Endometrial preparation

The ROPA method consists of two parts: the partner that donates her eggs must go through ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval, while the other partner will undergo hormonal treatment which will improve her endometrial lining in order to receive an embryo during the implantation process.

Why prepare the endometrium?

The endometrium is the innermost layer of the uterus and it plays a fundamental part in the gestational process and during pregnancy.

Endometrial thickness varies throughout the menstrual cycle. Implantation can only occur during certain days of the cycle, this is known as the “implantation window”, generally within the 19th-21st day of the cycle. If the embryo hasn’t been implanted then the endometrium disappears in the form of menstruation.

Treatment

Endometrial preparation consists of undergoing a hormonal treatment which imitates and optimises the natural cycle. This facilitates the implantation of the embryo and the chances of pregnancy.

The treatment is usually composed of progesterone and estrogen, which, depending on the type of medication may be given orally or via vaginal ovules or patches.

Endometrial preparation is key for the ROPA method. Estrogen is administered on the first days of the menstrual cycle and then progesterone is given on fertilisation day.

This medications may have some minor side effects such as bloating, fatigue and increased vaginal discharge.

Factors that contribute to a successful implantation

Optimal endometrium: when the lining is within 7 to 10 mm and contains three layers (triple-line endometrium) the chances of pregnancy are high.

Embryo quality: implantation is more likely with good quality embryos.

Endometrial receptivity: the implantation window may be too early or too late.

Also, the day the embryo develops and the endometrial receptivity must be perfectly synchronised.

 

Do you want more information about treatments or our clinic? Contact us! 

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.

How do you handle awkward questions?

When you make the decision to become lesbian mothers it might scare you to think about how the people closest to you (family, friends, co-workers) might react. Some people still think that the best way to raise a child is in what they consider a traditional family, which is one composed of a heterosexual couple with a mum and a dad. This is a common misconception some people have.  Maybe you are the first same-sex couple they meet that have decided to have a child together. If this is the case you can fight ignorance with information.

 

Many other lesbian couples have gone through this. These are some of the most frequently asked questions you might have to deal with.  Some of these might sound interesting but others will just be uncomfortable to answer. Just remember to face them with love, humour and most of all information.

 

Who is the father? and, do you know anything about him?

Sperm donation is anonymous is Spain; therefore, we don’t know who’s the father. Neither the children nor the biological father have any contact and of course, he also has no legal rights over these children. Donors go through very thorough physical and psychological tests.

Which of you is the biological mother?

When it comes to being a mum there is no first or second place! We are both his mum.

Don’t you think your child will miss on having a father figure in his life?

Like most couples, we try to teach our children important values such as tolerance, respect, and equality. We give them the opportunity to be exposed to different activities and it’s up to them to choose which one they prefer.

Our son will always have male figures in his life with our families and friends.

Can lesbians be good mums?

Studies confirm that there is no difference in development amongst children raised by heterosexual couples or homosexual couples.  Children even tend to be more open-minded.

The parent’s sexual orientation has not been proven to influence the child’s orientation.

Who’s the mum and who’s the dad?

We are both their mother. We love them and share the same rights and responsibilities in the upbringing of our children.

How will they tell you apart?

This resolves itself very naturally. In our case we decided that he should call us “ama” and “mama”, but other times its mama-mami. With time they will identify and tell you apart without trouble. When you are from different nationalities or you speak another language it’s even easier: ama, mama, mum, and mamá…

Don’t you think that having two mums might make your child feel different?

The children raised by homosexual or lesbian couples are as happy and comfortable with themselves as the ones raised by heterosexual couples. There is no difference in the way they choose activities, interests, or even friendships and later in life their career or way of life.

Lesbian mums raise millions of children and nowadays there are more and more diverse families. Every child is different and some might be okay with it and others might have a hard time because they feel different (due to this or for any other reason). What matters is that they are honest about it.

Do you think someone might be mean to them because he has two lesbian mums?

Every mum’s main concern is that someone might be mean to their child. This could be for any reason not just because they have lesbian mums. It’s important that our children talk to us and tell us about these experiences and also that the school is aware and educate the children on family diversity.

Can you both register your child as your own?

Lesbian couples have to be legally married in order to register their children. We must also produce a document that states that we have used assisted reproductive technology.

The registry certificates now read parent A and parent B however, we still have a long road ahead in order to standardise most forms.

You are happy as a couple and now you want to start your own family so don’t let ignorance and lack of education get in the way of that. Always answer with love, information and most of all humour!

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!

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?

Testimonial by Laura and M. José

Laura and M. Jose are two lesbian mothers that used the ROPA Method.

Their dream of having a baby has come true. This is a feeling we are very familiar with and you could too.

They’ve sent us a family photo. Don’t they look ecstatic?

It’s such an amazing feeling for us to see your happy faces…

Here is their story. It’s very emotional.

 

Testimonial by two lesbian mums: Laura and M. Jose

 

I can’t believe how time flies. A year ago we had no idea how we would make our dream (BECOMING MUMS!) come true.

It’s a difficult process that is made easier when you find the right people who share their own experiences and journey with you.

That’s exactly what happened to us.

