What is ovarian stimulation?

Once you’ve made the decision to embark on the journey of motherhood you might be concerned about the different procedures it entails. To remain calm you need to gather as much information about the different aspects such as the symptoms, procedures etc. Do you want to know more about ovarian stimulation?

What is ovulation?

The ovulation process in women is part of the menstrual cycle and it starts with the period and ends around 14 days later. During this process, only one egg will mature and be fertilised. A woman’s ovarian reserve is the number of eggs that they have at a specific time and it determines their fertility.

What is ovarian stimulation?

It’s a technique that increases the number of eggs in women who are undergoing assisted reproduction methods such as artificial insemination or in vitro fertilisation using their own eggs. It’s also used for freezing eggs or egg donation.

It consists of administering hormones, which have been carefully controlled and tailored, through injections in order to allow the maximum number of eggs to mature throughout the cycle.

In the case of in vitro fertilisation, around 6 to 15 mature eggs can be extracted, but it must be done before the woman spontaneously ovulates. On the other hand, artificial insemination requires less stimulation since the aim is to obtain one or two eggs.

What is the treatment like?

The treatment is as follows:

  • Egg maturation: hormone treatment to ensure that one or more eggs mature.
  • Ovulation: hormone treatment to allow ovulation and the natural cycle to be controlled externally.

During these treatments there will be a number of clinical tests performed in order to determine its effectiveness.


Does it have side effects?

Hormonal treatments are usually risk-free for women but they do tend to have some side effects resembling the menstrual period. Some of the most common symptoms are abdominal swelling (not weight gain), breast tenderness, pressure in the ovaries, general malaise or dizziness.

Some things that can happen despite all of the medical check-ups and testing done are:

  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS): the follicles produced are larger than normal.
  • The chance of a multiple birth is increased.

By the next day most women can go about their normal daily activities. The symptoms decrease after the egg retrieval.

It’s natural to be stressed at the beginning of the hormonal treatment. Having a healthy lifestyle and doing low impact sports (such as swimming, Pilates or walking) is beneficial in this process. There are also natural treatments that can help but these should be used under medical advice.

It’s natural to be stressed at the beginning of the hormonal treatment. Having a healthy lifestyle and doing low impact sports (such as swimming, pilates or walking) is beneficial in this process. There are also natural treatments that can help but these should be used under medical advice.

Remember if you have any questions all you have to do is contact us.

The 5 most frequently asked questions about sperm donation

Some of the most common questions we receive are about sperm donation. Can we pick our donor? Will the baby look like us? Where can you find a donor? Some of these questions are answered by the Spanish law 14 of 2006, which states that all gamete donations (sperm and eggs) are anonymous. Do you want to know more?

1. Can we pick the donor?

Sperm donation is completely anonymous. Which means that mothers can’t choose any of the baby’s traits. However, this also means that the children can’t meet their biological father and he also doesn’t have any legal rights over the children. The donor will not have any information on the women who decide to use his sperm.

Due to its anonymous nature, the donation can’t be done with a family member or friend’s sperm.

2.Where can we find a donor?

The sperm donation process is very simple. The man will go to an assisted reproduction centre and there he will undergo some testing in order to determine his eligibility. If his tests are satisfactory the entire donation process takes around 3 to 9 months in total. It consists of going to the centre every week to deposit a sample.

The donor must collect the sample in a sterile container every time. The sample must be collected after a period of 3 to 5 days of abstinence from masturbating (in order to guarantee the quality of the sperm).

Throughout this process the centre will conduct blood tests as many times as they deem necessary.

All the sperm samples are frozen and kept in a sperm bank.  Most assisted reproduction centres have their own sperm bank. Liquid nitrogen is used to keep the samples frozen safeguarding their original functional and morphological characteristics.

With IVF and other similar techniques, a woman can only have a maximum of three pre-embryos transferred every cycle.

3.Who can be a sperm donor?

Spanish law requires that the following criteria be met:

  • Must be between 18 to 35 years old.
  • Must go of their own volition and be aware of what the donation entails.
  • Be free of any infectious disease that might be transferable to offspring such as, HIV, syphilis, or hepatitis B or C.
  • Be free of any genetic, hereditary or infectious disease that might be transferable to offspring.
  • Must be in good mental and physical health. The donor will undergo phenotype and psychological testing, as well as any other clinical tests that are required.
  • Must have an excellent sperm quality.
  • The donor must not have more than 6 children in the country in order to avoid kinship (blood relationships).

If the man doesn’t fulfil all these criteria he won’t be considered for donation in any clinic in Spain.

The sperm must be able to survive the freezing process because all samples are frozen for at least 6 months. This is the minimum amount of time in order to determine the presence of a sexually transmitted disease in the sample.

4. Is sperm donation a business?

The donations are by nature altruistic and never for profit. The monetary compensation given is for any disruption in the life of the donor in regards to commute and work costs that might have occurred due to the donation process.

5. Will the baby look like us?

You can’t choose your sperm or egg donor in Spain. You also can’t choose specific physical traits that you might like. The clinic will choose and assign you a donor that has the closest physical appearance to you both.

