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I'm 38, recently single and freaking out about my fertility and missing out on children. Has anyone been in this situation and can anyone please advise?
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Starlight38 · 01/08/2022 20:17

Hi bit of background about me: I'm 38, I broke up with my 44 yr old bf of a year 2 weeks ago because he was saying he wasn't sure about having children for ages. 2 months ago I did a fertility MOT and it turns out I have reduced ovarian reserve (AMH 1.6 pmol and AFC 7). Finally I just asked him to make a decision and said I wanted to TTC now he was like absolutely not so we broke up. It's really depressing as only a few weeks ago he was saying he was 75% there re marriage and children, and when I called him last week to see if there was even a glimmer of hope after we'd broken up he sounded pretty unbothered and said he'd made peace with the idea of never having children, that having children with me wasn't the issue, it was children full stop. Said he loves me etc etc, but that he can't keep on with his indecision and he should be more excited about having children than he is. I said to him that I'm going to end up having to go down a sperm donor route as I might miss the boat and really wanted it to be him, not a donor. He was like 'do what you have to do', then called me back saying he didn't mean to sound harsh. I think if he truly loved me he wouldn't be ok with me having a sperm donor. He said that if he changes his mind re children he'll get in touch but to assume he won't. I've just cut off all contact now.

I've been really panicking about what to do next. If I didn't have my dog I don't know how I'd have coped to be completely honest. Lots of people on mumsnet said get a sperm donor and do it alone. I've got as far as googling a bank and paying to see adult photos and I found one that looked ok but I just find the whole thing freaky and I'm not sure I can do it. I feel really devastated by the idea of having to go down this route and it's freaking me out. I'm also really really worried about having a child because I want one and then the child growing into an adult with lots of identity issues and depression etc because they have never met their dad. It's different when born from a one night stand, at least you know your mother met the guy and they had a night of passion etc. the idea of being ordered off the net and haven't even spoken to them is hard to get my head around.

Pretty much everyone on this has said don't bother freezing your eggs, they will be crap at 38. I went to the Lister and ARGC who both recommended doing it and I've also been taking all the supplements from 'it starts with the egg' - that feels like the only bit of 'control' I have over anything at the moment tbh.

So now I'm in this situation whereby I don't know what to do.

  1. I know that definitely freezing eggs I need to do, even if it doesn't work I want to try that .
  2. do I also freeze embryos with a donor so that if I don't meet anyone they are there as a back up plan?
  3. Is there any hope of me meeting someone and having children the old fashioned way? I have hinge and bumble and I'm feeling so depressed tbh. bf I just broke up with said he was 'open to children' on his profile, then said he wanted them and then backed out. Is there a better way of meeting someone? surely there must be some men who do want families?

    tbh at 38 I feel like on these apps the guys who want a family have filtered me out as think I'm too old, and so I'm left with the older guys who will just mess me around and string me along, just like my ex bf did.

    sorry that's a really long post but I'm so stressed and would appreciate any views or help from anyone out there.

    Thanks so much
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Cyberworrier · 01/08/2022 20:28

Oh OP, I'm sorry and sending you solidarity from a similar boat. I'm newly separated in my mid thirties.

I would say in answer to your 3rd question that yes there is a chance you might meet someone and have a baby together. I have friends who did! Also I've seen lots of people post on here saying they did. So don't lose hope!

Re egg freezing and embryo freezing, this is something I'm freaking out about too (I'm less keen on the idea than you seen to be, partly because it would seriously dent my uncertain pre divorce finances). However from reading on here it does sound like freezing embryos may be more worthwhile? God I don't know.

But don't lose faith, you may well meet someone.

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newbienel · 01/08/2022 20:35

I'm really sorry for what you are going through. I really think you should consult a fertility counselor who might help you make a decision on next steps- if you haven't done so already? I really think it could help you deal with everything you're going through. Have you listened to the big fat negative podcast? There are some episodes where they interview women who have gone down the sperm donor route, I found the information and their experiences really interesting and helpful. Sending you love and wishing you the very best of luck for whatever decision you end up making. Only you will be able to decide what is best for you at the end of the day xox

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TheYearOfSmallThings · 01/08/2022 20:37

It's different when born from a one night stand, at least you know your mother met the guy and they had a night of passion etc.

If you are considering that as a better option than using a donor I would think again. Given your age and circumstance your child would grow up to realise that you just went out and had sex with some randomer (or a series of randomers) to get pregnant.

