We are so fortunate in these modern times with the medical advances that have been made to make parenting possible for so many people who otherwise may never have had the chance. Alternative parenting includes single women, gay and lesbian couples, older women needing donor eggs as well as women with partners with severe male factor who need donor sperm. Just to think that only about 30 years ago none of these people would have been able to fulfill their dream of having children of their own.
For single women who have not met Mr. Right yet, they can undergo insemination with donor sperm when they are ovulating, provided no other co-factors contributing to infertility are present. They can also “bank for the future” so to speak by freezing their eggs and then undergo IVF when they do find Mr. Right if natural conception does not occur. Freezing eggs with the new vitrification technology is an excellent option especially for women under 35 since they should still have good quality eggs that they can freeze for the future. Women with cancer can take advantage of egg freezing or embryo freezing before going through chemotherapy and come back years later to use their frozen eggs or embryos without any deterioration in quality irrespective of the length of time frozen. For women that are older and no longer have good quality or quantity of eggs, IVF with donor egg is an excellent option with pregnancy rates approaching 80%. For lesbian couples insemination with donor sperm either with a natural cycle or with some “fertility” meds is an excellent option. For gay men, they can undergo IVF using an egg donor and a gestational carrier.
At Texas Fertility Center we follow ASRM and FDA guidelines on third party reproductive and are grateful to have an excellent IVF laboratory as well as support staff to help us build families, whether it is helping couples the traditional way or those that seek alternative parenting options.