Gone are the old examples in which the only functional family model was the one formed by a mum and a dad. Today, we all understand that many families come in many different forms, with each being valid, as long as there is love and affection.
This is why in today´s world, we understand that being single should not impede one´s decision to have children and form a family. On many occasions, it is the woman who decides to be a single mother, and in many cases, overcoming possible social, economic or professional disadvantages (fortunately, less and less so).
In Spain, every year more than 1500 women without a partner turn to assisted reproduction to become mothers. According to the Spanish Fertility Society, the number of treatments of IVF in single mothers doubled between the year 2016 and 2020. The forecast is that these numbers will continue growing, thanks to reproductive medicine being more accessible and provides greater guarantees.
Like what happens in the case of men, some of these women focus on their professional careers, and when they feel ready to become mothers, it could be that they do not have a partner. Quite simply, others haven´t found the right person to start a family. Others simply decide themselves to be single. There are numerous reasons. However, the truly important thing is that, when the moment comes, the decision made is done freely, with one´s free will and without any social pressures forced upon them. It is the woman who decides it is the correct moment to have a child or not.
Whether there is a father figure or not, the reality is that there is always a unique bond between a mother and child. This link is normally even stronger when the mother has played the role of the father at the same time. Moreover, in a more practical sense, nowadays, it is not necessary to rely on a partner to cope with the responsibilities of parenting.
What treatment does a single woman require in order to fall pregnant?
Depending on certain medical aspects which are related to a woman´s fertility. If this is optimal, an artificial insemination with donor semen can be carried out. This is a very straightforward treatment which consists of depositing the sperm directly into the woman´s uterus, using specialized equipment.
During a consultation, we may encounter conditions such as low ovarian reserve, poor oocyte quality or other situations. In these cases, the patient could choose to go down the route of IVF-ICSI, which consists of extracting the eggs and fertilizing them with a donor´s sperm in a laboratory, with the embryo later being implanted in the uterus.
It is also recommended that, if a woman is sure she wants to be a mother in the future (or at least has not closed the door on the possibility) and is getting older, she could think about fertility preservation: a treatment where a woman´s eggs are frozen in order to use them later on in the future, whenever she wants.
And the sperm donor?
It is important to know that, in our country, the law states that gamete donation (egg or sperm) is anonymous. This means that you are not able to choose the donor. Your choice belongs to the medical team that carries out the treatment. They ensure that the donor´s characteristics are as similar as possible to the physical characteristics of the future mother. Things taken into account are: height, weight, eye, skin and hair colour, hair texture (wavy, curly or straight) and blood group.