Adoption is a popular decision among single mothers by choice, but what if you want to have a biological child? How do you go about trying to conceive when you don't have a partner?
What kind of donor?
Once you have decided to pursue motherhood on your own, finding a donor becomes the next big issue. You have roughly two choices to use a known donor or an anonymous donor. Within those two categories of sperm donor, there are many sub-groups. There is a huge difference between using a known donor with whom you are not very close and who lives halfway across the country, and a known donor who is also a close friend you whom you see every week.
There are known donors who want something similar to co-parent status, and those who will avoid seeing you ever again after your child is born. Not all sperm bank donors are the same either depending on your local laws and your individual sperm bank, you may have access to the donor's identity immediately, when the child reaches adulthood, you may be able to find donor siblings, or you may not be able to find out anything at all.
All options have specific pros and cons, and it is important to explore those advantages and problem areas from every possible perspective. Make sure you read online blogs written by donor conceived children for a while during this exploration process; they can open viewpoints you had not previously considered up. You may also like to read: Sperm donor kids speak up. You may want to see a lawyer to discuss the laws surrounding sperm donation in detail as well.
This is particularly true if you opt to use a known donor (you don 't want the donor to suddenly demand custody). There are no right and wrong decisions when it comes to choosing a sperm donor. It is only crucial that you are sure you are happy with your choice and that you will not have to deal with surprises later.
What kind of insemination method?
To an extent, the insemination methods open to you depend on the type of donor you use. Those women who are using a known donor local to them can try to conceive using DIY transvaginal insemination. This is the only insemination method that does not require any type of medical assistance.
If you are considering this option, do make sure that the donor you plan to use goes through testing for sexually transmitted infections including HIV. For at-home insemination, the donor will need to do his bit into a cup (preferably at your house, though that can be awkward) and you'll suck it up into a syringe and deposit it. Ovulation-tracking will allow you to make this process effective, in order not to waste the donor's time.
Sperm banks will usually only send vials of sperm to a doctor's office, making DIY insemination hard. Vials of sperm are pretty pricey too, so most women using a sperm bank will at least opt to undergo intrauterine insemination at a fertility clinic. Combined with ovulation-inducing fertility medications such as Clomid, this makes the process of trying to conceive more likely to succeed.
If you have any specific issues that would make conceiving naturally or with IUI difficult, IVF is another possibility you can explore and discuss with medical professionals. IVF treatment is suitable for women who are older and less likely to get pregnant naturally, and for those who have medical issues that would make natural conception difficult like blocked fallopian tubes, for example. Trying to conceive without a partner requires an awful lot of preparation and contemplation, that's for sure! It is much harder to make the wrong choices when you have spent so much time considering what you want for your family.
Still, you may like to get feedback from your friends and relatives as well to see how they would react to you becoming a single mother by choice. If you are hoping to count on them for support in raising your child or children in any way, this is especially important.