No Partner, No Problem!
Many single women are opting to have children on their own, before getting married. You may choose this road for a variety of reasons. Maybe you are ready to have children and aren't married, or don't plan on getting married any time soon. You may be concerned about aging and not being able to have children once you are married. Whatever the reason, there are a multitude of options you can pursue.
The Other Half of the Equation
The most obvious issue is where you will get the sperm needed for treatment. Sperm can come from an anonymous donor, usually purchased at a sperm bank, or it can come from someone you know, like a friend or even nonblood-related family member. There are advantages and disadvantages to either option, so deciding on a sperm donor requires a great deal of thought. Most fertility centers offer the services of a reproductive psychologist, a mental health professional with additional training in counseling patients undergoing reproductive therapies. This person can help you weigh your options and give you different viewpoints to consider while making the decision.
Treatment Using Donor Sperm
Once you've selected a sperm donor, treatment will proceed in the same manner as it would for a married couple, usually with intrauterine insemination (IUI) attempted first. The doctor will recommend either the use of medications, or what's known as a natural cycle in which no medication is used. Your own monthly cycle is monitored periodically through blood and ultrasound, or even the use of ovulation predictor kits at home. Once you are ready to ovulate, the sperm is introduced into the uterus with a special catheter.
In the event that unmedicated cycles are not successful after several tries, the doctor may recommend more aggressive therapies, like injectable medications or even in vitro fertilization (IVF).