Double Mommy Double Love
Advances in Reproductive Medicine now enable two women to opt for shared maternity thanks to the fertility treatment known as the ROPA method or Reception of Oocytes from Partner, also known as reciprocal IVF or co-IVF.
At our clinic IVf-Spain we perform this technique, which is aimed at female couples who wish to be actively involved in the building of a family.
How does the ROPA method work?
The treatment is based on an in vitro fertilisation (IVF) with oocytes from one partner and donor sperm. Therefore, one partner will act as an egg donor to the other to hopefully result in a pregnancy. This way, both women become mothers: one is the biological mother and the other one the gestational mother.
The mother donating her eggs, will undergo controlled ovarian stimulation using personally tailor-made stimulation protocols, because we are aware that not all patients respond to the medication in the same way.
How does sperm donation work?
The egg obtained must be fertilised using sperm from an anonymous donor. According to the Spanish law, sperm donation is an altruistic act, subjected to rigorous medical supervision and exhaustive evaluation. In order to find the right donor for a couple, some physical criteria must be followed, such us: eye colour, height, blood group and Rh matching.
Furthermore and according to the Spanish Law of Assisted Reproduction, the anonymity of the sperm donation is a mandatory legal requirement which ensures that the donor and the baby, once it is born, will never know each other’s identities.
- First Medical Consultation
During your first visit, our consultant will study your case in order to provide you with information about the whole procedure, and therefore recommend the best treatment strategy and design your treatment plan based on your personal needs. This will also include any screening tests that may be necessary to achieve your common goal: you to be mothers.
- Ovarian Stimulation
We design personalised stimulation protocols, adapted to the needs of each patient, in order to obtain the necessary number of embryos and therefore to increase the chances for successful pregnancy.
An ovarian stimulation usually requires between 10 and 15 days. Treatment follow-up involves ultrasound scans that can be carried out in your home country too. We will provide you information about our partner clinics so that you can book your scans locally.
Once the follicles have reached the appropriate size, egg retrievals scheduled. Then you will be one step closer to your longed-for pregnancy.
- Egg retrieval and Follicular Aspiration
Once the right number and size of oocytes is reached, it is time to produce the ovulation and to schedule the punction with follicular aspiration guided by ultrasound scan.
This is a minor surgery, which takes place in our clinics’ own operating theatres, under mild sedation, to avoid any discomfort. Follicular aspiration is guided by ultrasound scan.
- Egg retrieval and Embryo Culture
The fertilisation of the eggs with the donor's sperm is carried out in our own laboratory by our team of skilled embryologist and healthcare professionals.
All labs at IVF-Spain are equipped with art-of-state technology to monitor the embryos and provide our team with detailed information about cell division and other relevant parameters. This information is of great value for the selection of the best embryo, that with the highest implantation potential. All embryos are monitored inside incubators, ensuring the best culture conditions until they are transferred.
Communication is key during a fertility treatment. Our clinic is in regular contact with all patients in order to inform about their cycle and embryo development and at the same time to provide them with detailed instructions about each step of their treatment.
- Preparing the Endometrium for Embryo Transfer
The endometrium is the mucous membrane lining the uterus which changes its size during the menstrual cycle. When it increases in size it gets prepared for the reception of the embryo This limited period of growth, once the embryo is transferred, is known as the implantation embryo.
The preparation of the endometrium of the carrier is a crucial step of the treatment and requires the intake of hormonesthat will help the endometrium grow and allow for the embryo to implant successfully.
- Transfer of the Best Embryo
The embryo transfer is a very special moment for our patients. It isheir first contact with the embryo after having completed the first steps of their treatment.
The transfer is a quick and painless procedure, where the doctor introduces a flexible catheter through the cervix reaching the endometrial cavity where the embryo is then placed.
Except for particular cases, at IVF-Spain we always recommend to transfer one single embryo only, as the art-of-state technology we use allows us to select the embryo with the highest implantation potential to guarantee the viability.
- Vitrification of Surplus Embryos
After the transfer, surplus embryos with appropriate quality are vitrified (frozen) for future cycles, thus avoiding the need to repeat the stimulation process and egg retrieval.
- Pregnancy test
About 10 days after the embryo transfer, the gestational mother will have a blood pregnancy test called β-hCG (known as beta). We Can also recommend labs in your home country.
This blood test we will be able to check whether a pregnancy has occured. We will then guide you with instructions for the following steps.
Thanks to the advances and technology available at IVF-Spain, we can fulfil the dream of two women who want to become mothers.