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MsBallen · 01/08/2022 20:38

Hi op, so sorry you are in this predicament. It sounds like you have had a lucky escape re the ex. He obviously was stringing you along and doesn't seem bothered by the break up at all. Whilst it is possible to meet someone online and have the fairytale romance and get married and have babies I will be honest, at this stage at 38 with identified ovarian issues i would personally go alone with a donor, especially as to meet someone you need to get to know them and if they too are late thirties/older without kids they may not want them at all, and that's more time wasted. You can join loads of forums and do meet ups with other people who have donor conceived children there's even a topic on here with parents of donor conceived children. As for freezing eggs it's not worth it the success rate is so so low as to be pointless, freezing embryos is a better success rate, freezing eggs is just throwing your money down the drain. Would you consider egg donors if you don't get viable embryos? Good 🤞

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MoscowDragon8 · 01/08/2022 20:38

l am sorry you find yourself in this situation.
I am probably the worst person to be giving advice as I have had 6 children (one stillborn and 5 living ) but my two youngest I had in mid 30s and early 40s. I got married quite young and children were not my priority until my first was stillborn and it destroyed me.
I can't 100% relate to your fertility situation but in my late teens I was told I might never have children when a steroid treatment after orthopaedic surgery on my injured knee left my hormones in a mess.

i went through a pretty shitty divorce a few years ago and although more children were not my number one priority my current husband (who also had children in a previous relationship, not married but 20 yrs together) and he was open to more children. We ttc and sadly lost one at 9 weeks and then had our baby in 2020.
there are a lot of men out there in their 40s who want children, I am sure you will meet someone. I know a few personally and my friends have met men who actively want children and don't have any yet.

  1. if you feel like freezing eggs and can do it it might be a good idea
  2. freezing embryos is more tricky depending on how you feel about potentially having to destroy them (personally I couldn't)
  3. definitely hope of meeting someone.
also I know a couple of women who are single mothers by choice (I might be wrong but it's almost a movement of sorts) who did go down the road of sperm bank and are very happy with their decision.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

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MsBallen · 01/08/2022 20:39

Also a one night stand is not better at all! With sperm donors look into it as there's a clause where the child once they reach 18 can have information on their donor, whereas a one night stand may never be known and could deny parentage.

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Danoo · 01/08/2022 20:41

I'd rather hear my mother took control of what she wanted and went to a clinic for sperms donation than that she had a one night stand. The first would be easier to tell a child too

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Goodskin46 · 01/08/2022 20:43

Would you consider adoption ? There are lots of single adopters out there. 38 would be considered young for adoption.

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Ikeameatballs · 01/08/2022 20:43

You’ve done the right thing to end it with your recent partner who was neither invested in you nor in having children.

Either make peace with the idea that you might never have children and look for a relationship because it’s what you want for you or go donor route. Would you need to freeze embryos? Could you just go for it now?

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Whataretheodds · 01/08/2022 20:46

  1. check out podcast/site The Stork and I, research being solo mum as an option. Properly weigh up pros and cons like a work project, get some facts and work out what a plan could look like if you went down that route.

  2. look after yourself - get in the best mental and physical shape you can. Get done all of those things you've always wanted to - that dream adventure holiday, or new job. Join the choir, train for the triathlon. It won't get easier with a child.

  3. date if you like but it sounds like you're well shot of your ex. Listen to How to Get Over Your Ex if you need to.
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Lotusflower16 · 01/08/2022 20:47

Hi there,

I am sorry you are going through this. It's really tough.
I would advise against freezing your eggs, especially at your age. It's more expensive and as a previous poster pointed out, the success rate are really low. I would take the sperm donor route. Meeting someone new might happen, but that will put on hold TTCing for a while because probably they won't be ready to start right away. Unfortunately, there is no way to know if you can get pregnant easily or not and I am telling you this from my experience. I am 39, I have been trying for 4 years, 3 failed IVFs and no baby yet.
You don't need to decide now, take your time, read some more and decide what's best for you.
Good luck!

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khaa2091 · 01/08/2022 20:47

Yes of course you could meet somebody. What you need to honestly ask yourself is what is more important to you - a partner or children. You cannot control what happens with a partner (although you can make things more or less likely) but having children is potentially something you can do something about.

