Alternative Forms of Conception

When you are having difficulties conceiving, there are always alternative ways to start your family


After spending your young adult years focusing on preventing pregnancy, many women take for granted their ability to get pregnant. When pregnancy does not occur when a couple is trying to conceive, emotions can range from shock to devastation. According to the Government of Canada, 16 percent, or one in six couples, in Canada will experience some form of infertility. While the term “infertility” itself can conjure fear, it is certainly not a final diagnosis without options and treatment.

Couples dealing with infertility issues must first try to determine the cause of the diagnosis in order to come up with proper treatment plan.  Some forms of infertility are treatable, such as hormonal imbalances or in some cases PCOS or endometriosis, while others require more creative means of fostering conception.


Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is considered a mildly invasive procedure as the sperm alone is manipulated, while the eggs are left alone.  An IUI utilizes a catheter in order to direct “washed” sperm directly into the uterus.  This procedure seeks to increase the number of actual sperm that reach the fallopian tubes. IUI’s are typically administered when a man’s sperm has low count, low mobility or the woman’s uterus is deemed inhospitable. Success rates ranger from 5 to 25 percent. Cost of IUI can range from $200-$500.

Sperm Donor

If testing determines that the inability to conceive lies in the man alone, the use of a sperm donor is a popular alternative as a means to conceive. The donor can be a friend, a family member or a complete stranger. The use of IUI is typically employed when using donor sperm. The use of sperm donor will cost roughly the same about of IUI, possibly with an addition $400-$650.

In Vitro

In vitro fertilization (IVF), involves an egg or eggs being fertilized in a laboratory. IVF patients have the ability to use any combination of their own eggs and sperm and donor eggs and/or sperm. Once the fertilization has taken place, one or more fertilized eggs are placed in the uterus. The success rate of IVF depends greatly on a woman’s age, the reason for infertility and whether or not donor eggs are being used.  Generally speaking, women completing one cycle of IVF, who are under the age of 35, have a 38% success rate. In Canada, a single cycle of in vitro can cost between $10,000 -$20,000. Coverage depends on which province you live in.


Surrogacy is an option for couples in which the woman is unable to carry a child.  The laws surrounding the use of a surrogate vary widely, even across North America.  In Canada, surrogacy is legal, however, it is illegal for the surrogate mother to be compensated beyond reasonable medical fees.  The cost of a surrogate will depend on the services requires.  According to Surrogacy in Canada Online, a surrogate mother to become a gestational carrier can cost between $32,000- 76,000, whereas the donation of a surrogate egg only, can cost between $9,000 or over $20,000.  Those requiring both a donor egg and a gestational carrier can expect to spend between $22,000 and $76,000. 

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