fertilidad lesbianas

Fertility in lesbian couples. How to decide which one will be the implanted mother?

Perhaps you both want to experience motherhood and be biologically involved in the process.

You might also want some advice on who’s having the baby or you may be looking for the best chance of becoming pregnant.

In both cases, fertility testing can be a solution for lesbian couples.

The fertile life

The most fertile window begins at around 20 years old, although ovulation has begun at about 14 years old.

At 30, female fertility starts declining.

First, it does so slowly, and by 36, the process accelerates considerably. So by the time you decide to have children, realise you can afford them, discussed it in depth with your partner and you’re both ready, it may already be too late for your biological clock. That fertile window might have closed.

Not all women are built the same, so if you are shocked by the statistics, keep on reading.

Here are some fertility factors for lesbian couples!


Fertility indicators

Ovarian reserve

Since before we are born, we are sexual beings.

In the case of women, we come into the world with a number of oocytes, which we can use during our lifetime. These are the ones that allow us to become pregnant, but they are available in a limited capacity, and we will never be able to produce new oocytes.

Menstruation is proof of how our body is prepared for pregnancy. Regardless of menstruation, contraceptive use or pregnancies, the number of oocytes will decrease over time.

Aging can damage the genetic material of your eggs. It’s a natural process, but if you want to stop the rate at which this happens, you can do a lot of things! You can stop smoking and drinking alcohol and start having better stress management techniques. We suggest you try this sometime.

We are sure you’ll notice it in your physical and mental health too!


The state of the uterus

The following fertility tests can be useful for lesbian couples in determining the morphology of their uterus and ovaries: transvaginal ultrasound, hysteroscopy, and endometrial biopsy.

Having a pregnancy plan is important in order to prevent miscarriages or difficulties in embryo implantation due to changes in the uterus. Testing is only one part in achieving a successful pregnancy.


The state of the fallopian tubes

Project baby is already underway, so it is important to consider that the fallopian tubes are another reference for fertility in lesbian couples. In fact, it is the first thing that is studied when pregnancy attempts are unsuccessful in heterosexual couples.

Appendicitis, peritonitis or varying levels of endometriosis may have affected the fallopian tubes. The recommended course of treatment is three natural or artificial inseminations before proceeding with a hysterosalpingogram.

This test uses x-rays to assess the level of permeability of the fallopian tubes and uterus. It can be somewhat uncomfortable since it consists of using a speculum in the vagina to clean it, and inserting a tube through it.


Now that you know about the fertility tests for lesbian couples, shall we start Project Baby? 

lesmaternity ser madre lesbiana

What you need to know to become a lesbian mother

The decision has been made and you’re sure of it! You’re going to be lesbian mums together, but where do you start? Where do you go first? What methods are there?

We know you are full of questions and in this post we’re going to solve them all. We’re here for you!


Doctor’s visit

Now that you have made the decision to become a lesbian mother you should start by visiting a medical centre.

During this visit, you will undergo general health tests to measure your overall fitness. They will also test different fertility indicators, paying close attention to the ovarian reserve, which is very important to this process.

To ensure the quality of the oocytes, egg freezing is becoming more and more popular. This procedure guarantees that, regardless of the age at which you decide to get fertility treatments, the oocytes will be good quality.


Which method should you choose to become a lesbian mother?

Now that you know your health and fitness you have to decide which treatment or method to use to become a mom.


Traditional method

The traditional method of having sex with a man is one of the options for becoming a mother. However, it does not ensure effectiveness and is not ideal for lesbians.


Artificial insemination

This involves placing the fertile spermatozoa in the uterus at the time of ovulation. The success rate is between 15% and 30%, which is difficult, but not impossible.


In vitro fertilization

In this method the eggs are extracted from one of the mothers; they are fertilised in a laboratory and then put back into the mother’s uterus. It is complex, but it has a 60% success rate.

This option is the one most likely to succeed.


Reception of Oocytes from the Partner (ROPA)

The ROPA method is the same as in vitro fertilization, but fertilised eggs are introduced into the uterus of the other mother.

Using this method both of you will actively participate in the process of becoming biological mothers: one as a genetic mother and the other as a pregnant mother.

The success rate is 60%, and it gives you both the chance of being involved in the process.

It is certainly the best option to become a lesbian mother with your partner.


Legal advice

The legal aspects are also an important part of becoming a lesbian mother. By law, the donation of eggs and sperm is anonymous.

Since 2005, Spanish legislation has allowed gay marriage; this provides lesbians with the same equal rights as heterosexual couples in matters such as assisted reproduction.

Under law 14/2006 of May 26, all women of legal age, under free consent, may undergo an assisted reproduction technique regardless of their marital status or sexual orientation.

This law was amended to recognise that both mothers are the parents of a child born through assisted reproduction techniques, regardless of the marital status of the couple.

However, in the ROPA method, the couple’s situation is important. Since it is not an egg donation, but the use of your partner’s embryos.

