More and more women are choosing to move forward building their families without a partner. Sometimes these moms are called “Choice Moms”, they are single women who don’t have a partner, but want to have a child or children. They have several options, including at-home insemination or IUI by choosing a sperm donor.
Women can choose to use a sperm donor in order to still have a baby. Women have the option to get pregnant using sperm from an unknown or known donor.
A known donor is a person that the woman knows and chooses to donate a semen sample. This option is usually less expensive compared to unknown sperm donors since the sperm does not need to be purchased. Although, there are many legal risks and challenges with this option. Most medical clinics recommend patients to meet their potential donor with a mental health professional or attorney who is specialized in that particular field to ensure that all legal issues are handled appropriately.
An unknown donor is a person who donates sperm through a sperm bank and can choose to keep their identity anonymous. Sperm donors can’t claim legal rights to the children born through their sperm donation so women don’t have to worry about parental issues in the future. Information regarding the donor’s physical traits, medical history, career, and other information are accessible depending on the sperm bank. Women are aware of any infectious diseases donors may have since the donors are tested beforehand. The medical and reproductive history of the woman is also evaluated before beginning the procedure to ensure that she is matched with the proper type of donor.
If a woman has difficulty becoming pregnant due to the quality of her eggs, she may use donated eggs from another woman. Choosing a reputable egg donor agency helps match patients with a wide variety of donors from diverse backgrounds. Patients can decide to choose a donor who is anonymous, semi-known, or known. An anonymous donor is one you will never meet, a semi-known donor is one who shares limited information, and a known donor can be a friend, relative or stranger chosen through an agency, but will meet within agreed-upon boundaries. All potential egg donors are recommended to go through an evaluation or screening. Egg donors may receive ovulation stimulating drugs over time and have their eggs removed once they are stimulated.
Click on the link below to learn more about ARC Egg Donor Packages:
If a woman is not ready to start building her family yet, she may choose to freeze her eggs to help preserve her fertility. The quality of a woman’s eggs diminishes with age and advanced cryopreservation techniques allow for the safe and successful freezing, storing and thawing of eggs that can be used in the future. Many of the ARC member clinics offer egg freezing packages, click here to learn more.
Types of Procedures
Once a woman decides which source of sperm to use, she has the option to choose how to complete the procedure. The forms of procedures available are either at-home insemination and intrauterine insemination (IUI). The major differences between each procedure are the costs and how they are conducted.
At-Home insemination is a route that women take as an attempt to conceive at home in more relaxed environment than the doctor’s office. Women should take the proper steps to ensure the best chances of a successful pregnancy by having a fertility checkup to address any issues that may negatively impact their reproductive health. By choosing at-home insemination with the aid of a midwife, a woman specialized in pregnancy and childbirth, it may increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. During the procedure, the sperm is placed near the cervix instead of in the uterus through a syringe.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the process of placing frozen sperm in a woman’s uterus at the time of ovulation by a reproductive specialist. It is performed at the same time that women are taking ovulation-stimulating drugs. The semen is placed directly in the woman’s uterus through the cervix with a soft catheter and syringe during ovulation. If a woman is using sperm from a sperm bank, it will send a prepared sperm for procedure directly to the doctor’s office. The procedure is very quick and only lasts for a few minutes. There have been higher success rates through IUI compared to at-home insemination since the sperm is placed closer to a woman’s eggs.
Many women who go through fertility treatment may have several frozen embryos leftover. They can choose to donate them to research or to couples or individuals looking to build a family. Single women who use embryo donations when they are unable to use their own eggs or do not want their genetics passed onto the baby. The different types of embryo donations are either known (open) and anonymous donations.
The donor can decide to choose the recipient through an embryo matching service or agency. Donors are not compensated for their donation so embryo donation can be a lower cost alternative and easier option compared to adoption and other forms of fertility treatment.
Adoption is another great way to build a loving family. Learn more about adoption.