When we picture IVF treatment, the image that comes to mind is a close, intimate time as a couple. In fact, we probably imagine it as one of the times for couples to be the most together that they will ever be; secure in the knowledge that their baby is being created and being able to watch as the embryos are gently placed inside the womb. However, times have changed. More and more single women are choosing to go alone on their IVF journey. In an age where women feel compelled to put their career before their fertility, IVF clinics are seeing rising numbers of women who do not have a partner but who dare not leave their fertility to chance a moment longer. Women are now taking control of their own fertility as much as they did when the contraceptive pill was first introduced. Babies used to come as a natural step after meeting Mr Right and getting married – but now there are no such restrictions.
Going it alone
There are a few factors which have gone into the massive rise of single women going through IVF; not least the vastly changed social landscape. If we cast our minds back just over half a century ago, women wouldn’t dream of either doing, or being able to do, half the things which IVF treatment now makes available; the stigma of being a single mother was still keenly felt. Fast forward just sixty years and being a single parent is viewed identically as being in a traditional partnership.
Cyprus IVF Clinic offers a number of treatments with all of our patients in mind. We also operate an extensive sperm donor program, giving single women plenty of choice. The donors who contribute to the sperm bank are subject to rigorous health checks before they are accepted, giving you maximum peace of mind. Anonymity is also guaranteed for the Team Miracle sperm donors sourced locally which vastly increases the number of men willing to donate – and therefore gives our patients an increased choice. If you wish to use open, non-anonymous sperm, then you are free to do so by selecting the sperm from our partner sperm bank. Should you wish to use donor eggs, we also have a comprehensive egg donor program.
The change in legislation in the UK to remove donor anonymity has seen a fall in UK spermbanks to the lowest levels ever. Many women are choosing sperm from donors abroad because of the lack of available sperm in the UK. Choosing the man to father their baby is probably one of the most important decisions a woman can ever make, and only having a limited choice of donors is not something women want to be restricted to. By travelling to Cyprus for your IVF treatment you can take advantage of the far wider range of donors that we can offer.
The strongest motivating factor for many women in the choice to have IVF as a single parent is concern around fertility levels. A woman is born with all of the eggs she will ever have; as she matures through her twenties and thirties her fertility begins to decline. Extensive studies and research have given a very clear picture of what happens to female fertility and a growing awareness of this prompts many women to act before they get any older – regardless of relationship status. It’s possible now for women to ‘check’ their fertility levels to see what their chance of a natural fertilisation is. An ultrasound probe can detect how many follicles there are in the ovaries, and a blood test can check the relevant hormone levels. Follicles are essentially the tiny building blocks of the ovary within which eggs develop and grow each month. The counting is carried out between days 2-5 of your cycle when lots of antral follicles begin growing – even though it will only be one egg that is eventually released in a natural cycle. This test measures ovarian reserve; if you have less than six follicles at this time then your reserves are classed as low. High reserves would generally be anything over twenty. Accurate though this test is, it can only give a ‘snapshot’ of a woman’s fertility at that point. There is nothing to suggest what may happen in the future – and this fear of missing out is a strong motivating factor for many women.
If you are single and want to have IVF treatment then travelling to an IVF clinic abroad can be the best option. There is no NHS treatment for single women so private treatment is the only way forward. At Cyprus IVF Clinic we have ivf treatment packages for every individual, and support and reassurance is offered at every stage by Dr Firdevs and Team Miracle. You can organise your whole trip in advance for peace of mind and plan all of your treatment procedures. With our all-inclusive travel packages you can choose your hotel which have been vetted by the team to ensure safety for women travelling alone, you’ll be chauffeured in private taxis by our own drivers and you can be secure in the knowledge that patient co-ordinators will be on hand to advise and assist you every step of the way.