The legislation clearly states that these can only be provided “by the woman or spouse”, and therefore you must be married.

This is not the case with other assisted reproduction techniques. However, the ROPA method carries a higher emotional burden for lesbian mothers than other procedures.

If you have any questions you can contact us or go to an LGBTI association to receive all the legal information on this subject.


What is your decision?

We know that there are many decisions to make, but the most important one has already been made: you want to be mums.

You should choose a method depending on your marital status, but remember that the most important thing is mutual support.

Once you have considered both your medical and relationship status, the next step is to choose which one of you will be the pregnant mother and which will be a genetic mother, or both, if you choose the ROPA Method.

Together you will begin one of the most beautiful journeys. It’s time; you’re ready.

How did you start? Tell us your experience!

lesmaternity congelacion ovulos lesbianas

Why is egg freezing important if you’re a lesbian?

There have been a lot of rumours about egg freezing in recent years. Even though it’s becoming more and more popular, you may not fully understand it or you might need more information in order to wrap your head around it.

When is the best time to do it? Why is it so important?

We’ll clear up all your doubts.


What is egg freezing?

It is a process by which a woman’s oocytes are frozen when she is most fertile so that her eggs are more viable for a later pregnancy.

Therefore fertility is preserved since you can use them whenever you want. You can start the gestation process at any time knowing that there is a greater chance of success.


Why is egg freezing done?

Each woman is born with all the eggs she will have during her lifetime, approximately one million. Over the years, these oocytes are lost naturally little by little.

By freezing the eggs, a number of oocytes can be isolated and preserved which can then be used later. These will have the same quality that they had at the time of their extraction.

You can retrieve and use your eggs at any time, whenever is most convenient to you and due to this preservation method they will be exactly the same as when they were extracted.

You can be mothers when you decide!


How is it done?

The freezing system is based on vitrification: cooling the cells so fast that it prevents the formation of crystals. This method ensures a 90% egg survival rate.

According to Spanish law, frozen eggs can be used until the woman reaches the age of 50.


When is the best time to freeze your eggs?

The best window to freeze your eggs is between the ages of 20 and 35 since this is considered the best quality ovarian reserve. From 35 onwards everything suddenly changes because according to gynaecologists, at that age, 90% of the oocytes have been lost.

Today, 65% of the women who are freezing their eggs are between 35 and 39 years old, an age at which they have already started to experience a natural decline in the quality of their oocytes.

The chances that a woman will be able to give birth after the age of 38 are minimal. This is due to the fact that chronological age does not usually coincide with biological age.

That’s why we encourage you to do it as soon as possible.


Why should you freeze your eggs?

You never know what the future holds.

You could be at a stage in your life where you reject the notion of motherhood altogether. However, later you realise that you do want to become a mother, but have too many problems achieving it.

That is why egg freezing is a very successful technique.

We need to be in excellent health at the time of extraction, it’s important that you don’t delay this decision and go through with it as soon as possible.

In addition, certain medical treatments can cause irreversible damage to the eggs. By freezing them, we secure our chances of becoming mothers once we have overcome the disease.


What does egg freezing have to do with my sexual orientation?

Egg freezing indirectly affects you as a lesbian.

Of course, it is every woman’s decision regardless of her sexual orientation, but it is safe to say that lesbian women change partners more often. So, if your decision is to be a mother, make it happen. It doesn’t matter if it’s today or tomorrow. You’ll decide if you’ll be a single lesbian mother or if you will have a loving partner to share your motherhood with.

Freeze your eggs today so you can have your baby at the right time.

The quality of your eggs will play a huge part in increasing your chances of a successful pregnancy later when you decide to go ahead with an assisted reproduction procedure.

Your dreams of becoming a lesbian mum are closer due to egg freezing.


Are your eggs ready? What do you think of this process?

Lesmaternity reserva ovarica

Ovarian reserve: what we need to know about our eggs to become lesbian mothers

The ovarian reserve is considered as the number of eggs that a woman has at any given time, which in turn determines her level of fertility.

If your ovarian reserve is high you are much more likely to become pregnant through gestational methods.

Do you have any questions? We will answer them here.


Let’s start at the beginning

Each woman is born with a specific number of oocytes, close to one million, which is approximately halved at puberty.

In each menstrual cycle, only 400 to 500 oocytes reach ovulation and the rest are lost along the way.

The period of time in which a woman is most fertile (when there are good quality and quantity of oocytes) is between the ages of 16 and 30. From a physiological point of view, this is the ideal time to become a mum.

From 35 onwards pregnancy becomes more complicated as your ovarian reserve decreases eventually exhausting itself around 40 in menopause.

Some factors that can affect ovarian reserve are cancer treatments, obesity, environmental pollution, exposure to pesticides and toxins, stress and an unhealthy lifestyle.


What should we do to improve our ovarian reserve?

