RECIPROCAL IVF (CO IVF)
Reciprocal IVF, also known as co IVF, shared motherhood and the ROPA method, offers the possibility of motherhood to two married women.
Do you want to share the experience of maternity? Come to our assisted reproduction centre to find out how.
WHAT IS FERTILISATION USING THE ROPA METHOD (RECIPROCAL IVF)?
Reciprocal IVF is a variation of in vitro fertilisation (IVF). This assisted reproduction treatment offers same sex female couples the opportunity to share and enjoy the experience of maternity.
In this technique, one of the women is the genetic mother and provides the eggs, while the other women is the biological, gestational mother, who receives the egg and carries the pregnancy. In this way both women can be actively involved in the pregnancy.
WHY CHOOSE OVOCLINIC FOR YOUR CO IVF TREATMENT?
At Ovoclinic we offer the possibility of carrying out your treatment with the maximum guarantees, by offering intended parents our Pregnancy and Live Birth Guarantee Plans.
Our success rates, which are better than the average, make us stand out. The same is true for our 20 years of experience in high complexity assisted reproduction treatments, and our personalised and friendly treatment of our patients.
WHO CAN CHOOSE TO UNDERGO RECIPROCAL IVF?
The technique of co IVF is indicated for married same sex female couples.
Usually, the profile of future mothers who use this treatment is as follows:
- Women with alterations in their egg quality.
- Women with a lack of own eggs.
- Women with an absence of ovaries or severe ovarian disfunction.
- Women who have tried, unsuccessfully, with other assisted reproduction techniques.
GENETIC MOTHER – PROVIDER OF THE EGGS
WHAT ROLES DO THE GENETIC MOTHER AND THE BIOLOGICAL MOTHER HAVE?
The genetic mother is the woman who provides the egg cells. This partner will undergo the hormonal treatment for the controlled ovarian stimulation to be able to subsequently extract the eggs.
The biological mother, or gestational mother is the woman who carries the baby. This partner will also undergo a hormonal treatment to prepare her uterus for a better implantation of the embryo.
STEPS OF RECIPROCAL IVF
The decision of what roles each woman will play, that is to say who will provide the eggs and who will carry the baby, is the decision of the couple. In many cases, whilst both have the desire to be mothers, only one has the dream of becoming pregnant. However, when both women wish it but they only want to have one child, the gynaecologist can advise them on a medical basis, which of the women would be the best option to maximise the possibilities of success
It is a perfect treatment for female couples, given that both women can be part of the pregnancy journey.
The selection of the male donor follows rigorous protocols, with psychological, physiological and analytical testing to rule out the presence of any possible diseases. The sperm donor will be selected to physically match the gestational mother (the other partner having already contributed her genetic material in the egg).
In this step, the biological mother is subjected to a controlled ovarian stimulation to encourage the growth of several eggs instead of only one that would occur in a natural cycle.
To achieve this, she must self-administer subcutaneous injections on a daily basis. We will perform regular ultrasounds and blood tests to monitor the development of the follicles and evaluate the maturation of the egg cells. This treatment usually lasts for approximately twelve days.
Once the ovarian stimulation is complete, when the eggs are ready, the egg retrieval will be scheduled.
This procedure is a simple process that takes place in the operating theatre, under sedation, and usually lasts for no more than ten or fifteen minutes. After the procedure the patient must stay under observation in the clinic for approximately two hours, following which she can go home and rest for the remainder of the day.
In this step, our team of embryologists will analyse the oocytes obtained, and after the most fitting male donor has been selected, perform the fertilisation in the laboratory.
After fertilisation, the embryos are grown in special incubators in the laboratory, using specialised culture techniques to ensure their correct development. During this process, the embryologists will monitor the embryos for their morphology and number of cells, to determine the quality of each one. The embryos are grown in these incubators for five to six days, until they reach blastocyst stage.
Another important part of the treatments success lies in the synchronisation of the embryo development in the laboratory, with the preparation of the recipient woman’s endometrium (the tissue that lines the interior of the uterus and where the embryo will implant). The gestational mother must undergo a hormonal treatment to prepare the uterus to receive the embryo. This is a simple treatment, usually via oral medication, transdermal skin patches and / or vaginal pessaries.
All the treatments will be under guidance of our doctors, who will undertake to answer any questions and doubts that could occur during the whole process.
In the embryo transfer procedure, the embryo will be introduced into the interior of the uterus. This is a simple and painless procedure.
On the same day as the transfer, any embryos that have also reached blastocyst stage will be frozen, using a process known as vitrification, to preserve them for future transfers, so that a future cycle can be performed without the need for ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval.
At 10-12 days after the embryo transfer we perform a blood test to determine the presence of the hormone beta-hCG, which will give us a sure answer that the desired pregnancy has been achieved.
If you live in a different country, it is possible to have all the monitoring appointments with a trusted gynaecologist, and then come to Ovoclinic directly for the egg retrieval step, and then 5 days later, the embryo transfer.
In case of wanting a second pregnancy with frozen embryos from a previous ROPA treatment, should the pregnant mother be the same as in the first transfer?
In the case of the ROPA treatment, the embryos belong to the couple, so the embryos can be transferred to either mother as long as there are no contraindications a pregnancy.
What does Spanish Law say about maternity in lesbian couples? What legal requirements does the ROPA treatment have?
When a lesbian couple has an assisted reproduction treatment and has a child, both will be legally recognized as mothers as long as they are married. In the case of unmarried couples or unmarried partners, at present only the one who gives birth to the child may be registered as a mother, and the non-pregnant mother must go through an adoption process to be legally registered as a mother.
In the case of wanting to go through a ROPA treatment, marriage between both women is mandatory.
WHO WILL THE BABY LOOK LIKE?
At Ovoclinic we try – in every way possible – that the sperm donor is physically and immunologically compatible with the gestational mother. To achieve this, our experienced team will work to select the ideal donor. During this exhaustive process, many analytic and psychological tests, and genetic studies are performed to rule out any autosomal recessive diseases and ensure the good health of the donor.