Options for lesbian couples in assisted reproduction techniques.

What is Shared Maternity or Reciprocal IVF?

ROPA (Reception of Oocytes from Partner) is a method that more and more lesbian couples choose to have a baby. It let both women to “live and feel” the pregnancy, being part of it: one of them brings the eggs that are going to be fertilized with donor sperm, and the embryo transfer is done to the other one.
This way, genetics come from the woman that had the egg retrieval while the other one is who carry the pregnancy.

The procedure does not differ from a regular IVF in which we do a controlled ovarian stimulation and eggs are retrieved at the surgery office. And then, we fertilized those eggs with donor sperm and we do the embryo transfer (on blastocyst stage) to the woman that will be the recipient of the eggs, the carrier of the pregnancy and who will give birth nine moths later. She does a very simple endometrial preparation with estrogens.

Making the decision

Why choosing ROPA method?

Couples using ROPA set a very special relationship with the baby as it comes from both of them (both are needed to create this new person).

Some screening tests are neede to evaluate the ovarian reserve and to assess the uterus.This helps tobetter choose who is going to be the donor and who is going to be the recipient and carrier. Besides, ROPA gives these couples the possibility to overcome some IVF failures in case that one of the women has a specific problem with the eggs or the uterus. And there are some couples that undergo ROPA a first time and, some years later, they change their roles for the second pregnancy. In thses cases, both could play the roles of donor and recipient.

  • How is the process for a shared maternuty?
How is the process for a shared maternuty?

It works as an egg donor cycle. However, in thses cases, many women don’t have infertility, increasing their success rates.

These are the 4 stages that lesbians should undergo if they choose ROPA:

  • The “donor” undertgoes a controlled ovarian stimulation, in order to get the highest possible number of mature eggs. Of course, we will do some monitoring with ultrasounds and blood work to check and adjust the medication.
  • Egg pick-up is a very simple and quick procedure that just takes around 30 minutes.
  • Fertilization. Eggs are fertilizad bi IVF with or without ICSI. Embryos are pushed to blastocyst stage tobe transferred to the recipient. We freeze those embryos that are not going to be transferred, which can be used in the future.
  • Embryo transfer. Embryos are transferred tothe recipient and a pregnancy test should be done 9 days later. Foremoreinformation about the number of embryos to be transferred, read nota acerca de cuántos embriones transferir.

Simultaneously (or not), the recipient prepares her endometrium with a very simple oral medication.

How to start the process?

If you are a couple of lesbians and you want to get a baby, ROPA is a good option for you. Of course, ROPA is not the only one option. In those couples of women in which only one of them wants to bring the eggs and carry the pregnancy, a regular IVF with donor sperm is the best choice and it is available too.






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Dr. Demián Glujovsky in CEGYR Buenos Aires
Viamonte 1432 - Buenos Aires Argentina


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