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On the Mumsnet Donor Conception forum, you can discuss sperm and egg donation with people in the same situation.

Donor conception

Using a Sperm Donor because of Male infertility.

24 replies

mabel92 · 25/02/2020 09:11

Hi my husband and I have started looking at using a Sperm Donor to have a baby due to severe Oligospermia.
Has anyone got any advice? I’m feeling very nervous and worried. We are looking at the European Sperm Bank and then using iui.

OP posts:
Zara1234uk · 27/02/2020 08:10

Hello! Myself and my husband are also using a donor due to him having less than 1% morphology and not one pregnancy in 8 years naturally. We decided to try the at home insemination route first after finding a lovely donor on the coparents website. I’m on my first two week wait with af due next Thursday. Once we’ve given this a fair shot we plan to move on to donor iui. Have you been for testing ect with the nhs? Have they not said if you can have funding? It’s all so nerve wracking isn’t it, good luck x

mabel92 · 27/02/2020 11:20

Hi @Zara1234uk I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you fingers crossed 🤞 I’ve been to the NHS who basically advised us to go private! I’ve been for tests and I have good AMH and a high ovarian reserve so I think we will go for IUI to start.
How do you and your partner feel about using Donor? Do you know the donor? I’m worrying so much about how I’ll feel towards the child etc and how to tell our families.

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thefishthatcouldwish · 28/02/2020 06:44

We have just been sent profiles and have chosen our donor on nhs ready for ivf.

Have you attended counselling OP? We had to as its ivf and it helped focus on those questions.

The way I see it if it works we will be gifted with a child born from love.

In terms of telling our families we have been honest but careful about who to tell.

My DH spent time coming to terms.

We plan to always make child aware of donor.

At 18 they can know who the donor is and how many successful bio half siblings.

I had not considered this until counselling

mabel92 · 28/02/2020 10:38

Hi @thefishthatcouldwish
I haven’t attended counselling, but I think I will look into it.
We also plan to make our child aware of how we conceived and from a young age.
I’ve been thinking about when we would tell our families and I think I’ll wait till if we are lucky enough to fall pregnant, I want my husband to feel part of the excitement of falling pregnant etc and then we will let our families know.
I’m just so scared that I won’t stop thinking about the donor and it will affect my love for the child, I can’t stop thinking about it.
I love your positivity though and your right, they will be children born from love.
Hope this is okay to ask? Are you going through a sperm donor due to Male infertility?
Good luck!

OP posts:
Success1986 · 28/02/2020 10:45

Hey my partner had zero sperm in his sample but we were able to get a testicular biopsy that found sperm inside that couldnt get out due to blockage, have you tried this option? Xx

Success1986 · 28/02/2020 10:54

Sorry just realised my partner had azoospermia which is different. I had your worries too at one stage during our fertility journey, its very tough, however, after a drunken night with a friend who is adopted she told me firmly a baby doesnt have to come from your vagina to be yours, also goes for a man it doesn't have to come from his testicles to be his. This is the option other than adoption or fostering that you have to start a family and i remember talking about doner with my partner and we decided wed rather have the experience of the pregnency etc if we were blessed enough to get there xxx

mabel92 · 28/02/2020 12:46

Hi @Success1986 thank you for replying.
That’s amazing they found sperm, are you going for ICSI now?
Yeah our issue is production so we have been advised that they most likely won’t find sperm. We have conceived quickly before (unfortunately we didn’t follow through with the pregnancy) so we believe his count has dropped dramatically.
Reading your comment on what your friend said really helped me, thank you. Good luck with!

OP posts:
Success1986 · 28/02/2020 13:38

@mabel92 yes we went for ICSI and had success second time, we are now doing our fifth cycle for a sibling. My partner had a blood test which determined if he was likely to have sperm down there. The first biopsy we got 3 sperm which all died during freeze, so they did a fresh biopsy on the day i got my eggs removed and injected the eggs there and then. My friends comment honestly, changed my view on everything, her and her adoptive parents are so close and they love the grandchildren she gave them to pieces. They also carry traits of each other so regardless if its your partners bio child or not he will see himself in them xxx

4amWitchingHour · 28/02/2020 13:50

Whatever you do, please go through formal channels to find your donor, one that can be identified when your child is 18. Don't just pick someone off the internet. I'm a donor conceived person, and because of when I was born (1980s) will never know who my biological father is. I love my dad (as in the man who brought me up), but I hate not knowing half my biological heritage.

mabel92 · 28/02/2020 15:26

Hi @4amWitchingHour thank you for replying.
We will definitely be using a formal sperm bank where we can get as much information as possible and we would plan to tell our child from a young age. I’m sorry you never got to find out.
I hope you don’t mind me asking you some questions?
When were you told you were Donor conceived? Have you always seen your Dad as your Dad? Thank you.

