For many lesbian couples, the Shared Motherhood approach to IVF is an attractive option. With this form of treatment, both individuals can participate in the fertility journey, right from conception. In this article, we take a closer look at Shared Motherhood IVF (also known as reciprocal IVF) and how Access Fertility’s programmes can help manage the costs involved.
What is Shared Motherhood IVF (Reciprocal IVF)?
Shared Motherhood is sometimes known as ‘reciprocal IVF’ or ‘intra-partner egg donation’. Essentially, one partner is the ‘biological mother’ as she donates her eggs. Meanwhile, her partner is the ‘birth mother’ or ‘gestational mother’ and carries the pregnancy.
How does treatment work in Shared Motherhood?
Before starting Shared Motherhood IVF treatment, your clinic will discuss the options with you both. They may recommend initial tests to help decide the best approach.
On starting treatment, both women undergo scans and appointments, with the aim of synchronising fertility cycles. Having already decided which will be the ‘biological mother’, that partner will then start the IVF treatment process of stimulation, to create eggs for collection. These eggs are fertilised with donor sperm in the laboratory. Once developed to blastocyst stage, the embryos are frozen, ready for transfer.
The partner receiving the embryo will take medication to prepare her womb for transfer at the right stage of her fertility cycle. The best embryo is transferred into the uterus, and any suitable embryos not used can be stored for future use.
From that point, the process is the same as any other IVF treatment, and the ‘birth mother’ will take a pregnancy test around 16 days later.
How much does Shared Motherhood IVF cost?
Because both partners receive treatment in Shared Motherhood, the costs can be higher than other IVF options.
The average cost of reciprocal IVF in the UK varies greatly. As with a standard treatment, it can depend on factors such as the clinic or hospital you choose, the medication required for stimulation, and any additional testing needed.
How can Access Fertility help?
The Access Fertility IVF Refund and Multi-Cycle programmes are compatible with Shared Motherhood. As a result, anyone undergoing this form of IVF treatment can benefit from the cost savings and reassurance that these programmes can offer.
Our Access Fertility IVF Refund Programme offers you multiple IVF cycles for a fixed price, significant savings and up to a 100% refund if you don’t have a baby. This programme is subject to a medical review and is available to couples aged under 40 years old who are using their own eggs (i.e. not from a donor outside the couple).
Meanwhile, the Multi-Cycle Programme offers multiple IVF cycles for a fixed price, allowing you to financially plan for this special journey you are both about to embark on. The acceptance rate for the Access Fertility IVF Multi-Cycle Programme is 100% (there is no medical review), and we have options for all patients aged under 45 years old.