Single women today have more control over their lives than ever before and many are making the choice to build their families without any partner. IVF for single women is available in many countries and if you feel strongly about having a baby, you can certainly make that choice for yourself.
With growing awareness about these procedures and acceptance from the society, women are becoming more comfortable in having and raising a child on their own.
According to the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HEFA), which regulates infertility treatments in the United Kingdom, the number of single women seeking IVF in the UK grew by 4% to 2,279 cycles between 2016 and 2017.
If you don’t have a partner but are keen to start your family and embrace parenthood, consult with an experienced fertility expert to decide how artificial reproductive technology can be of help.
Donor sperm – IVF for single women
IVF is the process of fertilizing your eggs with sperm under controlled conditions in a laboratory, and then transferring the resultant embryo back into your uterus.
Single women seeking IVF will need a donor’s sperm to conceive.
The semen can be provided by an anonymous sperm donor—one you can recruit via a sperm bank. The semen samples are tested thoroughly and kept in quarantine for six months so they are cleared for any infectious diseases before being used for any patient.
You can also bring in your own sperm donor, if you’d like it to be someone you know but the person must be willing to undergo all the required investigations to the doctor’s satisfaction before being accepted as your sperm donor.
Your doctor will advise some fertility screening tests (blood tests and scans) before suggesting your treatment plan and timeline.
Once the sperm donor is finalized, steps of the IVF procedure can be started.
Other ART treatment options
If you are single and considering motherhood, you can consider any of the below treatment options:
1. Donor eggs
While most women would prefer to use their own eggs, sometimes it is not possible because they don’t have enough eggs for IVF or the quality is not good. In such cases, IVF with donor eggs is recommended.
A typical IVF cycle usually involves creation of multiple embryos, and once they’ve had a successful pregnancy, some couples choose to donate the remaining embryos. Adopting an embryo could be a good option if you are not using your own eggs.
3. Artificial insemination
Intra-uterine insemination with donor sperm is a lesser invasive treatment option, and also possibly the cheapest. However, it is not for everyone as success rates with IUI are much lower than IVF.
The doctors usually recommend IUI for women who are younger and considered more fertile, as long as they don’t have any other fertility problems.
4. Egg freezing
Also known as oocyte cryopreservation, egg freezing is ideal if you are worried about the ticking of the proverbial clock but are not quite ready to have a baby yet. Frozen eggs can be thawed and used for IVF any time in the future.
How much will it cost?
The cost of IVF depends upon several factors—the destination and clinic you choose, your own health and medical history, the amount of medication required, etc.
We offer the treatment with our trusted doctors at several locations in Asia, Europe, and North America, and the cost is generally between $4,000 – $7,500.
To know more about IVF for single women at a location closest to you, get in touch via the form on this page.
Why do single women opt for IVF?
The most common reason for single women to choose IVF is the lack of a solid relationship—a male partner, who can commit to parenthood.
Other reasons include:
- The break-down of a long-term relationship
- The fear of declining fertility
- Having to ‘settle’ for love or marriage just to have a baby
Interestingly, the age group of 40-42 makes the largest number of cases for IVF for single women, according to the HEFA report mentioned above.
Fertility in women typically starts to decline after the age of 35, and while you can still conceive, the chances of pregnancy keep decreasing as you grow older.
IVF in women after 40 has a success rate of only around 5% and it is reasonable that women don’t want to wait for a partner for having a baby at this stage.
“We are seeing a gradual change in the reasons why people use fertility treatments, which were originally developed to help heterosexual couples with infertility problems,” said Sally Cheshire, HEFA Chairwoman.
“While the increases in same-sex couples, single women and surrogates having fertility treatment are small, this reflects society’s changing attitudes towards family creation, lifestyles and relationships and highlights the need for the sector to continue to evolve and adapt.”
Most experts see this as a positive development for the society. If you are considering IVF to start your family, you can consult with the highly-experienced doctors on our panel to see which treatment is advised in your situation and how to get started.