IVF treatment for single women on the rise

According to a report on use of assisted reproduction in the UK by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), a growing number of single women are accessing IVF treatment. The latest figures indicate that the number of single women accessing IVF doubled from 2007 to 2012 – an increase from 259 women to 632 women. The use of donor insemination also appears to be an increasingly popular option for single women with 468 choosing this option in the UK in 2012. Of the 47,800 women who had IVF treatment in the UK in 2012, 2.3% were single women and 3% were women in same sex relationships.

What accounts for the rise in single women pursuing sole support parenthood? Experts like Professor Geeta Nargund, medical director of Create Fertility in the UK, believes that single women are becoming more willing to take responsibility for their fertility decisions, including parenting on their own rather than foregoing motherhood because they haven’t found the right partner:

“Women are taking control of their own reproduction as much as they took control when the oral contraceptive pill was introduced. We are seeing [everyone from] affluent career women to women who have no money and their parents or grandparents are paying for them.”

Women like Naomi Watson are grateful that there are options for women like her to pursue their dreams of becoming a mother:

“I’d never met the right man…I went to the clinic to check my fertility and it was low so I decided if I hadn’t met a man within a year, I would do it on my own.”

Reflecting on her own experience, Naomi acknowledges that parenting alone isn’t easy, but she says that despite the challenges, being a mother is very rewarding.

Read more about single parenthood here and here.

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