ROPA: Motherhood for Female Same Sex Couples
ROPA is a medical intervention that allows two women to share the IVF process. The oocyte (egg) of one women are used (genetic mother) and then fertilised and transferred to the uterus of the other woman (gestational mother) who will carry the pregnancy to term and give birth.
ROPA stands for Reception of Oocytes from the Partner. It allows female same-sex couples to share the process of creating and growing their baby. In this article we talk about the process and what it involves.
What does the ROPA method involve?
During ROPA method, both women will share the fertility treatment process.
Initially, the woman contributing with her eggs will undergo standard IVF, which involved ovarian stimulation with medication to produce several follicles and eggs in one cycle. Once mature, the eggs will be retrieved from the ovaries in a simple procedure under sedation.
Frozen sperm from a sperm donor is prepared in the lab and mixed with the eggs in an incubator. Once fertilised, these will be monitored up to day 5 of development.
In the meantime, the woman who will receive the embryo starts treatment to prepare her uterus for transfer. This involved the administration of hormones to thicken the endometrium. Once the uterus of the gestational mother is ready for implantation, the best quality embryo is selected and transferred. This is a quick and painless procedure. Two weeks after transfer, a blood test (beta-hCG) will confirm pregnancy.
When to consider ROPA?
ROPA is for female same-sex female couples who wish to become active participants in the process of fertility and conception. This can be related to personal choice or due to specific medical problems relating to one of the partners (egg quality/quantity, ovarian dysfunction, genetic/hereditary diseases).