How to have a baby when you are a single woman
Today, more and more women who reach a certain age and haven’t yet found Mr. Right, make the choice to have a baby alone. With their biological clock ticking, they decide that just because they don’t have a partner, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to give up on their dream of starting a family.
There are different ways to become a mum when you’re single in the UK, for instance, through adoption or sperm donation. Apart from the financial commitment related to raising a child on your own, if you choose to carry your child, you’ll have to factor in the costs of fertility treatments.
Where to find a sperm donor
Unless you choose to go through adoption, one of the first things to consider when you decide to have a baby alone is where to find a sperm donor. Whether to choose an anonymous or known donor, as well as whether your search should involve a sperm bank, a fertility clinic or a sperm donation website, are all things to give thought to before selecting the right donor.
In sperm banks, the donors are all thoroughly screened to make sure that their sperm is of good quality and that they are free of any hereditary or sexual diseases.
If you prefer to go instead with a known sperm donor, for instance, a relative or a donor you met online, it’s important you ensure that he undergoes all of the necessary health checks.
It’s becoming more and more popular for single women, as well as LGBT couples and couples with infertility issues, to go to the sperm donation search process online. Via a dedicated website, they can meet several donors and get to know them better, in order to help them make their decision.
What are the fertility treatments available for single women?
Once they’ve found their donor, single women will be presented with several options for becoming pregnant, depending on their age, their preferences or any fertility issues that they may have. They might, for instance, be advised to use fertility drugs, to go through intra-uterine insemination, or in vitro fertilisation using their own eggs or those of a donor.
They can also choose to perform self-insemination in the comfort of their own home, with a home conception kit that they can purchase online.
If, after several attempts at artificial insemination, the process remains unsuccessful, women can turn to IVF, a technique involving the fertilisation of their eggs with sperm in a laboratory setting. Once the egg is fertilised, the result, called the embryo, will be transferred into the woman’s womb. In vitro fertilisation is also a great solution for women who experience fertility problems and need an egg donor to conceive.
What budget should I expect?
Costs vary and depend on several factors: the woman’s fertility issues and the price of any related treatments, whether she requires donated eggs, as well as whether she selects her donor online or in a sperm bank.
In the UK, it’s not legal to receive payment in exchange for a donation. Donors can only be paid in order to cover reasonable expenses, such as transportation. Moreover, extra costs must be expected when using a sperm bank. This option is usually pricier than selecting a known donor like a relative.
As for artificial insemination, cost varies depending on the fertility clinics. However, you can expect to pay between £500 and £1,000 for each cycle of treatment in private facilities, unless you’re eligible for NHS support.
In vitro fertilisation is more expensive. The price varies depending on the clinic and whether egg or sperm donation is needed. Women opting for this solution who are not covered by the NHS can expect to pay around £5,000 or more per cycle of treatment.