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Reasons why single women use DI

Dr Kirsty Horsey

Progress Educational Trust

04 July 2002

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[BioNews, London] The majority of single women who use artificial insemination with donor sperm (DI) in order to conceive do so because they fear that they will never find a suitable partner with whom to have children, not because they have fertility problems.

The finding was reported at the annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Vienna, Austria. Dr Clare Murray and colleagues from the Family and Child Research Centre at City University, London, UK, studied 22 single women and 36 married women who had used DI. All the women had children aged less than one year.

Dr Murray found that more than two-thirds of the single women said that they chose DI because they thought 'time was running out' to enter into a relationship with a man with whom they could have children naturally. Most of the women said they would prefer to have a child 'within the context of a relationship', although one third of them stated that they 'actively want to go it alone'. These tended to be women who had a 'strong social support network' and did not 'perceive much social stigma' attached to using DI. The study also found that children born to single mothers via DI appear to suffer no ill-effects from their method of conception.

Meanwhile, the world's first sperm bank service designed to help lesbian women become parents was launched in the UK last week. 'Man Not Included', an internet service, will match up lesbian couples with potential sperm donors. Donations would be made in one of a network of established clinics before being sent out to the couples for self-insemination. John Gonzales, the man behind the service, acknowledges that there will be some opposition to the scheme, but said 'this is a service that is wanted and needed by the lesbian community'.

© Copyright Progress Educational Trust

Reproduced with permission from BioNews, an email and online sources of news, information and comment on assisted reproduction and genetics.

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Date Added: 04 July 2002   Date Updated: 12 September 2004
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