“Mothers alone by choice” challenge reproductive medicine and Argentine society
Although the traditional model of family is defined as heterosexual, this is far from a universal standard. On the contrary, each time a greater number of women who consult in the fertility centers individually, requesting to be advised in treatments that allow them to give answers to their desire Y maternity plan.
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Thus, high numbers of couples who are not married, others of the same sex, divorced people and single women with a strong desire to conceive a son constitute the new paradigms. In a study carried out in the United States in 2017, a marked growth in the use of sperm banks by the population, at levels close to 500,000 annual samples. In turn, it was shown that 80% of the people who used said semen samples they were older than 35 years. Regarding their antecedents of parity, it could be observed that the 42% of the women had not had children up to now, and furthermore, 43% of the group studied stated that they had addressed the parent project fit individual.
Other scientific work carried out in Israel on the use of sperm banks in reproductive treatments showed that 58% of the users were single women, without stable couple, with an average age of 42 years. Finally, in our extensive experience in Argentina When accompanying numerous women in this personal project, we were able to observe that 49% of the patients who used the sperm bank of the Center for Research in Reproductive Medicine (CIMER) in the same period of time as the previously mentioned studies expressed carrying out a single-parent project.
Statistics show that there is undoubtedly a growing trend of women choosing to be “single mothers by choice” and even more: this trend is also universal. Different factors probably influence these decisions. They are empowered women, sure of their purpose, from urban or rural areas determined to give rise to the desire for motherhood; They express not being accompanied by a partner who participates in this parental project that they choose. Desire, independence, the support of their own families, and the environment converge in them. The technological availability of sperm banks constitutes a relevant factor when analyzing the increase in pregnancies in single women.
Parallel to social changes and those linked to the conformation of the family structure, assisted reproductive technologies evolve continuously, offering people new options for building the so-called new family models. New technological developments allow genetic diagnostics to reduce health risks, freeze cells for future use, selection of viable embryos, or apply advances in regenerative medicine, among others.
Single mothers by choice are women who have become aware of this issuethey know that the biological clock is pressing them and, since they have not formed a stable couple to address this purpose, they resolve the issue of motherhood in an individual parental project through sperm banks, associated with the use of their own or donated eggs.
A sperm bank is a cell bank that obtains, processes, selects and stores human spermatozoa for use in assisted fertilization procedures under strict safety and effectiveness conditions. Egg donation is used in particular circumstances in which the ovarian reserve itself is diminished and, with this method, pregnancy can be achieved in this way with greater effectiveness and less emotional cost. A high percentage of single women go for this procedure.
Undoubtedly, the new model of “single mothers by choice” increases over time, giving rise to new life experiences. The future challenge that arises for medical science and for society is how to accompany these new families, how to address the emotions that the maternity process entails in order to seek the greatest well-being of the children born.
How to address this great challenge today? The joint work between reproductive medicine, the affective bonds of single women, family, and the environment, associated with different multidisciplinary approaches allow accompanying and advising numerous people on this silent and complex path of search.
In our work, the commitment is to provide the treatment that provides the best result associated with mindfulness or other methods of emotional or spiritual accompaniment.
Thus, in my experience of more than three decades, it is possible to help form new families based on the advancement of science, love and the desire to transcend.
*Specialist in reproductive medicine and director of CIMER FERTILIDAD.