Shared Motherhood

shared motherhood

Midland Fertility has responded to patient feedback and now offers shared motherhood IVF  to lesbian couples who both want to be a part of their conception and pregnancy experience.

Shared motherhood enables a lesbian couple to conceive with eggs collected from one partner, and the resulting embryo/s are then transferred into her wife/partner, for her to carry the pregnancy and to give birth.  So, right from conception, motherhood is a totally shared experience.

For whom is it suitable?

Shared motherhood is suitable for lesbian couples who choose to undergo IVF treatment, which is more invasive than IUI.

Sperm from a known donor, or sperm from Midland Fertility’s, or another, sperm bank may be used.

What are the benefits of shared motherhood?

Shared motherhood IVF gives lesbian couples another safe choice to have a family, which will enable one partner to be the genetic mother of the baby, while her wife/partner is the birth mother.

What does treatment involve?

Shared motherhood is essentially a cycle of IVF treatment which is divided between two women in a lesbian couple.  For more information on the IVF procedure, see the Midland Fertility infosheet ‘IVF’. However, shared motherhood is different in the following ways:

  • partner 1’s ovaries are stimulated with fertility drugs. Following careful monitoring, she will undergo egg collection
  • simultaneously, partner 2 begins HRT and progesterone hormones to prepare her uterus to receive the embryo/s
  • egg collection is performed under conscious sedation, with pain relief
  • suitable collected eggs are mixed in the laboratory with donor sperm, then incubated and cultivated for two to six days, before one or two embryos are transferred to partner 2
  • two to six days after egg collection, one or two embryos will be transferred into partner 2. No sedation is required
  • any viable unused embryos may be frozen and stored by the embryology team for possible future use
  • 10 to 14 days after embryo transfer the couple will do a pregnancy test and will know if the treatment has been successful
  • if treatment is successful, the couple will return to Midland Fertility for a scan two weeks after the pregnancy test
  • if it is not successful, the couple may try to conceive again using any of the stored embryos, or in a new treatment cycle
  • as is the case for all lesbian couples who are married or in a civil partnership, both mothers’ names can be included on the birth certificate

Are there any risks or considerations?

All IVF treatment carries some risks, including:

  • ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome (OHSS)
  • ectopic pregnancy
  • multiple pregnancy

These will be discussed with a member of the clinical team, and other options can be considered, before any treatment plan is decided.  For more information on the possible risks of IVF, visit the FAQs section.

Success rates

Shared Motherhood is a new service at Midland Fertility and so success rates specific to this treatment are not yet available – although they are expected to mirror success rates for egg donation:

What is included in the cost?

  • treatment planning
  • monitoring scans
  • injections training
  • egg collection
  • sperm preparation
  • electronic witnessing
  • fertilisation of eggs
  • first embryo transfer
  • freezing of suitable embryos and storage for the first year
  • pregnancy test
  • six week scan or follow-up review

What is not included in the cost?

  • donor sperm, or known donor screening if required
  • pre-treatment review
  • HFEA levy
  • drugs
  • any subsequent frozen embryo transfer
  • any other fertility investigations, treatments or preservation services for either partner


Cost of Shared Motherhood with IVF at Midland Fertility:  £3,495.00

Cost of Shared Motherhood with IVF and egg sharing at Midland Fertility:  £1,900.00

Treatment is offered at a compensated cost if the woman under-going egg collection consents to egg sharing – ask a member of the clinical team for more information on this.

Go to the Midland Fertility Cost Estimator.

More information

Also, go to the Midland Fertility Patient Treatment Information page and download:

  • IUI
  • IVF
  • Natural IVF
  • Fertility Treatment and Donor Sperm
  • Egg Collection and Fertilisation
  • Embryo Transfer and SET Policy

Ctd: 23/5/16/JAA