Path to Parenthood for Single Men
Our culture is chock-full of headlines and stories about single moms. Most people don’t pay attention to the rising number of single men choosing to become fathers. While some men opt to foster or adopt, our fertility clinic serves more and more single male clients interested in having a biological child.
Single Dads Need Third-Party Reproduction Support
If you’re a single man who wants to start your own family, you’ll need some help. Typically, that comes in the form of a fertility clinic and what we refer to as third-party reproduction. In your case, the second and third parties are the egg donor and a gestational surrogate.
Steps to “Getting Pregnant” as a Single Man
Here is a step-by-step guide to take you from single to “pregnant” with your own biological child.
1. Choose the right fertility clinic
The excellent news for you is that, unlike couples struggling with infertility, your fertility path is much easier – assuming your sperm are healthy (more on that later). The first step is choosing a fertility clinic with high third-party reproduction statistics and a physician/staff team that makes you feel comfortable. You’ll be forming a partnership with the clinic from the day you sign on until the day your gestational carrier is officially pregnant, so it’s nice to partner with a clinic you trust.
2. Submit a sperm sample
Yes, your GP can also take a sperm sample and send it to their lab. However, general medical lab techs don’t specialize in infertility, so they aren’t always the best at determining healthy sperm from those that aren’t functioning well. Your best bet for accurate semen analysis is submitting your sample at your chosen fertility clinic.
Our embryologists and lab technicians specialize in everything sperm and egg, so the results are 100% reliable. This step is essential because if you assume you have healthy sperm when you don’t, the fertility treatments used with the gestational carrier have lower success rates. Then the process becomes more frustrating and costly.
In the meantime, we recommend visiting, Healthy Sperm: Do This, Not That to start boosting sperm count and motility (motion).
3. Choose an egg donor and gestational carrier
Unless you already have a friend or family member who wants to donate her eggs and/or serve as a gestational carrier (the woman who carries your baby), you’ll need to find an egg donor and “professional” gestational carrier. Your fertility clinic will provide referrals for egg banks and surrogate agencies for you, so you’ll have ample choices when it comes to both.
Read First Steps When Choosing an Egg Donor for information along those lines. The post is geared to couples pursuing IVF, but the egg donor selection process remains the same. You may also want to begin thinking about the ideal gestational carrier for you.
You’ll be able to conduct interviews with prospects, so we recommend visiting surrogate.com’s post, Getting to Know Your Surrogate, to familiarize yourself with the concept and begin identifying what is most important to you.
4. IUI or IVF
You’ll have two different options when it comes to fertilizing eggs for your gestational carrier: IUI and IVF.
The simplest and least invasive is to use IUI (intrauterine insemination or artificial insemination). This is a good option in your case because your gestational carrier is a young woman with healthy viable eggs. With IUI, we’d sync your gestational carrier’s menstrual cycle with your preferred calendar timing. Then we prescribe oral fertility medications (Clomid) to stimulate two or three extra eggs to mature and release when she ovulates. The chances are high that you would conceive a baby within the first two or three IUI cycles at most.
You also have the option of IVF, which is slightly more invasive and requires more of your gestational carrier. However, IVF also yields multiple fertilized embryos that can be frozen and stored if you know you want to have more than one child in the future. With IVF, the gestational carrier uses injectable fertility medications to stimulate the release of multiple eggs (we’re usually looking for somewhere between 10 – 20 eggs). Once we retrieve them, we fertilize them in our lab and transfer an embryo or two into the gestational carrier’s uterus. Again, because the sperm, eggs, and carrier have healthy reproductive tracts, IVF is usually successful within the first cycle or two.
Read, The Difference Between IUI and IVF for more details. Your fertility specialist is always happy to help you decide which makes the most sense for you once we’ve learned more about your family-building goals.
5. Schedule consults with a lawyer and a therapist
Decisions like these are big ones, and it’s helpful to work with both legal and therapeutic professionals as you navigate both present and future considerations. Lawyers and counselors specializing in fertility have a big-picture, long-view perspective about your situation.
While a lawyer facilitates the documentation and processes required to make a contractual agreement with your gestational carrier, a therapist specializing in fertility issues helps sort out the various emotional ramifications that arise with third-party reproduction. These professionals are savvy at helping clients prepare for the questions or complicated emotions that might come up for your future children when they have questions about their origin.
The team at Reproductive Resource Center are experts at third-party reproduction and are here to answer any of your questions about parenthood for single men. Contact us to schedule a consultation, or give us a call at 913-894-2323.
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Meet Our Team
RRC has over 200 years of combined experience. As a leading reproductive health, infertility, and in-vitro fertilization (or IVF) center based in Kansas City, we're proud to have the highest level of expertise available to our patients.