There are many reasons women decide to have a child without a partner. You may have promised yourself that you would become a single parent by a certain age if you had not met the right partner. You may have been married and divorced without children and still want to be a mother. Or perhaps you always pictured yourself as a mother and not a wife, and single motherhood was always your preference.
Given that choosing to become a single mother is becoming increasingly popular, Parents.com reached out to SGF’s Dr. Andrea Reh to learn more about the options available at SGF for women who want to have a child/children on their own.
“We don’t yet have large scale data, but at SGF I’ve noticed an increase in the number of single women pursuing fertility treatments to conceive,” says Andrea Reh, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist at Shady Grove Fertility in Arlington, VA.
“The first step is a consultation where we discuss medical history and share information, followed by a full fertility assessment, including ultrasounds and bloodwork,” she adds. “Women who plan to conceive through the use of donor sperm will meet with one of our social workers, and once these things are complete, we discuss next steps, which is typically intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).”
“I knew when my last relationship ended a month before my 39th birthday that I was not willing to spend another couple of years with someone trying to figure out if they were the “right” person or not. While through the process, I might risk missing my chance of having children with that person (if I hadn’t missed the chance already). I realized the dream of marriage and children was actually two dreams and they didn’t have to occur in a traditional linear fashion,” says a former SGF patient.
“When I turned 40, I decided that I needed to think hard about becoming a mother on my own. I spent a good 6 months in the ‘thinking’ stage, another 6 months in the ‘planning stage,’ and at 41 took the leap of faith, picked a donor and started the process. I completed 2 IUIs and then went directly to IVF with PGS testing, which gave me 2 chromosomally normal embryos. One created my son who recently turned 1 year old and the other one I am going to try for baby #2 soon when I turn 43. For me, the process wasn’t too hard. Coming to Shady Grove Fertility’s support group meetings got me through it!” says another former SGF patient.
Whatever your reason may be to pursue single motherhood by choice, SGF has many resources to help make this dream a reality. There are many treatment options available to single women, whether using donor sperm or a known donor, or using more advanced treatment options depending on if any type of infertility is present.
If you are a single woman and motherhood is a dream for your future but you aren’t quite ready to take the next step by using a sperm donor, the Egg Freezing Program at SGF provides a reliable option. By freezing your eggs now, you can extend your fertility potential for the future should you need reproductive assistance when the time is right.
WATCH: Shady Grove Fertility’s free, Egg Freezing On-Demand Webinar. Watch now or at your own convenience.
Not only does SGF help with the clinical aspect of becoming pregnant, but they also invest resources in the emotional aspect of this decision. SGF offers free support groups throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. The single mothers by choice support groups are led by our trained mental health professionals who help you prepare and adjust emotionally through this process. Visit the SGF calendar of events to find a support group near you.
“When other women ask me if they should do it, I always start the same way – yes, do it! I spent a long time in the thinking stage, struggled with the decision, had to mourn my “Plan A,” and face all my fears in becoming a single mom by choice. In retrospect, yes, I probably needed to go through that process but now I have no idea why I had so many issues with the decision. It was hands down the best decision of my life and my son is by far the best thing to ever happen to me,” adds an SGF former patient.
Editors Note: This blog was originally published in October 2018.
To learn more about single motherhood by choice and the treatment options available to help you realize your dream of motherhood, please call our New Patient Center at 1-877-971-7755 or complete our brief online form.