Am I a Candidate for Third-Party Reproduction?
Modern treatment techniques such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) have made it possible for many individuals and couples to have a child even if they are unable to do so through traditional means. While these forms of fertility treatment are successful for many, others sometimes need a little extra help from a third party in order to achieve their family-building dreams.
Generally speaking, there are three different methods of third-party reproduction: donated sperm, donated eggs, and gestational surrogacy. Each of these methods can be used to assist people who are facing various reproductive obstacles.
Sperm donation is a process in which a man donates his semen so that it can be used by an individual or couple in order to conceive a baby. Sperm donors must go through a rigorous screening process to determine whether they are eligible. Donor sperm is typically used by:
- Single women
- Lesbian couples
- Couples who are dealing with severe male factor infertility, such as sperm disorders
Intended parents look through a sperm bank’s database and select the sperm donor of their choice. The donated sperm is then sent to the intended parent’s fertility clinic, where the sperm will be either placed directly into the recipient’s uterus via intrauterine insemination (IUI) or used to fertilize an egg and then implanted via IVF.
Egg donation is a procedure in which eggs are extracted from a young woman’s ovaries, fertilized in a lab, and then implanted into the recipient’s uterus. Just like sperm donors, egg donors must also go through a meticulous screening process. Donor eggs are generally used by:
- Couples who are unable to conceive because of female infertility
- Gay male couples
- Single men
When using an egg donor, intended parents can choose between a fresh or frozen donor egg. Fresh donor eggs require that the recipient and the egg donor have their cycles synchronized so that, once the egg is extracted, it can be quickly fertilized and implanted into the recipient’s uterus. Using a frozen donor egg provides intended parents with a little more logistical leeway in that the egg has already been extracted and is being stored securely until it’s needed.
Gestational surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman carries and completes a pregnancy for intended parents. In this type of procedure, an egg is fertilized in a lab by the sperm and then implanted into the surrogate’s uterus. The egg and sperm can be from one or both of the intended parents or from donors. Gestational surrogacy is typically used by:
- Gay male couples
- Women who have medical problems with their uteruses or who don’t have a uterus
- Women whose health would be at serious risk if they were to get pregnant
There are many people that can benefit from enlisting the help of a third party in order to achieve their reproductive goals. To see whether third-party reproduction is right for you, contact Aspire Fertility today.