Single Women and Same Sex Couples
We find that many women today want to explore their options for having a baby on their own, and we have created a service which caters specifically for them. This service is run by our fertility nurse manager Terri Morgan-Collins.
Terri also works with same-sex couples in their quest to have their child with the use of Donor Sperm.
“What women want is a clear plan of action, advice, help and support to make the right decisions for them, in a non medicalised setting.” Terri Morgan-Collins
The common questions asked by women considering having a baby on their own are are
A Couple’s Story following IVF at the Zita West Clinic
1. How do I do this? and Where do I start?
Consultations cover every aspect of our clients’ personal journeys, understanding that everyone has different concerns and are at different stages of their decision process.
We will talk you through what is involved in the process so you fully understand all your options. Its an opportunity for you to ask any questions and to discuss any concerns you may have.
2. Is it right I am doing this on my own, I still feel uncertain?
We understand the uncertainty so many women go through. Very often they feel shocked that they have got to this stage alone when their dream had been to be having a child with a partner. We help you to explore your feelings about this: some women, for example, may find that they are not ready at this point to go it alone, but would like to consider the option of freezing their eggs. Others will feel really motivated and ready to start straight away.
3. How much does it cost?
There are many factors that will determine the cost. This depends on the method of treatment that is right for you e.g IUI or IVF, what investigations you may need as well as the cost of obtaining Donor sperm.
4. Where and how do I get donor sperm?
Donor sperm can be obtained from the UK or Abroad and we will guide you through this process. It is possible to use Sperm from somebody that is known to you, however this is quite complex and would not be agreed until our Fertility counsellor (see below for implications counselling) has explored the implications of this chosen pathway.
5. What more can I do to prepare myself and how long will it take?
We will work with you to ensure you are ready mentally, physically and emotionally. Thereafter, once the route of treatment has been established and the mandatory legal requirements have been met, we will commence treatment. In some cases this happens fairly quickly, in general the process can take around 3 months.
6. What are the options: do I have to have IVF or can I do this more naturally?
This will depend on many factors, for example your age, your egg reserves and your past medical history, but we will talk through all the options and what we feel will give you the best chance of success in conjunction with your preferred choice of treatment.
Getting Started – Initial Consultation
Make an appointment to see Terri for an initial consultation to explore your options and plan treatment.
You will also need an appointment with our counsellor Jane Knight to consider the implications of having a baby in this way, for example, how you will manage during pregnancy, the support you will have, bringing up your child while you are at work, or implications around using donor sperm and whether you intend to tell your child about their start in life.
We will arrange a blood test and a scan to assess your ovarian reserve so that the right choice of treatment can be agreed. It may also be necessary to arrange a tubal patency assessment (to check the Fallopian tubes) or some other, minor screening tests depending on the type of treatment proposed.
We hold regular FREE open evenings for anyone interested to find out more about having a baby on your own and same sex couples.
There are generally three options for treatment:
Option 1 – Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) in a natural cycle.
Option 2 – Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) in a stimulated cycle, using medications to stimulate your ovaries.
Option 3 – IVF which generally has a higher success rate than IUI
The key features of our programme –
1. A holistic approach: The integration of medical treatment with nutrition and lifestyle assessments that enable us to ascertain areas where you can improve your chances of success through nutritional or lifestyle changes (many minor changes can have a significant impact on your chances of success). Where necessary, as part of your individualised plan of action we will recommend the use of complementary therapies such as acupuncture, hypnotherapy and counselling to support you.
2. Coordination of your care: pulling all the strands together in a way that you can understand, so that you feel listened to and empowered.
3. Ensuring things feel right for you: each woman will have different priorities, fears and desires, and with our help, we will guide you through the process at all stages.
4. Donor sperm: helping you through the process of procurement and selection of sperm, where to source the sperm and the legal requirements involved.
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