Thanks to the advances in Assisted Reproduction, today anyone can have the possibility of achieving pregnancy.
A few years ago, same-sex couples did not have this kind of access to motherhood and had to resort to traditional adoption. Today, thanks to Assisted Reproduction, they have different ways to conceive their baby.
In this post we will explain the different Assisted Reproduction treatments that a couple of homosexual women can resort to in order to become mothers and in which cases each one is recommended.
Currently, there are three techniques on the market that allow a lesbian couple to become mothers:
- ROPA Method
- Intrauterine Artificial Insemination
- In Vitro Fertilisation with Sperm Donation
It is important to note that in order to carry out any treatment for lesbian couples, it is essential to use an anonymous sperm donor. Currently, the Law on Assisted Reproduction does not allow the donor to be non-anonymous or known; therefore, a sperm bank must be used.
1- Shared motherhood with the ROPA method
The ROPA Method (Reception of Oocytes from the Partner) allows both women to participate in the pregnancy as biological mothers, since, on the one hand, one of them participates by providing the eggs (donor mother) and the other is the one who carries out the pregnancy (gestational mother or recipient).
This technique of Assisted Reproduction is one of the most preferred by lesbian couples in recent years, as being able to share motherhood between the two is, without a doubt, a great differential value for choosing between this and another method.
How much does the ROPA method cost in Spain ?
The price will depend on the fertility clinic and what is included in the service. Generally, the price of the ROPA method in Spain ranges between €3,500 and €6,000.
At IVFforYOU we are proud to offer our patients one of the lowest prices in the market, with access to the most advanced clinical facilities in Assisted Reproduction.
Undergoing the ROPA Method at our clinic costs €3,600 and includes:
- – Medical checks and synchronisation of both patients’ cycles
- – Ovarian puncture
- – Embryo culture and analysis of embryo status
- – Embryo transfer
- – Pregnancy test
- – First ultrasound scan
- – Operating theatre, sedation, outpatient hospitalisation and laboratory costs
It should be noted that, in most clinics, the cost of the medication and the donor sperm sample are added to the base price of the ROPA Method.
Pros and cons of the ROPA Method
Both partners participate in the pregnancy process, creating a strong bond between the mother and the baby.
Advanced, precise, safe technique with a fully controlled process.
Compared to artificial insemination, the ROPA method has a significantly higher success rate.
Legally speaking, this method guarantees that the child will belong to both women from the moment it is born, avoiding the need for subsequent adoption procedures.
Your first Assisted Reproduction visit free of charge
2- Intrauterine Artificial Insemination
Artificial Intrauterine Insemination is another possibility available to lesbian couples to become mothers.
The procedure involves introducing a sample of donor sperm into the uterus of one of the patients.
Prior to insemination, and to increase the chances of successful fertilisation of the egg, the woman to be inseminated undergoes ovarian stimulation. For this purpose, our team of specialists carry out regular follicular controls through ultrasound scans during the 10 to 12 days that the stimulation lasts, in order to ensure that follicular growth is happening properly.
In the process of Artificial Insemination with sperm donation, the semen sample is always prepared and analysed in a laboratory. At IVFforYOU we believe that this is one of the most important steps in this technique and that is why we pay so much attention to it. The success of the insemination is closely linked to the quality and mobility of the spermatozoa in the semen sample to be used. For this reason, in our clinic we carry out the “capacitation” of the sperm sample on the same day as the insemination.
This treatment is recommended for women up to 38 years of age and with a good ovarian reserve. In the particular case of lesbians, it is advisable to carry out an analysis to identify which of the two has the best conditions to achieve pregnancy, from a medical point of view, and to verify that there are no complications such as alterations in ovulation or problems in the cervix.
3- In Vitro Fertilisation with sperm donation
Another alternative is to resort to In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) with sperm donation, one of the treatments with the best success rate, offering a 72.1% success rate per IVF cycle with your own eggs.
This option consists of joining the eggs of one of the partners with a donor sperm sample in the laboratory.
As with Artificial Insemination, IVF requires ovarian stimulation to enhance multifollicular growth. Once completed, the procedure consists of extracting the eggs by ovarian puncture and then fertilisation in the laboratory.
Once the biologists have fertilised the eggs with the sperm, the embryo culture begins, at which time the development and quality of the embryos can be monitored.
In Vitro Fertilisation with sperm donation is a treatment recommended for homosexual women who are over 35 years old and who may have a medical problem affecting their fertility, such as low ovarian reserve or impermeable tubes.
Social Security and reproductive treatments for homosexual women
Currently, the Spanish law 14/2006 on Assisted Reproduction ensures that all women, regardless of their sexual orientation, have the right to access Assisted Reproduction treatments.
In this sense, it is possible to undergo Assisted Reproduction treatments through the Spanish Social Security system. However, the techniques offered may vary depending on the centre you go to or the Autonomous Community in which you live.
Generally, Social Security offers access to treatment to those couples who meet the requirements stipulated by each Community and medical centre.
Frequently Asked Questions about reproductive techniques for two women to become mothers
It is not painful, but there may be some discomfort when the medical procedures are performed, however, you will not experience pain. You will always be accompanied by our medical team, who will look after your well-being.
Yes, it will always be necessary to resort to a sperm bank in order to have a donor.
No. By law, sperm and egg donation in Spain is completely anonymous. Consequently, Assisted Reproduction treatments for homosexual couples will require the use of an anonymous donor sperm bank. At IVFforYOU all our donors undergo exhaustive medical and psychological checks and their sperm samples are analysed to guarantee their quality.
It will depend entirely on the treatment recommended by the specialists and the one chosen by the patients. In the particular case of the ROPA Method, the medical condition of the two women participating in the process will also have an influence. The success rate of the ROPA technique in our centre is 85% per cycle.
For the woman undergoing ovarian stimulation, the drugs may have some mild side effects, such as headaches, bloating, abdominal pain, or nausea.
Assisted Reproduction for homosexual male couples in Spain
As we have discussed in this article, Assisted Reproduction has been advancing to offer more and more possibilities to bring pregnancy closer to homosexual couples.
So far we have talked about the different alternatives for lesbian couples to become mothers, but what about gay couples composed of men?
In Spain, surrogacy is not legally permitted. Therefore, Assisted Reproduction does not currently offer an alternative for gay male couples to become parents.
If you and your partner are looking for a fertility clinic, we invite you to write to us and book an informative appointment – the first visit with our experts is free of charge and we will be happy to recommend the best treatment for you!