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Losing weight for baby - donor sperm and a virgin?(6 Posts)
I've only recently joined but I've been reading lots of posts over the past few months as an anonymous outsider and you all seem like a helpful and honest bunch. I have questions which I'm not sure about and I just wanted to know if anybody else out there has had a similar experience.
I've always been big for as long as I can remember. I am 26 years old (27 in July) and I've never been with a man... never had sex... I'm still 100% a virgin.
But I really want a child.
Although I've embarked on a healthy eating plan/diet I'm still really quite overweight at the moment - I started 2 weeks ago at over 29st (my scales don't go any higher) and I'm currently 28st 5lb. I am aiming to lose around 9-10 stone. I know I will still be considered obese and too big but I really don't want to get saggy skin from the weight loss and feel even worse, so I'm happy to still be big but just not as big.
As I don't have a man handy I will be using donor sperm from an online sperm bank and home inseminating.
I know of many people of my current and goal weight who have successfully got pregnant and had babies so I'm not questioning that - I'm concerned that because I've never had sex that actually getting sperm to egg will be difficult. I've had a smear fine but recently was referred for an internal ultrasound and for some reason they couldn't "get it in" past a certain point because it was too painful.
Has anybody else been roughly my weight and been fine with pregnancy, or has anybody else been in my shoes with the donor sperm and being a virgin thing?
I don't know who else to ask other than people who may have or are currently going through this so I appreciate any advice or support.
Here is what I think - you don't have to take my advice of you don't want to. At 26 you are still fairly young so there is still time for you to meet someone and get pregnant. If I was you I would concentrate on losing weight and getting healthy. I would assume being pregnant at a high weight brings with it additional health risks. During that time you may meet someone but you may not. However if you get to a healthier weight you may find you are more relaxed and the whole process of insertion becomes easier. You could practice the relaxing/insertion process by buying a small dildo and some lubricant?
Although it's rule of thumb stuff, the risks of pregnancy (both to mother and to poor outcome for the baby) are higher when the mother is obese. Although the cut off varies, obese women are treated as high risk in pregnancy. Many will be fine, of course.
So I agree with blueskyinmarch that you really need to get your weight down to within spitting distance of BMI 30 before planning to conceive.
Have you had a browse through MN's weight loss topics?
Hello! Welcome. Thank you for sharing your situation.
I don't see any reason why not having been sexually active should particularly be an impediment to conceiving. (Otf it helps at all, know that I am very single. I have had male partners in the past, but not for a looooong time. I know that's not quite the same, but still.) If you do home insemination, the usual method is to use either a needleless syringe or a soft cup to get the sperm close to your cervix. For comparison purposes, if you use tampons, the syringe option is smaller than a tampon. (And sperm, obviously, are teeny and will then swim pretty much wherever).
I would sound a note of caution about home insemination, which is that it can end up expensive and doesn't necessarily give you the best odds of success. I have done it myself in the past, so I don't have any issues with it in theory (and I did, eventually, become pregnant in this way, although unfortunately I miscarried) but my experience was that it got to be very expensive (probably £1k+ per cycle to be in with a decent chance) and the timing can be stressful, particularly when you can't tell for sure exactly when you're ovulating, and have to try to interpret signs that you are about to and signs that you recently have, and hope you're interpreting them correctly. So, on the one hand I really liked the relatively low-key option of doing it at home, but on the other I spent a lot of money over my cumulative Cryos attempts, and on some cycles it was wasted because I fluffed the timing (although generally I was pretty accurate).
So, if you do want to go ahead with home insemination, it's going to be really important to monitor all the signs you can (temping, ovulation prediction kits, cervical mucus, etc), for a good few months before you first try, to get the best sense you can of how to time things.
I would also always recommend having an initial work-up at a fertility clinic to check out a couple of things before going ahead with home insemination (especially when you're paying for the sperm) - specifically, that you're ovulating (which they can check with a combination of ultrasound/blood test), and that your fallopian tubes are clear so the egg can get through (via a test involving scanning you while introducing a contrast medium into your uterus through your cervix). If you're going to be spending large amounts of money on donor sperm, I think it would suck to later find out that it couldn't have worked because there was a problem with one of those things. It would cost a few hundred pounds to have these tests, and I'd suggest waiting and doing them after you've achieved your weight loss, as this would give the best picture of your situation.
Also, be aware that Brexit may throw a spanner in the works here, because at present the legality of having sperm delivered from a sperm bank for home insemination is that the EU allows free movement of goods so although the HFEA don't really like the idea, they can't stop you. In a couple of years once we get around to Brexitting, that's likely to change and it's unclear whether it will still be possible, or whether customs will become involved.
With all of that in mind, I'd also suggest thinking about pursuing treatment through a clinic. This would probably involve slightly more weight loss than you're currently planning on (at my clinic, they treat women with a BMI up to 35) but in terms of the costs, it would probably not be all that much more expensive than home insemination, and it's likely it would improve your odds. (It's hard to know for sure, because there's no real easy of knowing what the odds of home insemination are, but a clinic has access to a wider range of ways of knowing when you're ovulation, which is the key thing. At best, the odds of home insemination working would maybe be similar to a clinic IUI, which for your age range is about 15%, but I've always felt the home odds must be a bit lower). It's obviously totally up to you, but maybe something to consider.
Well done on your weight loss so far! And best of luck to you.
Thank you so much for all your replies, I really do appreciate them!
I started this weight loss thing 3 weeks ago now and I've said that I'll give myself until my 28th birthday in July of next year and then reassess the situation then, see how much weight I've lost and see how I feel about everything. While I am tracking my ovulation for a few months beforehand, and while I am attempting insemination I will still be losing weight hopefully. But I will never get down to a BMI of 30. That would mean losing over 15 stone and I don't want to be left with the saggy skin that would entail.
I will certainly bear that in mind re. Brexit too, I'd never thought of that Persipan!
I have investigated clinics but they've all said maximum BMI of 30-35 so they're really not an option. I was going to try it DIY first for a while and if I'm not successful then I will go back to the clinics and ask again.
Thanks again for all your help and advice! =)
I'm in a similar position to you. I'm overweight too, but my starting weight is about the same as the weight that you want to be when you start TTC. My advice to you would be to try to lose as much weight as you can. Yeah, you might be left with saggy skin but it's not going to damage your (or your baby's) health. I've looked into the stats on obese mothers and it really is terrifying and we obviously want to give our babies the best start in life!
I was probably about your age when I started seriously talking about having a baby on my own. I'm now 34, and I'm aiming to start TTC at the end of the year. I initially set myself a target for having a baby at 30, but then went back to uni to change to a more child friendly career so I'm just getting things sorted now. You still have plenty of time!
Do a lot of your friends have kids? You might find that if you wait a few years that more friends will begin to settle down and that you'll have more mummy friends (and more second hand clothes and baby stuff!)
Sperm to egg should be easy, I would think. I'm definitely not a virgin, but I still hate getting smear tests and cry during them, so I don't think that's a factor. During one smear test, they actually said that I was really tense and that was making things difficult, so that might be some of your issue.
Good luck and keep us informed!