How does shared motherhood work?
Nowadays, the cases of families that move away from the traditional concept of a mother, father and children, have become more and more frequent, being single women and lesbian couples examples of these new family models.
Currently, thanks to advances in technology, a couple of homosexual women can have a child through conventional Assisted Reproduction Techniques, such as Artificial Insemination and In Vitro Fertilization.
The options that Assisted Reproduction Techniques offer to couples of homosexual women to have a pregnancy are essentially the same as to any other woman, with the difference that a donor will always have to be used to use semen samples. .
It is known that both artificial insemination (AI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) with donor sperm are treatments indicated for couples made up of women; However, there is currently an even newer method, in which both women can participate in the process, known as the ROPA Method.
The ROPA method, Reception of Eggs from the Couple, is an alternative that allows both women to participate actively in the process as mothers, without having to adopt and giving both the possibility of sharing motherhood from the beginning.
It is an in vitro fertilization treatment, where one woman of the couple will be the genetic mother and the other woman will be the pregnant mother. The procedure is the same as for egg donation, with the difference that the donor of the eggs is not anonymous, but is the one who will be one of the baby's future mothers.
Now, something that can be considered as a variant of the ROPA method is the technique of shared motherhood, available only to lesbian couples, whereby both women have the embryo in the uterus at some point in the process. In this technique there is a peculiarity: the first days of embryo culture are not in vitro, but in vivo. Which represents something unusual, since it is usual to carry out fertilization between eggs and sperm in the laboratory.
Differences between the clothing method and shared motherhood
The ROPA method can be considered in itself as a shared motherhood technique, since, as mentioned, both women actively participate in the process from the beginning. In this case, a woman undergoes ovarian stimulation and follicular puncture to deliver her eggs, calling herself a genetic mother. Later the other woman receives the embryo in her uterus to become pregnant and give birth after 9 months, her participation would be the pregnant mother.
On the other hand, in shared motherhood, fertilization and / or the first stages of embryonic development occur in the woman's uterus, thanks to a device known as AneVivo. In this sense, the embryo spends a certain time in the uterus of the genetic mother and is then transferred to the uterus of the pregnant mother so that she becomes pregnant.
These characteristics make it a much more natural method, because the embryos are in contact from the beginning with the uterine environment, where the light and temperature conditions are also optimal. In addition to this, the device is very comfortable, thus avoiding discomfort to the woman who wears i
t. AneVivo is smaller than an IUD, and can be easily removed by means of a thread that remains in the vagina. It is made up of a porous capsule inside which embryos can be placed without the danger of them coming out, but still allowing the necessary nutrients and oxygen to enter from the uterus.
The first case in the world of a baby born by the shared motherhood method, arose in 2019, in which their mothers, Donna and Jasmine, underwent this procedure to give birth to little Otis, on September 30.
First, Donna underwent ovarian stimulation and had her eggs removed to fertilize in the laboratory. An embryo was then inserted into her uterus for 18 hours with the AneVivo device. The embryo was subsequently removed from Donna's uterus and transferred to Jasmine's uterus, where she implanted and developed until delivery.
Remember that you can request a totally free consultation with our fertility specialists at the Celagem clinic to obtain more information about shared maternity or clothing method.
As mentioned, the shared motherhood method is designed exclusively for lesbian couples. The decision of what role each of the women will play rests with the couple, although it is important to assess the medical suggestion. The most common is that this technique is used with the aim that both mothers participate actively in the pregnancy. However, there may also be medical limitations on the part of a member of the couple to carry out the entire pregnancy process, this method being the best alternative.