22 Feb Single mothers and assisted reproduction treatments
More and more women who, upon reaching a certain age, decide to be single mothers. And it is that the biological clock is advancing but life too, family models are changing and the obstacles of everyday life do not disappear. So, what happens to those women who want to be mothers and do not have a partner or do not want to have one? Assisted reproduction treatments are excellent tools to achieve this dream, through an anonymous sperm donor.
Normally, the women who want to bet on this path are between 30 and 45 years old, although it is not a condition. There are two methods that can be performed on a woman without a partner: In Vitro Fertilization and Artificial Insemination, two different treatments both in terms of complexity and involvement of the woman.
In the case of IVF, this can be done with their own eggs or, in the case of older women, they can undergo IVF with egg donation or carry out embryo donation/adoption.
In recent years, the cases of single women who want to be single mothers, through assisted reproduction, have risen to 40%.
Many of the women who consult us ask us how the donor is chosen. In Spain, the legislation that is in force requires that the donation be anonymous, the donor will never know which woman will use his sperm, nor will the patient know his identity.
On the other hand, selection is made based on the phenotypic characteristics of the recipient. In this way, the patient has to fill out a form with her physical characteristics (skin and eye color, hair, height, weight, etc.), and send a photograph to the clinic. The objective is to assign a donor with the maximum resemblance to the recipient woman.
This donor, of course, must undergo some tests to be able to assess whether he can donate his sperm or not (karyotype, infectious diseases, personal and family medical history, psychological study, etc.) and have a seminogram performed, since it requires a seminal quality determined.
Another test that can be carried out, optionally, is the genetic matching. It is a test to find out if the donor and the recipient woman have the same genetic alteration and, in this way, to be able to assign a donor who does not share any genetic alteration with her, preventing the future baby from suffering from a disease.
After all, we all can be carriers of a recessive genetic disease. This only manifests itself if you have two altered copies. Thus, if two carriers of the same disease come together, then the chances of the baby being born with this disease are very high (25% chance).
The emotional management of single women in an ART
As our fertility coach affirms, the desire to be a mother is already something very emotional, whatever the situation of each mother. So the process of a treatment, like IVF, can be a path of emotional ups and downs.
However, when it comes to a woman without a partner, the process is even more emotional. Because there is a duel, above all, of the idealized or traditional vision of motherhood. When a woman embarks on this step, she must give up this classic model.
There are women who live it with great serenity and confidence, because they are very sure of what they are going to do and of their decision. But for others, this solo path is more complicated, in which emotions such as anger, sadness, disappointment, loneliness and guilt predominate at first.
Given this, it is very important to express emotions, open up to their environment and find the support they need; but it is also very important to accept these emotions, not to deny or cover them up. If there are unpleasant emotions, such as stress or fear, they have to be shown. You have to understand that these are natural and normal feelings!
In the webinar by Anna Voskuilen, Reproclinic gynecologist and specialist in assisted reproduction; and Stéphanie Toulemonde, a fertility coach, recommend keeping an emotional diary to be a positive tool where you can leave all your emotions behind. Write the name of the emotion, its physical manifestations and the events that have triggered this feeling.
Also, our professionals recommend allowing yourself to be accompanied by your loved ones or by an environment that you can empathize with and respect. Turning to a professional will help you manage all the emotions that paralyze and hinder the process.
Emotional support for women in ART
The Stork and I is a platform created by Mel Johnson, a single mother who had her first child in a fertility clinic in Manchester, and who is dedicated to coaching single women who want to enter the world of motherhood.
Through this blog, women without a partner who have wanted to undertake this journey of motherhood can feel identified with their experience, with the feelings that have invaded them from the first minute of their treatment until today, with the day to day of their son.
We suggest you watch the webinar, through IVFWEBINARS, with Mel Johnson, in which she talks about the emotional aspects of single women who decide to enter motherhood without having a partner by their side. Doing this alone does not really mean that this motherhood is alone, since this experience can be shared with family, friends and loved ones.
Mel Johnson talks about breaking down social stigmas about love and families. They have sold us a society in which there is a very structured system of father, mother and children. But society evolves and families too. There is no longer a single model, many different ones have emerged, and one of them is a mother who, without a partner, has decided to start a big family!
Our emotional support service for our patients
At Reproclinic we believe that it is very important that every single mother who is fulfilling her dream, together with us, finds the emotional and psychological support she needs to be able to cope with the process in a positive way.
It is for this reason that in our clinic we have a therapy service, hand in hand with our psychologists and coaches, so that they can share their emotions with other women who are going through the same process.
This service is carried out by our psychologist, Ariadna Bonals, in person; and from our fertility coach, Stéphanie Toulemonde, in English and online. These meetings, of 1 hour and a half, will be held in groups, and on the following dates:
- National sessions at our clinic: today, February 22nd and March 22nd at 5:30 p.m.
International online sessions: March 1st, April 5th and May 3th at 6:00 p.m.
At Reproclinic we want to help and accompany all those brave women who want to fulfill their dream and who trust us to make it come true. If you want more information about the treatments we carry out for single women, do not hesitate to make your first visit.