Shared motherhood

Shared Motherhood, also known as intra-partner egg donation has been designed to give both you and your partner a way to share in your family building experience with CARE.

Our teams at CARE believe that family is for everyone and are committed to helping all our patients create a healthy family by providing the individualised treatment you need and the dedicated support you deserve.

With Shared Motherhood, both individuals in the couple can both take part in the IVF journey to family as a shared experience right from conception. One partner donates eggs to her partner in IVF treatment, and is the ‘biological mother’. The other partner carries your baby and experiences the pregnancy as the ‘gestational or birth mother’.

Shared motherhood - the treatment process

This treatment really is all about sharing. One of you will go through the IVF treatment process to produce eggs, our embryology teams will fertilise your eggs with donor sperm and will then look after your embryos until the time when one is ready to be transferred into the womb of the gestational partner who will carry and give birth to your baby.


All of our patients are unique and we will discuss and be guided by you as to how you would like to have your treatment. You may:

  • know from the beginning who will provide eggs and who will have the transfer – if you do, we will will complete a number of fertility tests to make sure it is safe for the egg provider to undergo ovarian stimulation and that you are likely to respond well. We will also progress investigations for the partner who is planning to carry the pregnancy so that we are sure it is safe and suitable for you to carry the pregnancy
  • be flexible about each partner’s role in the shared motherhood process. In this case you may both want to have both types of pre-treatment investigations before deciding the best option for your treatment plan
  • want to give consent from the start to allow the possibility of the non-birth partner having treatment in the future if embryos are frozen during the treatment cycle.

What are the options for using donor sperm?

CARE have our own bank of frozen donor sperm or you can have treatment with sperm donated by someone you know.  Alternatively, if you wish, you can source donated sperm from a sperm bank, either in the UK or overseas. CARE partners with a number of sperm banks. Just let us know if you would like more information about CARE’s sperm donation IVF programme.

Shared motherhood gives a number of emotional and psychological benefits to both partners. It allows both partners to experience and share in your journey to parenthood. And if you decide to have another child you may decide to reverse your roles

Is Shared Motherhood safe?

Shared Motherhood is a viable and safe treatment option.

CARE has helped many realise their dream of becoming mothers. You can learn more about Jenna and Lydia’s experience of shared motherhood, and their joy of starting a family.

“My wife and I decided way back in 2014 that we would love to build our own family. We'd recently got married (one of the first same sex marriages in Kent) and knew this would be our next step….Now Both girls are thriving and ganging up on their mummies! ”

How do we get started?

You will likely have lots of questions and a call to our dedicated patient enquiry team is a good place to start. They’ll be able to answer your questions and give you any additional information you might need.

You can call them on 0800 564 2270.


The team at your chosen CARE clinic will also be able to support you at every step of your journey – don’t hesitate to contact them if you have any questions.