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Single women

If you’re single you might be thinking about what your options are for having a family without a partner. Get an overview of some of the key issues you may want to consider before starting treatment.

Treatment options

Egg freezing

Egg freezing may be an option if you’re certain you’re not ready to have a family and you want to maintain the chance of having one in the future.

Find out more about Egg freezing
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Fertility MOTs

Fertility MOTs assess your ovarian reserve (the number and quality of eggs) by testing for two hormones: follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH). The tests can give some indication of how fertile a woman is although the results are not guaranteed.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI)

IUI or artificial insemination is the main treatment for single women who want a family. You can have it with or without fertility drugs.

Find out more about IUI


Surrogacy could be an option for women who have a condition that means it's dangerous or impossible for them to give birth.

Find out more about Surrogacy
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In vitro fertilisation (IVF)

If you have any conditions affecting your fertility you may be advised to have IVF, which gives your doctor complete control of the fertilisation process.

Find out more about IVF
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Home insemination

Home insemination is when you impregnate yourself at home with donor sperm. We don't recommend this as there can be serious health and legal implications.

Find out more about Home insemination

Treatment abroad

If you're considering treatment abroad, it's important to be aware of the risks to ensure your treatment is safe and effective.

Find out more about Treatment abroad
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Using a donor

Whether you want to use just donated sperm or donated eggs too, find out everything you need to know about using a donor in treatment.

Find out more about using a donor
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Choose a clinic

Ready to choose a fertility clinic? Get all the information you need to choose the best clinic for you and prepare for your appointment.

How to choose a clinic
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Birth rates: IUI with donor sperm

Below are the 2017 success rates published in our latest Fertility trends report. The stimulated figure is for cycles where the woman took fertility drugs to stimulate her egg production whilst the unstimulated figures are for women who took no fertility drugs.

For women aged under 35 the birth rate was 19% for stimulated and 17% for unstimulated.

For women aged 35-37 the birth rate was 14% for stimulated and 14% for unstimulated.

For women aged 38-39 the birth rate was 14% for stimulated and 9% for unstimulated.

For women aged 40-42 the birth rate was 5% for stimulated and 4% for unstimulated.

For women aged 43-44 the birth rate was 0% for stimulated and 2% for unstimulated.

For women aged over 44 the birth rate was 0% for stimulated and 0% for unstimulated.

Birth rates: IVF with donor sperm

Below are the 2017 birth rates (per embryo transferred) for single women having IVF using their own fresh eggs and donor sperm. Rates are higher than for IUI but IVF is a more expensive treatment.

Women aged under 35 had a 25% birth rate.

Women aged 35-37 had a 16% birth rate.

Women aged 38-39 had a 14% birth rate.

Women aged 40-42 had a 8% birth rate.

Women aged 43-44 had a 6% birth rate.

Women aged over 44 had a 2% birth rate.

Take care of you

Fertility treatment is not an easy thing to go through.

There are plenty of things that can go wrong with treatment and no guarantee it will be successful, so you need to prepare for that. Even if you are successful, just the process of taking fertility drugs and travelling back and forth to the clinic for appointments can be exhausting. Make sure you're getting plenty of support from family, friends, a charity or a qualified counsellor. Gingerbread is a charity supporting single parents and the Donor Conception Network provides information to anyone conceiving with the help of a donor. Alternatively you can find an accredited counsellor through the British Infertility Counselling Association.

Find out more about getting emotional support

Publication date: 28 May 2019

Review date: 28 May 2021

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