Options for Single Women
Fertility Treatment options for single women
Have you always pictured yourself as a mum? Why wait? Increasingly more single women are choosing to start families on their own. Through access to donor sperm and assisted reproductive technology single women can fulfill their dream of having a baby.
If you are considering the possibility of becoming a single parent, IVFAustralia 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.
What are the treatment options for single women?
If you are ready to start a family your fertility treatment options include:
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
An IUI procedure is where the sperm is placed into the uterus via a small tube just prior to ovulation.
However sperm quality and quantity varies amongst donors and not all donor sperm can be used for an IUI procedure. An alternative approach is
Single Parent IVF
IVF (in vitro fertilisation) is a treatment where fertility medications are used to prompt a larger number of eggs to grow (usually 5-10). These eggs are removed from the ovaries and combined with the donated sperm in the laboratory via intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), where an individual sperm is injected directly into the egg. The embryo develops in the laboratory for 5 days before being transferred back to the woman.
To help determine the most suitable treatment for you, book an appointment with a fertility specialist to discuss your reproductive health and the quality of the donated sperm.
How do I access donor sperm?
You can use sperm donated by someone you know or select one of our de-identified donors that we have recruited locally and imported from overseas.
Choosing your sperm donor
If you decide to use de-identified sperm through our donor program you will be given access to our password protected website which holds a database of all the donors that are currently available to choose from. Here you will be able to view in-depth questionnaires written by your donor about themselves and their families including physical attributes, medical history and a message about why they have decided to make this altruistic gift.
What are the costs involved?
Medicare will only provide a rebate for fertility treatment if there is a medical problem. If you are considering accessing the donor program, it is recommended that you consult a Fertility Specialist for full investigation to understand if you are eligible for a rebate and to understand the fertility treatment costs. There are also costs involved in the preparation of sperm donors. Read more about the costs of fertility treatment.
Thinking of solo parenthood? Let's talk about it.
Are you thinking of starting a family on your own? What are the options for single women starting a family on their own?
Before you make this decision, it's important to understand the process of how you go about achieving motherhood and becoming a single mother. And here at IVF Australia, we have a huge donor programme, and we have developed it to make it as simple as possible to lead you and guide you through that process to make it as easy for you to achieve motherhood.
So what are the processes? And what are the treatments for single woman? There are a variety of treatments and the first treatment is called Intrauterine Insemination or IUI for short. And this is a process where we use donor sperm and we track your menstrual cycle and we track for the absolute day that you are ovulating. So we pinpoint your fertile day and this is done through tracking your menstrual cycle, through blood tests and scans and right on ovulation we would take out a straw of sperm and then inseminate it through, into your uterus right on that ovulation point.
So it's all about timing, to put the donor sperm into your uterus. And it's really similar to having a pap smear when we put the donor sperm through, but this is one way to help you achieve motherhood using donor sperm.
One of the other treatment options is called In Vitro Fertilisation, IVF for short. And this is a process where this time, we are using donor sperm, but we're actually taking your eggs out of your ovary and then fertilising them within our laboratory here at IVFAustralia.
The process starts with your period and it involves you having daily injections to grow eggs. And we would normally grow your eggs for a roundabout two weeks. And during that time we want to see a group of eggs growing. So we'd like ideally to have a group of eggs, maybe 10 eggs and to monitor you, we would be bringing you in here to our clinic, looking at your ovaries. So we'd be scanning you and doing blood tests. And then your doctor would then determine the day that we would actually physically remove your eggs.
So IVF involves taking your eggs out. And this is a 20 minute procedure that we do at our day hospitals. We would then thaw donor sperm, that you have chosen yourself and we would use that sperm to fertilise your eggs to create embryos. And then we grow your embryos for five days. And depending on the number of embryos you have we would put one embryo back into your uterus. And then hopefully the idea is we might have a few embryos that we could freeze for future use.
With regards to which fertility treatment procedure you would have, would depend on a few factors and the first would be your own fertility history based on your anti-Mullerian hormone tests and your egg numbers. It's also based on your age because age is very important for us women and we women only have a certain timeline to achieve motherhood. And if you have a very short timeline left, then possibly IVF would be the better way to go as a treatment option to help you conceive.
Another factor when it comes to Intrauterine Insemination or IVF, is to do with the donor sperm. And when we do intrauterine insemination, we need really good, good quality sperm to inseminate you to hopefully get that sperm to fertilise your egg. However, sometimes donor sperm is not of good quality but it is okay for IVF and ICSI. And this would be another indication for using the donor sperm with IVF.
Single woman are allowed access to the donor website. They get a special code that they can log in with and then see the list of donors that are available. And the donors could be Australian donors or there could be donors from the USA. And this is for our de-identified donor programmes, donor sperm programme.
When you get onto that website what do you actually get to see? Well this is the exciting bit. And what you get see is whether the men are from Australia or America, you get to see their nationalities. So it's all these what we call de-identifiable characteristics. So whether they're Caucasian, whether they're Italian blood, where they were born or you'd get to know their height, their weight sort of their body build, their eyes, perhaps what their education status was what their interests are, what their occupation is. Do they have any children already? So some donors might even have a family and have a few children. And so you would get to look at that as well.
Many of our donors in fact do put a photograph up of themselves, but duly as a child. So you'll get to see possibly that photo and get an idea what your child might look like. If you choose that donor. And many of our donors also write letters to you and to potential children that you may have about them and their likes, and just some really nice words around, potentially being a mum and having a child. So it is exciting. And if you don't like any of the donors that might be there it often doesn't take long for a new group of our sperm donors to come out of what we call quarantine.
What are the laws in Australia around using de-identified donor sperm? Well I have touched on that already but just to really summarise with de-identified donor sperm. So men who donate the sperm, who are de-identified, of course you can not pay for donor sperm. And so it has done through an altruistic reason. Another law is you can only create five families from the donor sperm. And once those five families are created we can no longer use that donor.
Another aspect of the donor laws are that children born from donor sperm, the woman who bears the child which is you, is deemed the birth mother. Men also who donate sperm as de-identified donors certainly don't have any legal right to your child. And their name goes on the central register and a deemed as donors only.
So should you have a baby on your own and I'm asked this question quite a lot in my fertility practise, as I do see many single women and I think it is very personalised and individualised but heck yeah, I say go girl, why not? I just think it's so important not to miss out on motherhood. And if you think you really want to be a mother you haven't found or paired up with someone yet or maybe you've always wanted to do go alone, then yes. Go and do it.
And we're here to support you. We have a great team of counsellors, nurses, doctors that are there to support you and empower you to be a mother. I hope you found this video very helpful. If you have any questions, comment below, and thank you so much for watching this video but don't forget to hit the subscribe button.
*All opinions expressed on the Fertile Minds YouTube Channel belong to the individual doctors, scientists and specialists, not the Virtus Health group.
To find out more about fertility treatment options for single women call 1800 111 483 or complete the form below.