ROPA (Couple’s Egg Reception)
Couple’s Egg Reception (ROPA Method) is an alternative that allows sharing the motherhood between the women of a lesbian couple. The embryo resulting from the fertilization of the egg, provided by one of the two (the donor), is transferred to the uterus to the other, from which it will carry out the pregnancy (the recipient).
Standar ROPA procedure
To obtain the eggs, an ovarian stimulation and puncture must be performed. The fertilization of the eggs is carried out with semen from an anonymous donor. The woman who carries out the pregnancy will receive hormonal treatment for endometrial preparation before receiving the embryos.
This procedure is developed in parallel as follows:
- Start of treatment
Synchronizing the 2 menstrual cycles (that of the donor and that of the egg recipient).
Contraceptive intake is usually prescribed to match the dates.
- Ovarian stimulation and ultrasound follow-ups
There is no standard protocol for ovarian stimulation, as each woman needs a personalized protocol.
Follicular recruitment is achieved by delivering gonadotropins, and follicle growth is monitored by serial transvaginal ultrasound.
Typically, the duration of this phase is 12 to 15 days and 3 to 5 ultrasounds are needed.
- Ovarian puncture and in vitro fertilization
The egg retrieval is performed by puncture of the follicles transvaginally, by ultrasound control and under sedation.
At that time, the eggs can be fertilized In Vitro with the donor’s semen in two ways:
- Traditional IVF: The sperms are deposited in the same culture medium in which the eggs are.
- IVF / ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Microinjection): A single sperm is injected into the cytoplasm of each egg.
- Embryo Culture
One day later, the fertilization process is checked and embryonic development is monitored in real-time (Time Lapse).
- Preparation of the recipient’s endometrium.
The recipient woman must undergo hormonal treatment in order to prepare the uterus adequately for the implantation of the embryos. Some ultrasounds and medications will be necessary. This phase will last about a month and a half.
2. Embryo transfer
It is a simple and painless process, which takes place between days 3 and 5 (blastocyst) of the culture.
The selected embryos are introduced into the uterus through a fine cannula under ultrasound control. The process takes between 10 and 20 minutes. Non-transferred embryos will be frozen.
After fertilization and after the development of the embryos In Vitro, one or two are transferred to the uterus of the recipient woman in order to achieve pregnancy.
3. Blood pregnancy test is performed 14 days after embryo transfer.
4. Ultrasound is performed to confirm the pregnancy 15 days after the positive test result.