“Navigating Fertility Care for Single Parenthood by Choice”

The desire and ability to become a parent are not limited to couples. Today, many single individuals embark on their journey to parenthood without a partner, often relying on fertility care and third-party reproduction to achieve their dream of having a child.

Fertility Options for Single Women: Sperm Donation, IUI, and IVF Single women pursuing motherhood through fertility care typically require the assistance of a sperm donor, either known or anonymous. Once the donor sperm is obtained, single women have two primary methods to achieve pregnancy: intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Sperm Donation for Single Mothers by Choice Known sperm donors are often close friends or family members, while anonymous donors are selected from sperm banks, offering profiles detailing donor characteristics, such as education, career, medical history, and physical description. The choice between a known or anonymous donor is a deeply personal decision. However, it’s worth noting that using a known donor can prolong and increase the cost of the process.

Regardless of donor type, all sperm donors undergo extensive screening, including a mandatory six-month quarantine period to detect infectious diseases, as mandated by the US Food and Drug Administration. This rigorous screening process is essential because some communicable diseases, like HIV, may not be immediately detectable following exposure.

When working with a known donor, the intended parent assumes responsibility for expenses related to donor screening, freezing, and storage, which can accumulate significantly. In contrast, using an anonymous sperm donor simplifies this process, as all necessary screenings are completed, and the semen sample is readily available for use.

IUI and IVF for Single Mothers by Choice Intrauterine insemination (IUI) involves placing sperm directly into the uterus, often in conjunction with ovulation induction, which stimulates ovulation through fertility medications.

In some cases, single mothers may opt for in vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF entails stimulating multiple egg follicles with fertility medications, retrieving mature eggs from the ovaries, fertilizing them with donor sperm, and transferring the resulting embryos into the intended mother’s uterus or cryopreserving them for future use.

Fertility Options for Single Men: Egg Donation and Surrogacy For single men seeking fatherhood, the fertility journey involves different aspects of advanced fertility care, primarily centered around gestational surrogacy.

Egg Donation for Single Fathers by Choice Similar to sperm donation, single men can choose to work with a known egg donor, such as a friend or family member. However, due to potential emotional and legal complexities, many single men opt to use egg donors provided by egg donor agencies. These agencies maintain databases of egg donor profiles, detailing physical attributes, education, career, personality, and more.

Gestational Surrogacy for Single Fathers by Choice Single men on the path to parenthood must also engage a gestational surrogate who will carry the pregnancy and give birth to their child. Gestational surrogacy is achieved through IVF, where the egg donor’s eggs are fertilized with the intended father’s sperm, and the resulting embryo is transferred to the surrogate’s uterus. Importantly, the gestational surrogate does not share a genetic connection with the child.

Navigating fertility care for single parenthood by choice involves making deeply personal decisions and understanding the available options, allowing single individuals to pursue their dreams of becoming parents with confidence and clarity.