swedish legislation limits your ability to perform IVF in due to age, marital status, or other restricting factors.
However, there are ways to make this dream into a reality. AVA Clinic specializes in IVF abroad treatments for Scandinavian women. For single and lesbian women, AVA Clinic offers IVF treatment with sperm donation.
IVF treatment with Sperm Donation: Is it Right for Me?
The treatment process of single women is identical to that of heterosexual couples.
When choosing a fertilization method, the first step is determining the cause of infertility. Because infertility can either be on the male or female side, it’s important to understand where the issue originates. In other words, we need to consider not only the sperm donor, but also the female egg donor.
How does infertility affect the recommended treatment protocol?
Well, if a woman has healthy uterine tubes, a good supply of healthy eggs, and what doctors call the "optimal level of fertility" - regular ovulation and a healthy uterus – then only intrauterine artificial insemination with donor sperm is needed.
However, if a Diminished Ovarian Reserve is found or her uterine tubes are partially or completely blocked, IVF treatment with patient's eggs and sperm donation is necessary.
At AVA Clinic, we recognize that donors are an intimate matter that requires special sensitivity. In addition to our own sperm bank, AVA Clinic actively cooperates with a number of reputable banks in Denmark. In fact, the majority of patients at AVA come from Scandinavian countries. Our clinical coordinators are responsible for selecting high quality sperm donors in close contact with patients undergoing treatment.
IVF treatment with Egg Donation and Sperm Donation
Even with AVA’s advanced technology, there are cases when IVF with donor sperm is not enough to result in a healthy pregnancy.
These are cases when the woman’s own eggs are close to zero, or there are no eggs at all. For women in this situation, the best solution is Egg donation and Sperm donation. This treatment is sometimes called embryo donation.
Fortunately, due to AVA’s progressive policies, our clinic is able to provide an egg donor to female patients.
Why IVF in Latvia?
In many countries, the legislation has imposed an age limit for women undergoing infertility treatments with the help of donor eggs. For example, in Sweden, the upper limit is 45 years of age.
However, in Latvia, where AVA is based, it is possible for women up to 50 years old, inclusive, to receive egg donation. This slight difference in policy can mean the possibility of motherhood for many single women struggling with infertility issues.
Additionally, the law in Riga defines that any donation- egg donation or sperm donation- is anonymous. The donor doesn’t get any identifying information about you, and vice versa.
But, you do have the right to know his phenotypic features. This includes: height, weight, eye and hair color, blood type and rhesus factor.
You also get to know the donor’s age, nationality, education, any existing children, and even specific professional skills. For example, your donor could a musician. Or a doctor. Or, God forbid, a poet! But the identifying about name, surname, date of birth, address, phone number, e-mail remains closed.
Adoption? Embryo Adoption, that is.
There are more paths to motherhood than IVF with the donor sperm. For single women or women in same-sex partnerships hoping to become mothers, there is another solution- embryo adoption.
What is embryo adoption?
During infertility treatment, "extra embryos" are produced during the IVF cycles. By request or consent of the patient, these extra embryos frozen at AVA Clinic. Many women freeze them in case they want to get pregnant again in the future and give their child the brother or sister they deserve.
However, after the birth of one or two children through IVF, some women find that they have the perfect family they were searching for and do not need their extra embryos. Sometimes, these women are willing to help others experience the same joy of motherhood and donate their embryos to other patients.
AVA Clinic takes an active position and supports its own embryo adoption program. When the clinic has donated embryos, we offer both single women and couples to try this option. But, it is essential that we only use embryos obtained in the IVF cycle as a result of the fertilization of the donor's egg with the donor's sperm.
Women's Fertility Options in Modern Society
In today's modern society, many self-empowered women focus their early 20’s and 30s on building a career, traveling, and personal-growth. However, the older a woman becomes, the more challenging it is for her to have a successful pregnancy.
Freezing the Embryo
In order to ensure that time does not eat up your chances of a healthy pregnancy, you can undergo IVF while still in your optimal childbearing age and freeze the resulting embryo for later use.
Of course, this method requires that the patient chooses sperm donor before even deciding when she will want to get pregnant, which is why it’s not for everyone. But, if becoming a mother in the future and give birth to an absolutely healthy baby is a top priority for you, then this is the best way to ensure that.
Those who are not ready to consider pregnancy with the help of donor sperm, or wish to wait for partner sperm can freeze their eggs (often called oocyte freezing, egg freezing, oocyte vitrification, or oocyte cryopreservation).
Freezing Your Eggs
The first results of clinical trials in the field of freezing female eggs were published just over 10 years ago. The process is similar to the normal IVF- ova are extracted from the ovaries, but instead of being fertilized, they are frozen.
Success is determined by the quality of the freezing, the thawing procedure in the embryological laboratory, the number of frozen eggs, and the age of the woman when she froze her eggs. You can freeze your eggs as young as age twenty; the younger you are, the better success rates you will have.
We don't recommend freezing eggs for women over thirty-seven. At this age, the peak of fertility has passed, and the quality of the frozen material will not allow for high success rates in the future. However, in extreme circumstances, such chemotherapy or radiation therapy, eggs can be frozen upon the patient’s discretion.
Freezing the Ovarian Tissue
It is also possible to freeze the ovarian tissue (also called ovarian tissue cryopreservation).
Doctors can collect pieces of ovarian bark in a quick and painless surgery and freeze the recovered tissue.
The ovarian bark contains a large number of dormant, immature eggs, which can later develop into full and mature eggs given the right conditions.
When the patient is ready for childbearing, these pieces of ovarian tissue will be defrosted in the laboratory at the clinic. During a second operation, they will be placed back into the body to obtain healthy and mature eggs.
Today, dozens of healthy children were born into the world using this method. However, this procedure is still in its experimental phase, and is complicated and expensive compared to other fertility treatment options.
What is the Best Fertility Treatment for Me to Have a Baby?
Determining which treatment method is right for you depends on many factors, including your reproductive health and family planning timeline.
Our team of experts is here to help you better understand your options and guide you on your path to motherhood.
Contact AVA Clinic today to get all your questions answered.