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thefishthatcouldwish · 28/02/2020 16:03

@mabel92

Yes due to Male infertility, chromosomal issue and scarring.

It's taken me a long time to get to the point of not being so bothered by the sperm donor bit.

My DH has a lot of holiday in his job so is going to be there for everything.

Its had though the whole thing.

mabel92 · 01/03/2020 07:54

I’m still majorly struggling with the donor sperm part.
My husband seems to have completely come round to the idea though.
We live in a very small rural village so it’s deciding whether to be open with just family or everyone! Are you telling friends?

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thefishthatcouldwish · 01/03/2020 09:20

I live rurally too and work within the community.

My DH isn't keen for people to know. I totally get it.

We are telling just close family.

Then the plan if we are lucky and it works is to bring the child up to know if you see what I mean.

Its hard though making decisions continually about everything.

mabel92 · 02/03/2020 12:11

@thefishthatcouldwish I work in the community too.
That’s our plan too, starting telling the child from a young age to normalise the situation. My fear will be school.
At what stage are you at?

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thefishthatcouldwish · 05/03/2020 20:15

We have information evening next month and a signing of consent on 15th april .

Have lots going on so dunno what to do

mabel92 · 25/03/2020 13:41

Hello, our treatment has been cancelled as I’m sure everyone’s else’s has too. How are you all coping?

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Ilovearcticroll · 01/04/2020 18:48

Hi there, I don't know if I might be able to be helpful-we have three children conceived with donor sperm. We have been open with them from the start. It rarely comes up as a subject, and, although I can't he totally sure, they seem well adjusted and okay with it all. Oldest is 14, youngest 7, middle 10. Do ask anything you want. Doubt the procedure has changed much-we had I medicated IUI for all three.

Ilovearcticroll · 01/04/2020 18:51

With regard to telling people, very close friends and family know. I think my oldest has told some close friends, and it's been fine for her. It isn't really the sort of thing that needs to come up over coffee with less close friends, or so I've found. Even close friends who know forget all the time about the DC thing.

mabel92 · 01/04/2020 21:10

Hello @Ilovearcticroll! Thank you so much, it’s lovely to hear from someone who has gone through the donor sperm process. I do have some questions if you don’t mind (hopefully not too many 🙈) -


When did you tell your family? No one knows we are struggling.

How and when did you start telling your children? We are planning on telling our child from a young age.

How was your iui experience?

Do you think your children will want want to meet the donor?

Did you and your husband/partner bond straight away? My biggest fear.

We have picked our donor now which feels a big step, we just need to wait for clinics to reopen.

Thank you so much for offering to answer questions, it truly helps me to speak and find out more.
Hope you and your family are coping well during these tough times.

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Ilovearcticroll · 01/04/2020 21:16

Hi mabel
No problem.
Told family straight away, as soon as we knew we'd be having treatment. Glad we did. Meant no big conversation later.

Told babies as soon as they were born (well, maybe after a few weeks!). Sounds weird, but if you get used to talking about it before they understand, there's never a big conversation.

Ilovearcticroll · 01/04/2020 23:11

IUI experience was straightforward. I got pregnant each time I had it, although I had two miscarriages before conceiving my middle child. So five goes with three full term pregnancies. I know that isn't typical, but I didn't know it was possible so it's helpful to know, I guess. I was 32, 35 and 37 when I had my babies.

Ilovearcticroll · 01/04/2020 23:14

My children can't easily meet their donor because my first was conceived before anonymity ended in 2005 and the others are from same donor, even though conceived after 2005, so donor still anonymous. I have had moments of guilt about it, but it was so uncertain what would happen to donor numbers that we got on with it. I don't think the eldest is desperate to know a lot, but we will do what we can if she is, including helping her find siblings.

Ilovearcticroll · 01/04/2020 23:16

Yes, husband instantly bonded. He's always been amazing with tiny babies and I was more worried about me bonding (not related to donor conception). Never had the slightest concern in that direction. He is an amazing dad. I think they are probably closer to him than me, if anything. He's a lot more fun and patient!! Again, that would prob be the case anyway.

mabel92 · 02/04/2020 12:44

@Ilovearcticroll thank you so much.
I think we will have to tell our family’s soon, I don’t want it to become a big reveal as you mentioned.
I get what you mean about talking to them about it from babies, we will definitely be doing that if we are lucky to fall pregnant.
That’s great you fell pregnant each time! Although I’m sorry to hear about the miscarriages. I’ve been checked and my fertility is good, I’ve just turned 28. I do hope it works.

We have gone with an open donor from the European sperm bank, they would only become contactable when the child turned 18 and wanted to know more.
Your husband sounds lovely. I do feel mine will be the same, as he is great with kids in general, I just worry that it will be something that will be in our minds constantly and I personally worry about that affecting my connection.
Our treatment has been cancelled due to Covid 19, I was supposed to be getting iui next week, hopefully it will happen this year.

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