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Where do I start? Ivf/sperm donation

(9 Posts)
Rachelleanne1 Wed 07-Aug-19 08:28:14

Hi. I've just signed up whilst looking for a place to ask my questions, so, here goes...
I'm turning 40 in a month, I was engaged to be married this year but the relationship fell apart in January. I have not been able to conceive naturally, I can say I've tried for more than 2 years.
My biological click has been ticking loudly for many years. I've had to face up to the fact that if I want to have a child, I might have to be a single parent. I have signed up to a sperm donation website, there's a lot of choice. The only problem is, I may need ivf, I may need egg/embryo donation as well as finding a sperm donor.
I do not have a lot of money (lost a lot with cancelling my wedding) & I have been looking to see if I am eligible for free NHS treatment? If I can get funding towards sperm donation & treatment at certain clinics free or subsidised?
I feel out of my depth with this.
Does anyone have some advice please? All welcome! Like I said, 40 year old, single, not a lot of money. Have tried naturally, but no joy, although I have yet to have any kind of fertility test - do I get this at GP, privately?? Please help guys. I really just want to be a mum & feel I'm running out of time. Thanks in advance, Rachelleanne

physicskate Wed 07-Aug-19 08:55:19

I'm sorry, but as a single person, it would all have to be private. Nhs guidelines treat the couple and you must have been ttc for at least two years (if not more in many areas).

The fertility fairness website has links to the criteria for each ccg, as fertility treatment on the nhs is a postcode lottery.

Persipan Wed 07-Aug-19 09:02:00

Hello from a fellow single lady TTC!

You may want to check out the donor conception board as well, for more people in the same situation.

I would recommend you start by checking out a few fertility clinics and arrange an initial appointment with one you like the look of. It's very unlikely that you will get any NHS fertility treatment - it's not impossible for single women to ever get it, bit it would require an infertility diagnosis, which in most cases would require a period of unsuccessfully trying to conceive to get. Also, in many areas, NHS access to treatments is limited and there are often age cutoffs. By all means ask your GP, bit I world assume you're going to have to do this privately, although you may be able to get your GP to do some of the initial blood tests and whatnot.

A clinic is likely to want to do some initial tests to see if you're eg ovulating, if your tubes are clear, etc. You can then be in a better position to see what approach makes most sense.

If the websites you have signed up to are ones where private individuals offer to donate sperm outside of a clinic setting, look very carefully into the legalities of this (eg parentage) and think about personal safety. This is definitely an option many women choose to use, but there can be some very dodgy people out there, so do be careful.

If you're open to the idea of donor eggs, then one really positive thing is that, although this is much more expensive than other treatments, it's an option that will continue to be available to you even years down the line.

Best of luck!

TheLidoOfThighs Wed 07-Aug-19 09:35:55

Given your age, definitely consider the possibility of needing donor eggs. I was part of a thread on the board Persipan mentions and all of the women of that age ended up needing donor eggs (and they had no known infertility as they hadn’t been trying with a partner beforehand).

The HEFA website lists the live birth rate from an IVF cycle for your age as 11%, whereas using donor eggs it shoots back up the rate that corresponds with the age of the egg donor (29% - in the UK you have to be 35 or under to donate eggs). Even at the higher success rate it could obviously take several goes. I realise these figures might be alarming, but I think it’s important to be armed with the facts when you have a limited amount of money to spend.

Some go abroad for treatment, you’ll see it discussed on that board, Spain and Greece are often mentioned. You’ll need to think about whether you want the child to be able to know the identity of the donors. Research suggests that it is better that they can and hence the law in the UK means there is no anonymous donation - the child can find out the identities at 18. Either way you need to be prepared to be open about the fact you used donors - there shouldn’t ever be a point where it is a surprise to the child to find out, and given the popularity of DNA tests these days it would be a very high risk strategy to try and hide it.

You won’t need the tubes clear test unless you are going to do IUI, but if you haven’t conceived naturally after two years of trying then there is no reason to think IUI would work, unless there was something wrong with your partner’s sperm. The clinic will check hormone levels via blood test and do an internal scan (not painful) to look at how many follicles your ovaries produce as this will be an indication of how successful an egg collection might be.

Good luck!

Scarlett555 Wed 07-Aug-19 10:50:04

Good luck! The good news is your GP should be able to arrange a 21 progesterone blood test to check you are ovulating and a scan to check your ovaries and follicles. Possibly even a hycosy to check your fallopian tunes. If you request these tests specifically they should all be done on the NHS.

You would have to go private to get your AMH levels tested which is your egg reserve. This would be around £200.

Armed with this information you can then make a decision about whether to go with your own eggs or a donor, IUI or IVF.

Viletta Wed 07-Aug-19 17:51:44

Sorry to hear about the wedding. I'd go private, Nhs is 7 years behind in their technology and won't cover donation. Most clinics offer a fertility MOT for a fixed price that would include all initial tests that you might need to see where you stand. If I remember correctly it's about £250-350. If your eggs are good then a cycle with donor sperm would be around £8000-10 000. You can also look at embryo adoption. Check out prices abroad. I travel to Czech for my IVF and it's cheaper than the UK including all travel expenses (and much better too!). Good luck!

StrippingTheVelvet Wed 07-Aug-19 19:03:17

There are finance options available that you could look into?

physicskate Wed 07-Aug-19 20:27:11

Not sure a gp would run a fertility mot, but you can ask for the tests outlined above. Mine wouldn't run any tests after ttc for over a year, but he was an asshole (for other reasons too), but hopefully you'd find a nicer one than I did!! Just don't get your hopes up!

Persipan Wed 07-Aug-19 21:22:06

@Viletta that cost is waaaaay more than I ever paid for an own-egg IVF cycle in the UK. That's about what I paid for double-donor!

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