Don't assume that IVF will work, unfortunately there are many many less public women who have tried unsuccessfully. Embryos give you the best chance of success, but would require a donor. Egg freezing may work but I am guessing you were given a realistic talk about the chances of success.

Personally I decided to attempt IVF at 39 and started at 40 with an anonymous (but identifiable at 18) donor. I was realistic about the chance of success (about 11% for a 40yr old, falling with successive cycles) but felt that I would regret not trying. I had no expectation of having a baby and did not plan my life on that basis.

Due to moving countries and Covid, my baby was born when I was 42. I don't have a partner.

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laddyandthetramp · 01/08/2022 20:51

TheYearOfSmallThings · 01/08/2022 20:37

It's different when born from a one night stand, at least you know your mother met the guy and they had a night of passion etc.

If you are considering that as a better option than using a donor I would think again. Given your age and circumstance your child would grow up to realise that you just went out and had sex with some randomer (or a series of randomers) to get pregnant.

Honestly what man would even go along with this. Sex without a condom is one thing, but they are unlikely to agree to ejaculate inside you. Nothing wrong with just getting donor sperm and skipping the relationship part for now

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DillAte · 01/08/2022 21:01

I don't really have much to add, but your point around identity issues is an astute one which I rarely see considered by other posters in threads like this.
I wasn't sure about the reality of this so I wondered if there was a Reddit community centres around this. Turns out there is (/r/donorconceived/).
It's definitely worth having a read if this is a route you're serious about going down.

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Cally70 · 01/08/2022 21:03

@Starlight38 I responded on your previous thread. I'm a single mother by choice to two children. My advice would be to just go for it. Don't waste your money on egg freezing. You could freeze embryos if you're lucky enough to have any good enough to freeze, but if you want a baby/babies, then I think you should just do it. You might be lucky and it work first time; you might be unlucky and it take several attempts.

You have the rest of your life to have a relationship. You don't have the luxury of time if you do want to be a mother.

I hope you can find a way through

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Starlight38 · 01/08/2022 21:06

@Cyberworrier thanks so much for your reply. it's so rubbish isn't! have you had your fertility tested too? If you're mid 30s maybe it's worth getting your eggs frozen as they say better before 35. I wish I had it done then!

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Starlight38 · 01/08/2022 21:10

@newbienel thanks for your reply. I haven't heard of that podcast but will have a look. Did you end up going solo?

The fertility consultant at the Lister said to me that if I was his sister and he had to tell her what to do he'd say freeze eggs and crack on with dating. He said that it wouldn't be a guarentee but a decent back up plan

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Cyberworrier · 01/08/2022 21:12

I went through fertility tests with my husband that said I was fine, he was the problem...that was a year ago when I was 34. I'm now 35. And don't feel I can handle making decisions RE egg freezing right now with divorce and house stuff, it just feels too much, expense and emotion and time wise. I know I will need to get on it soon if I want to. I'm starting taking supplements and trying to exercise reduce booze etc.
It does suck doesn't it! Best wishes to you xx

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Starlight38 · 01/08/2022 21:13

TheYearOfSmallThings · 01/08/2022 20:37

It's different when born from a one night stand, at least you know your mother met the guy and they had a night of passion etc.

If you are considering that as a better option than using a donor I would think again. Given your age and circumstance your child would grow up to realise that you just went out and had sex with some randomer (or a series of randomers) to get pregnant.

@TheYearOfSmallThings no I'm not considering this but I'm saying I wonder how it must be for a child when they know their parents never even met.

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Starlight38 · 01/08/2022 21:17

MsBallen · 01/08/2022 20:38

Hi op, so sorry you are in this predicament. It sounds like you have had a lucky escape re the ex. He obviously was stringing you along and doesn't seem bothered by the break up at all. Whilst it is possible to meet someone online and have the fairytale romance and get married and have babies I will be honest, at this stage at 38 with identified ovarian issues i would personally go alone with a donor, especially as to meet someone you need to get to know them and if they too are late thirties/older without kids they may not want them at all, and that's more time wasted. You can join loads of forums and do meet ups with other people who have donor conceived children there's even a topic on here with parents of donor conceived children. As for freezing eggs it's not worth it the success rate is so so low as to be pointless, freezing embryos is a better success rate, freezing eggs is just throwing your money down the drain. Would you consider egg donors if you don't get viable embryos? Good 🤞

@MsBallen @ thanks for your reply. Yeah it does seem like he wasn't bothered doesn't it. I do think if he really loved me like he claimed to have, he wouldn't have let me go like this. urgh. I expect in no time he'll be on the apps, fancy free .

