15 May International Day of Families
This International Day of Families is the perfect occasion for us, at Reproclinic, to advocate for all people who have not yet completed their family project. So, in light of the occasion, we are going to explore how family structures have been changing in recent years, and how fertility treatments have also been evolving over time, to reflect these changes.
But what constitutes a family? According to the traditional definition, a family is a group of individuals related by blood or marriage, who live together and share strong emotional ties. But what was once considered a traditional family (a father, a mother, and their biological children) is no longer the only model. In today’s day and age, we’re seeing an increase in different models of families as well, such as same-sex parent families, childless families, single-parent families, foster families, adoptive families, etc. As a result, the modern definition of family now reflects the diversity and complexity of the world we live in, and celebrates the love, support, and connection that bind us together.
Thankfully, advances in reproductive medicine have made it possible for millions of individuals and couples to have children in non-traditional ways. This does not come as a surprise, since roughly 17.5%, or 1 in 6, people worldwide are affected by infertility, according to the newest report published by the WHO in April 2023. Still, sometimes, the stigma surrounding infertility can make it seem like you’re alone, despite the fact that this phenomenon is much more common than you think.
Many women nowadays understandably delay motherhood for many different reasons. The downside of this is that, oftentimes, it is more difficult for them to conceive at a later stage, due to their ovarian reserve decreasing with age. Generally speaking, there are two solutions for when a woman wants to outsmart her biological clock, and these are egg freezing or egg donation.
Younger women who dream of becoming mothers one day can opt for freezing their eggs, so as to ensure that they will someday be able to become pregnant using their own eggs from when they were younger and healthier. Women over 42, on the other hand, can opt for IVF with egg donation, since the high-quality eggs of a younger donor would increase her chances of a successful pregnancy. Both of these options are becoming widely accepted in recent years because they help women overcome the challenges associated with delaying motherhood.
It is worth mentioning that infertility is not the only reason why people opt for fertility treatments. Same-sex female couples and single women who wish to become mothers also reach out to us, as they need a sperm sample from an anonymous male donor for the completion of their family project. The kind of treatment they opt for is up to them: single women usually go for artificial insemination, while lesbian couples prefer IVF with ROPA. Regrettably, under current assisted reproduction laws in Spain, fertility treatments cannot be offered to same-sex male couples as surrogacy is not legally permitted in the country.
It could also happen that heterosexual couples without any fertility problems reach out to us in cases where they would need preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) to reduce the risk of passing on inherited conditions to their children.
Lastly, some people prefer to adopt a frozen embryo that has been abandoned, or donated, by another couple, since in those two cases the fertility clinic takes custody of the embryo and depending on its quality, it can put it up for adoption.
At Reproclinic, we’ve always recognized that every family is unique, which is why we continue to provide personalized care for each one of our patients. In addition to that, we’re proud to be one of the few clinics with a holistic approach to fertility, which means that we not only take into account your medical needs, but your emotional and psychological needs as well. And most importantly, we believe that everyone deserves the chance to build the family they’ve always dreamed of. By doing all this, we know that we’re giving hope to all those who once felt excluded from traditional notions of family.