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Everything you need to think about if you are single but want to have a baby

While many women between 30-35 go through the stressful process of feeling pressured by their biological clock, having a baby is a big decision. It’s important to understand what options are out there so that you're as informed as possible! Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, OBGYN, and Relationship Therapist Ashley Howe, walked us through when and how to conceive as a single woman. 

FIGURE OUT YOUR FERTILITY TIMELINE

If you're concerned about your fertility, figuring out your timeline can be extremely helpful. To start this process, you can check in with your family doctor or a gynecologist to have blood work and an ultrasound done. The Anti-Mullerian Hormone Test can help you decide what to do. Measuring the amount of AMH made by your ovarian follicles will give you insight into your ovarian reserve. The AMH is a fertility indicator that will compare your egg count to other women your age so you have a better idea of your standing. 

FREEZING YOUR EGGS

Freezing your eggs is a common term that you’ve likely heard before, but you might be wondering what it actually means. Freezing your eggs involves putting them into “cold storage” so that the quality of your eggs stays the same for when you decide to use them. As women age, the chances of miscarriages and chromosome abnormalities increase. There is a wide range of aspects to think about, such as finances and risks of the procedure.

PERSONAL AND CLINICAL SPERM DONOR

Getting a sperm donor is a popular option if you're ready to have a baby on your own and have good eggs. There are two options down this avenue, one being a personal sperm donor. In this case, the sperm might come from someone in your circle of acquaintances. Due to the informality of this process, some choose to involve a lawyer for legal rights and responsibilities. The second option is to get a clinical sperm donor. This process would start at a fertility clinic where you choose from a catalogue of donors. You're able to see the educational, ethnic and physical attributes of each donor to make a decision. 

IVF

On the more expensive end, IVF usually rings in at about $15,000. Due to financial aspects, this isn't a realistic route for everyone. During this process, an egg is combined with sperm in a laboratory. From monitoring and stimulating your ovulatory process, IVF lets the sperm fertilize. If the fertilized egg, also known as your embryo, develops in the lab it to be transferred into your uterus to develop and grow. 

For more information, we recommend visiting www.pregnancyinfo.ca by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.