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Single Mother by Choice

IVF treatment for single women

Single woman receiving IVF treatment

In recent years, more single women have used donor sperm to fulfil their dream of parenthood. In this blog post, you can read about IVF treatment for single women and other alternative treatment methods.

Having IVF treatment as a single woman

IVF treatment is not the first recommendation single women receive when they wish to become pregnant with donor sperm. Usually, single women about to enter fertility treatment start with IUI, as this treatment is less invasive and less expensive than IVF. Most single women who become mothers through IVF have already been through IUI treatment without success before moving on to IVF.

The main reason to start off with IVF treatment is low fertility. Diseases like PCOS or endometriosis can harm the female reproductive system and make it harder to conceive. As a result, women diagnosed with PCOS or endometriosis may start with IVF to increase their chances of conception.

The IVF treatment process

In IVF treatment, the egg is retrieved from the woman’s ovaries and placed in a plastic container alongside the sperm cells, making it easier for the sperm cells to fertilize the egg. After fertilization, an embryologist places the eggs in an incubator, where they hopefully grow into embryos. After four to six days, an embryologist transfers one of the embryos to the woman's uterus. Any additional successfully developed embryos can be frozen for later use.

An illustration of the IVF treatment process

An illustration of the IVF treatment process

Alternatives to IVF for single women

Intracervical Insemination (ICI) for single women

An alternative to IVF treatment for single women is Intracervical Insemination, also called ICI. ICI treatment is the simplest form of artificial insemination, where the sperm is inserted into the cervix using a small plastic tube. From there, the sperm moves to the uterus to fertilize the egg. Most fertility clinics do not offer ICI treatment. Instead, they recommend their patients to start with IUI treatment.

In some countries, ICI treatment can be performed in the comfort of your own home, also referred to as home insemination. When ordering donor sperm for home insemination, you receive a package containing the sperm and an insemination kit you must use once ovulation occurs. If you are interested in home insemination, we recommend that you research the legislation regarding donor sperm in your country. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our Customer Care Team.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) for single women

Intrauterine Insemination, also called IUI treatment, is very similar to ICI. The only difference is the place of insemination, as the sperm is injected into the uterus - not the cervix. By placing the sperm in the uterus, it moves closer to the egg, thus improving the chances of conception. When having IUI treatment, you must use IUI sperm (washed sperm), where the natural fluids surrounding the sperm cells are removed. If the natural fluids are not removed, they may cause severe cramps in the uterus. Both IUI and ICI donor sperm (washed and unwashed sperm) can be used for ICI, as it is placed in the cervix and not the uterus.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) for single women

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection, also called ICSI, is primarily used to help couples struggling with male infertility and only in rare cases are single women offered ICSI as part of their treatment. The process of ICSI is similar to IVF. In both treatments the eggs are retrieved before fertilization. The difference is that fertilization in ICSI occurs after a single sperm cell is injected straight into the egg through a small needle, thus helping the sperm cell to fertilize the egg.

Egg freezing

Egg freezing is not exactly an alternative to IVF, as egg freezing is not a fertility treatment but a possibility to preserve your ability to conceive. Egg freezing may be worth to consider if you do not feel ready to begin fertility treatment on your own, but you are worried about your chances of conceiving if you wait. The most important factor when determining female fertility is age and at the age of 35, women's fertility starts to decrease severely. Therefore, by freezing good-quality eggs you can increase your chances of conceiving. Follow the link to read our blog post on how to increase your chances of getting pregnant.

If you are a single woman considering fertility treatment with donor sperm, but do not know how to get started, we can help you along. We have created a guide on how to enter single motherhood, which you can read to explore the option of fertility treatment with donor sperm. If you are curious about the available donors, follow the button below to see our free Donor Search.

Sperm Donor Search


Frequently asked questions regarding IVF treatment for single women

Can I have IVF if I am single?

Yes, it is possible for you to have IVF if you are a single woman. If you are interested in having IVF treatment as a single woman, the first thing you need to do is to find the right fertility clinic.

What is the best fertility treatment for single women?

The best fertility treatment for single women depends on various factors. If your fertility level is normal, you will probably be recommended to start with IUI treatment. However, if you have been diagnosed with PCOS or endometriosis you could be recommended to start with IVF.