They take into account the physical characteristics (race, skin colour, eyes, hair, etc.) and clinical characteristics (blood type, RH factor).

If the patient has uncommon physical characteristics and a donor can’t be matched with them the clinic can get samples from a foreign sperm bank.

Do you have more questions? Contact us and we’ll get in touch as soon as possible.

Spain, the top European country in assisted reproduction

If your dream is to become parents you should take a look at Spain, since it’s the ideal country to get these treatments done. According to the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), Spain is at the forefront of assisted reproduction treatments in Europe.

In 2014, 116,688 IVF procedures and 40,177 artificial inseminations were performed in Spain. This data was gathered by the Spanish Fertility Society (known in Spanish as SEF), which polls 278 fertility clinics throughout Spain and keeps these records in the National Registry. Assisted reproduction techniques are very common in Spain. According to SEF 7.91% of children in Spain that year were born via these techniques.

Why is this? The reason is their high quality of medical care and clearly cut laws. On top of that, the cost is good value for money considering the services that are offered.

The quality of medical care

The success rate in Spain is one of the highest when it comes to reproductive medicine.

Spanish medicine is well known for assisted reproductive techniques and has an excellent reputation for it worldwide. The medical side of assisted reproduction is highly controlled in our country as it is subject to European laws. Every year, clinics must undergo audits and reviews, which are kept at the Ministry of Health. These records are public (you can view them through the SEF or Ministry of Health website).

The topic of multiple births has always been a controversial one but there’s some good news on that front. The percentage of double or multiple births has been steadily declining and, in 2014 in Spain, the rate went down to 20.4% for IVF and 11.5% for artificial insemination.

Clearly cut laws

Many countries have laws that are restrictive or incomplete. The law in Spain in regards to egg donation is different than other countries when it comes to whether or not it’s an anonymous donation. In the UK and France it’s not anonymous and in Italy, the law has changed but it’s still unclear. Understanding this is important since 30% of the procedures performed require some sort of donation.

Spanish laws allow all reproductive treatments available today to be performed in Spain.

Competitive pricing

Due to the complexity of the procedures (labs, incubators, specialists, research and so on) the cost is high. However, in Spain this cost is considered to be of very good value.

This makes Spain renowned worldwide and therefore many patients prefer to come here to get their procedures done. In 2014, 12,240 rounds of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and artificial insemination were performed on people who were residents of other countries.


Shall we start Project Baby? Do you want more information about treatments or our clinic? Contact us! 

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!

What is Natural Cycle In Vitro Fertilization?

For some women, who don’t react well or simply don’t want ovarian stimulation, natural cycle in vitro fertilization may be a good option to become pregnant.


What is Natural Cycle In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?

In this assisted fertilization technique the extraction of quality oocytes is achieved without the need for hormonal stimulation.

During approximately 15 days, the natural ovulation cycle of the future biological mother is monitored through testing and ultrasound scans.

Follicular and endometrial growth is measured at the clinic in the span of 4 to 5 visits. This testing allows us to determine the ideal time to obtain the egg naturally, without medical stimulation and then the extraction is carried out using the usual IVF techniques.

That is why we say that fertilization is done in the Natural Ovulation Cycle.

The aim of natural cycle in vitro stimulation is to obtain a few high-quality oocytes.


Who is it for?

This technique can be applied to any couple or woman who does not want to undergo ovarian stimulation prior to the extraction of the eggs.

You can also take advantage of it if you have already undergone other assisted fertilization processes without successful multi-follicular growth. Meaning that after hormonal stimulation you have not produced enough follicles to continue the insemination process.


What are the advantages of Natural Cycle IVF?

Natural Selection:

During the process, the best possible egg is chosen, giving priority to quality before quantity.

No risk:

There is no hyperstimulation and no possibility of multiple pregnancies.

No hormones:

Since it does not involve having hormone treatments the side effects are minimal.

Without anaesthesia:

The egg retrieval is very quick, it only takes a couple of minutes and therefore it doesn’t need to be performed under sedation. However, if you prefer sedation, you can talk to your doctor about it. If there are no contraindications then it’s your decision.

Viable in several consecutive Natural Cycles:

There are no contraindications to performing several procedures in a row. However, when the attempts have been unsuccessful 5 or 6 times, the procedure is usually abandoned, as it is unlikely to work in this case.

More economical:

This procedure doesn’t require ovarian stimulation medication; therefore it’s cheaper than when these are needed.

Disadvantages of Natural Cycle IVF

This technique is more natural than ovarian stimulation, which requires hormone therapy.

However, after 5 or 6 unsuccessful treatments, the procedure is usually abandoned because the chances of it working are low.

We can help you decide

We know that this decision is one of the most important you two will make.

We are aware that the help of a specialist can be very useful in deciding which is the best assisted reproduction technique for you.

That is why we like to be by your side when it comes to deciding what steps to take during the journey you are about to embark on.

From our own experience, we know that psychological support from someone who has been through the same thing as you is very important. We have already made this journey and the result is two beautiful daughters who are thriving.

You can count on us!


Are you ready to consider a Natural Cycle IVF technique?