It's just mentally a tough one taking the plunge and going solo. I always had this dream of meeting someone. feel this ex has basically shat on my dreams

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easylisten · 01/08/2022 21:19

I'm no expert but isn't freezing eggs really expensive? Also if not likely to work it is worth the expense? It's a tricky dilemma for at age 38 you really are at a cross roads fertility wise. A sperm donor may fix your urge for a family but how would that affect your child in later life psychologically?

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Starlight38 · 01/08/2022 21:22

MoscowDragon8 · 01/08/2022 20:38

l am sorry you find yourself in this situation.
I am probably the worst person to be giving advice as I have had 6 children (one stillborn and 5 living ) but my two youngest I had in mid 30s and early 40s. I got married quite young and children were not my priority until my first was stillborn and it destroyed me.
I can't 100% relate to your fertility situation but in my late teens I was told I might never have children when a steroid treatment after orthopaedic surgery on my injured knee left my hormones in a mess.

i went through a pretty shitty divorce a few years ago and although more children were not my number one priority my current husband (who also had children in a previous relationship, not married but 20 yrs together) and he was open to more children. We ttc and sadly lost one at 9 weeks and then had our baby in 2020.
there are a lot of men out there in their 40s who want children, I am sure you will meet someone. I know a few personally and my friends have met men who actively want children and don't have any yet.

  1. if you feel like freezing eggs and can do it it might be a good idea
  2. freezing embryos is more tricky depending on how you feel about potentially having to destroy them (personally I couldn't)
  3. definitely hope of meeting someone.
also I know a couple of women who are single mothers by choice (I might be wrong but it's almost a movement of sorts) who did go down the road of sperm bank and are very happy with their decision.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

@MoscowDragon8 thanks for your message. I'm so sorry to hear about the still birth, that's really sad.

It's good that you met someone else later on. I think this is what scares me, not meeting anyone if I go down the solo route.

It is a difficult one re the embryos, maybe that's why I'm debating over it so much. The idea of destroying them seems awful. I listened to a thing on the radio about this and lots of women end up ignoring the letters from the clinic as can't bring themselves to say to destroy them, so the clinic eventually destroys them anyway if they never ever get back to them. really horrible to have to decide

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bumpytrumpy · 01/08/2022 21:26

Thought about name changing for this but CBA.

My gut instinct is in your position I would get out there dating & TTC asap. Online apps etc. Like TTC on date 2 / instantly... unless they wear a condom they're not saying "no baby" in my view. Ideally pick someone with a sensible job they can't deny the salary of - teacher, doctor etc.

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Starlight38 · 01/08/2022 21:26

Ikeameatballs · 01/08/2022 20:43

You’ve done the right thing to end it with your recent partner who was neither invested in you nor in having children.

Either make peace with the idea that you might never have children and look for a relationship because it’s what you want for you or go donor route. Would you need to freeze embryos? Could you just go for it now?

@Ikeameatballs it's depressing he wasn't invested. I suppose if he was he really wouldn't have let me go would he? urgh what a selfish pig stringing me along.

I guess the reason I thought freeze them is so it can give me a bit of time to see what happens. Ideally I want to meet someone and have children with them, but there's every chance I end up meeting another time waster and then it's too late. ah I just don't know anymore, it's all a total mess tbh

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Starlight38 · 01/08/2022 21:29

Lotusflower16 · 01/08/2022 20:47

Hi there,

I am sorry you are going through this. It's really tough.
I would advise against freezing your eggs, especially at your age. It's more expensive and as a previous poster pointed out, the success rate are really low. I would take the sperm donor route. Meeting someone new might happen, but that will put on hold TTCing for a while because probably they won't be ready to start right away. Unfortunately, there is no way to know if you can get pregnant easily or not and I am telling you this from my experience. I am 39, I have been trying for 4 years, 3 failed IVFs and no baby yet.
You don't need to decide now, take your time, read some more and decide what's best for you.
Good luck!

@Lotusflower16 thanks for your message. Do you mind me asking was it also reduced ovarian reserve for you? I've never TTC so haven't a clue what would happen. are you with a london clinic by any chance? I've been researching them and struggling to choose one

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