Options for Single Women
Fertility treatment for single women
Each year, an increasing number of single women are undergoing fertility treatment to start their family. Through access to donor sperm and assisted reproductive treatment single women can fulfil their dream of having a baby.
If you are considering the possibility of becoming a single parent, Melbourne IVF can offer you a range of treatment options and our experienced team can guide and support you through the process.
If you are not ready to start a family just yet, you might consider egg freezing to help preserve your fertility and give you a greater chance of pregnancy success in the future.
What are the treatment options for single women?
Single parent IVF or IUI
When determining which type of treatment is best for you, you will first need to consider when you wish to start a family.
If you want to fall pregnant now, your options are:
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) This involves the direct injection of sperm into the uterus.
- In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) which involves the combination of sperm and eggs in the laboratory (rather than the woman’s Fallopian tube) to form embryos. The highest quality embryos are then transferred to the uterus where they will hopefully implant and develop.
To help determine the most suitable treatment for you, your Melbourne IVF Fertility Specialist will assess and discuss with you:
- Your medical history, assess your general health and arrange any preliminary testing that is needed to determine your fertility level in order to recommend the best treatment method for you.
- The quality of the donated sperm – all donor sperm is thoroughly tested to determine its suitability and safety. Sperm quality and quantity varies amongst donors and some sperm are only suitable for IVF while others can be used for IUI.
If you are not ready to fall pregnant now but want to preserve your fertility for the future, you may choose to:
- Freeze your eggs: Women undergoing egg freezing have a stimulated IVF cycle with egg collection followed by freezing of unfertilised eggs. When the woman is ready to use her eggs, they are thawed and then fertilised with sperm.
How can I access donated sperm?
There are a number of options available if you need to access donor sperm. Your fertility specialist and the dedicated donor team at Melbourne IVF will carefully explain your options, which include:
- Using sperm donated by someone you know, or
- Accessing the Melbourne IVF Donor Programme for clinic-recruited (de-identified) donor sperm
Choosing your sperm donor
If you decide to access sperm through our clinic recruited Donor Programme, you will be given access to the Melbourne IVF website which holds a database of all the donors that are currently available to choose from.
You can view each Donor’s profile and a range of other attributes such as their hair colour, nationality, height, and occupation. You can also view questionnaires that have been completed by the donors about themselves and their family, and a message about why they have decided to make this altruistic gift.
Once you have had one child using a de-identified sperm donor, we will endeavour to assist you in having further children with the same donor by retaining sufficient samples to ensure future access.
What are the next steps for me?
- Speak with our Community Liaison Administrator to book an appointment with a Melbourne IVF Fertility Specialist by calling 1800 111 483.
- At your first appointment, your Fertility Specialist will assess your health, and arrange any preliminary testing that is needed to determine your fertility level in order to recommend the best treatment method.
- Upon receiving the results your Fertility Specialist will explain what the test results indicate and recommend the best treatment option.
- Following this, you will meet with your Melbourne IVF Patient Liaison Administrator to discuss the management and fees associated with your treatment.
- In Victoria, it is a legislative requirement that couples using donor sperm meet with a counsellor at least twice to discuss the social and legal implications around donor-conceived families. All parties – recipients, donors and partners, where applicable – will need to sign detailed consent forms regarding the use of donor sperm before treatment may commence. If the donor is known to the couple, a joint counselling session may be scheduled.
- After counselling consent forms are signed you will meet with a member of the Melbourne IVF donor team to discuss the donor management process. Women selecting from our clinic recruited donor sperm will discuss selection of a donor during this meeting.
- Once you have met with the donor team one of the Melbourne IVF fertility nurses will discuss the medications involved and treatment cycle timeline before you commence treatment to start your family.
At Melbourne IVF we are dedicated to supporting you to achieve your dream of a family. We provide free of charge access to counselling and support facilities. Our Melbourne IVF donor team is a valuable source of knowledge and support for you, and we also encourage you to connect with other patients through our private Facebook group on our IVF Melbourne Facebook page. The Melbourne IVF Fertility Forum enables you to connect with other Melbourne IVF patients online and have private discussions about your treatment or share your story with other single women.