By accident, we stumbled on a website, Lesmaternity, and we got in touch with them. We met with Bea who explained everything about the ROPA Method and she referred us to a clinic where they treated us like family. They were different than other businesses that are usually insensitive to couples like us.

We scheduled our first appointment for October 3rd. We were nervous.

But, we left the clinic with a very positive attitude. We were so pleased that we decided to choose Lesmaternity to make our dreams come true.

We started the treatment and, after a couple of anxious days, we had the egg transfer. We really hoped that everything had gone well.

The worst part is the wait. The days feel longer! It’s hard to not get your hopes up, but your mind immediately goes there.

The day arrives… and… you want to look. But you don’t.

All these feelings rush in, it’s indescribable!

Finally, we took a peek and… POSITIVE!

Our dream! We got it! We couldn’t believe it! Anything is possible!

Our little Maria was born this year on the 4th of July, and she’s the best part of our lives.

We will never forget that thanks to people like Bea and Lesmaternity we can finally hold our dream in our arms. All I can say is: THANK YOU!

We encourage other couples like us to never give up. Sooner or later THE DREAM COMES TRUE!

Lesmaternity-Metodo-ROPA-Fases

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?

lesmaternity-REgsitro-civil-madres-lesbianas

Lesbian couples are asked for more requirements to register their children

What do you think of the title of this post? Over the top? Surreal?

The fact is:

 

At the registry office the amount of documentation and requirements needed is higher for a gay couple than for a straight couple.

 

Do you think we live in a society where homosexuality is a given?

Does the law really treat LGBT and heterosexual people equally?

 

A few months ago, a lesbian couple in Denia refused to hand in a certificate that the registry office claimed they needed in order to register their child.

That document is NOT something they ask heterosexual couples for.

 

What do lesbian mothers need to do in order to register their children?

Lesbian mothers must hand in a document issued by the reproductive clinic, which acknowledges that the pregnant mother has undergone an assisted reproduction procedure.

Lesbian couples must be married in order to register their children.

 

What about heterosexual couples?

In theory, heterosexual couples that have undergone assisted reproduction procedures should also be asked for this document.

That’s not the reality.

It is common practice that straight men come to register their children and don’t need to show any proof of paternity. The Registry Office assumes that these men are, in fact, the fathers.

Shockingly, no one questions this man’s identity with proof or documentation; it’s a different story when it comes to mothers. We must be married in order to register our children but, in the case of a man, anyone can go through this process without any documentation.

 

Why must we go through this?

The fact is that the law of Assisted Human Reproduction Techniques (14/2006) does not require that we present this certificate. Unfortunately, the reality is if you don’t you can’t register your child.

Can a person’s particular interpretation prevail over a written law?

Only few government officials don’t ask for “the document”. It happened to us in Barcelona. We had a lot of problems, but we will discuss that in another post.

 

Online registration

One of mothers from the Denia case says she tried to register her son online at the hospital, but it was impossible because the system didn’t recognise two mothers.

An irritating message appeared every time she tried: “case of unspecified exclusion”.

“Exclusion”

How would you feel if your family, your child or you were excluded, just because you were two lesbian mums?

We have a long way to go as lesbian mums and as an LGBT community in order to be able to register our children.

We will continue to fight for equality and love.

Have you encountered a similar situation or do you know someone who has?

Can you share your story?

madres lesbianas, método ropa

Three benefits of using the ROPA method for lesbian mothers

Becoming a lesbian mother is possible through the ROPA method, which has great benefits for couples.

Sharing motherhood is a joint venture that makes couples very excited.

This strengthens your relationship and gives you both the energy you need to begin the process.

 

Some time ago, in this blog, we explained what this fertilisation method is.

Here is a three-step summary of the ROPA method used by lesbian couples:

  1. One of you begins with the process of a classic in vitro fertilization.
  2. The eggs are then fertilised with the donor’s sperm.
  3. Once fertilised, they are transferred to the other partner.

Have you experienced the benefits of using this method already? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Here are three benefits of using this method:

 

1. You’re both going to be mums.

You will have the same biological involvement: one will contribute the eggs and the other will carry the baby.

Imagine for a moment the feeling of knowing that you can both be biological mums. We know we smiled thinking about it.

 

2. Family approval of the baby

Even if your family has accepted your homosexuality and your desire to be a mum, this is not always the case for everyone.

Suppose one of you gets pregnant by conventional fertilization. It may be that the other partner’s family is not so happy that their daughter is not biologically involved in the process.

With the ROPA method they know that you will both be lesbian mothers and their grandchild, or grandchildren, will always be “just as much their own” as it is their “in-laws”.

 

3. Commonly used technique amongst physicians.

In Spain, the ROPA method has been used since 2005 when the law passed.

Therefore, doctors have been providing this treatment to lesbian mothers for more than 10 years.

So if you had any doubts as to whether this method is commonly used by them rest assured that it is.

If you decide to go down this road you should be aware that you might encounter some obstacles such as explaining it to your children.

This shouldn’t discourage you because the excitement of being a lesbian mother is a feeling you just can’t ignore and maternal instincts don’t distinguish between sexual orientation. It’s the same for all women.

The ROPA method allows you to share this fantastic dream with your partner. It helps you become lesbian mothers.

 

Go ahead, the world is yours!