What is the ROPA method? What is this technique?
The ROPA method is an assisted reproduction treatment for female homosexual couples, which allows the two women of the couple to participate actively in the process of pregnancy and motherhood.
The acronym ROPA means Reception of Oocytes from Partner. Therefore, as its name indicates, this technique consists of an in vitro fertilization, in which one of the women of the couple will be the one who provides the eggs and the other will be the pregnant woman. In this way, using donor sperm, the couple may have a baby having both participated in the pregnancy. This procedure is also known as shared maternity.
How is the treatment performed for the ROPA method?
The procedure to perform the ROPA method is done in the same way as an oocyte donation, although in this case, the “donor” is one of the couple’s women.
In this way, the “donor” woman, that is, the woman who provides the eggs, must be given a hormonal stimulation treatment, in order to mature a good number of eggs to proceed to fertilization in vitro. At the same time, the endometrium of the “receiving” or future pregnant woman will be prepared, to ensure that its thickness will be adequate to receive the embryos.
After the stimulation period, the ovarian puncture is performed, the extraction of the eggs, and the in vitro fertilization of these eggs is performed using donor semen. Donor semen is selected according to the physical characteristics of the pregnant woman, taking into account that they are also immunologically compatible.
Finally, after a few days of embryo development, the embryos of better quality (one or two, according to the preference of the couple) are transferred to the uterus of the expectant woman, hoping to obtain positive results, that is to say a pregnancy and later, a healthy baby.
Leftover embryos are frozen for future pregnancies, if the couple wishes.
Requirements for the ROPA method
For all the above, it should be noted that the requirements to be able to make this type of treatment would be the following:
First of all, of course, it is only done in lesbian couples. The role to be played by each of the women will be decided by the couple; however, it is also important to consider the medical advice to decide, because the age, the ovarian reserve of each or the state of the uterus can be crucial to making this decision.
On the other hand, in terms of legislation, marriage is a requirement. The couple must be married to be able to perform this treatment, since otherwise a non-anonymous egg donation would be made, which is illegal in Spain.
Although there are other possible techniques for motherhood homosexual couples, such as artificial insemination with donor sperm or in vitro fertilization, the ROPA method is special because it allows the active participation of both women.
C. Orjuela, Embryologist.
Vithas Perpetuo Internacional. Plaza del Doctor Gómez Ulla 15, en Alicante.
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