Shared motherhood means one partner will provide the eggs and one will be the recipient of the eggs and carry the child, so one partner becomes the ‘biological’ mother, and one becomes the ‘birth mother’.
The IVF process is therefore split between both women. The egg provider will go through the stimulation cycle. The ovarian follicles will grow and mature and, at the right moment, the eggs will be collected.
The egg is then fertilised through in vitro fertilisation in our laboratory with donor sperm to create an embryo. To maximise the chances of success, fertility medication might be used to produce more mature eggs from the cycle and create more than one embryo. These excess embryos can be frozen for future use.
Then the gestational partner will have the embryo transferred back into their body for implantation to occur. Medication is taken to prepare the endometrium (womb lining), in readiness for implantation. Ultrasound scans are used to measure the thickness of your womb lining and the embryo is implanted at the optimal time.