Even though our ovarian reserve deteriorates with age, specialists advise us that before becoming pregnant we:

  • lead a healthy life,
  • play sports
  • maintain a balanced nutrition.

We have to prepare ourselves, not only with fertilization methods, but also with good habits in order to become lesbian mothers.

Everything we do affects our bodies and we want our eggs to be in good shape to start an assisted reproduction method with our partner.

In order to increase your chances of becoming pregnant, it’s recommended that the one with the best ovarian reserve be the one who provides the egg in the ROPA method.


How do we measure ovarian reserve?

In order to measure the ovarian reserve women must undergo a hormonal profile:

*FSH: follicle stimulating hormone

A sex hormone that regulates the menstrual cycle, it’s released by the pituitary gland to stimulate ovarian development.

*AMH: anti-mullerian hormone

The ovary releases it where the egg develops.

*E2: estradiol

As the follicles develop, the release of estradiol increases, so by measuring this hormone we can assess the ovarian reserve.

*AFC: Antral follicles count

This test involves a transvaginal ultrasound where the accumulation of liquid in the inner cavity is measured. This gives us an approximate idea of a woman’s ovarian reserve.


Why is it important to measure the ovarian reserve?

Knowing the evolution of the ovarian reserve is fundamental in determining a woman’s reproductive potential.  

This lets us know in what way you will respond to ovarian stimulation treatments.

And if your eggs are great, why not help other moms-to-be? Have you heard of egg donation?

Don’t waste any more time. Shall we begin?


What is the ROPA Method? Here are the 5 stages

Do you know what the ROPA Method is? Do you know its stages?

It’s known as the preferred assisted reproduction method amongst lesbian couples, why?

The reason is that when using this method it’s possible for both partners to be biologically related to their baby. Doesn’t that sound romantic?


Whether you’ve never heard of it or have already read about it on our Facebook page, we will explain the stages of the ROPA Method in this post today.


What is the ROPA Method?

The ROPA Method is an artificial insemination procedure in which two women are biological mothers to the same baby.

It’s also known as double motherhood.

Basically, it consists of obtaining the eggs from one woman, fertilising them and implanting them into another.


That’s why we say that the ROPA Method is ideal for lesbian couples.

Both of you can be biological mothers: donor mother and implanted mother.

If you need more information about the ROPA method, here are some links to two posts we wrote that will clear things up:

About the ROPA Method

Legal requirements for registering the children of lesbian couples


What are the 5 stages of the ROPA Method?


1. Stimulation of the donor’s ovaries.

As in conventional in vitro fertilization, whoever has decided to be the egg donor must undergo ovarian stimulation.

This decision is very personal but it’s very important that the donor has the best quality of eggs possible.

If you have not yet decided to become a mother, but you know that you will in the future, we recommend that you freeze your eggs now. Ask us how to start that process.


2. Oocytes extraction.

When the follicles are the right size and there are enough oocytes, an appointment is scheduled to do a puncture extraction.

It’s done in the operating room with a sedative, so that you don’t have any discomfort. The entire procedure takes around 15 minutes.

We follow up and provide support whenever you need.


3. Egg fertilisation.

Once the eggs have been extracted, they are then fertilised with the sperm donor of your choice (it is always anonymous).

Specialists will monitor how they evolve until they consider it is the right time to implant them.


4. Hormonal treatment for the implanted mother.

While the fertilised eggs of the donor mother evolve, the implanted mother must also get ready for her part. The purpose of this process is to stimulate the endometrium so that it is the right size for conception.


5. Embryo implantation.

When the endometrium and fertilised eggs are ready, the transfer process begins. That is, the embryos are transferred to the uterus of the implanted mother.

It is important to note that this is done at the optimal time for the embryos and the endometrium and that’s why the probability of pregnancy is so high.

It’s done. Double motherhood is possible in a lesbian couple through the ROPA Method.


Now all you have to do it wait.

We have described the 5 stages of the ROPA Method but, if you have any more questions about it, please contact us.

We know what it feels like because we’ve been there before.

Come on! Go for it!

Who said you two couldn’t be mums to the same baby?

Information about the ROPA method

The ROPA method is an excellent option for lesbian couples since both mothers are biologically involved in the pregnancy. “Reception of Oocytes from the Partner” also known as ROPA or “double maternity” is based on fertilising the eggs of one of the mothers and transferring the embryo to the uterus of the other mother, where the pregnancy will take place.

It is based on in vitro fertilization (IVF): the woman’s eggs are removed and then incubated in the laboratory with donor sperm or sperm is injected directly into the egg. When the appropriate growth of the embryo is observed, it is implanted in the uterus. The difference with normal IVF is that it is not the same woman who receives the embryo, but her partner.

The ROPA method requires that both women undergo hormone therapy, one to obtain the eggs and the other to prepare the endometrium of the uterus for the implantation of the embryo.

In the following diagram we show the procedure schedule of the ROPA method that we offer in Lesmaternity MHC Barcelona: