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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
Just wondering if there are any other lesbians trying to start a family using donor sperm.

Myself and female partner are due to begin IVF sometime fairly soon at Kings, after having 4 unsuccessful IUI attempts at Kings this autumn. We are using frozen donor sperm from an anonymous donor.

Kings + staff have been great, really impressed with how inclusive and respectful they have been with us. However, they use really low sperm counts, some of our inseminations there were only 1 million moving sperm and we had problems with the catheter falling out and being misplaced when pushing the sperm in. We've only had 4 natural IUI attempts and are being advised to go straight to IVF, which seems very quick to embark on a very weighty, invasive and expensive procedure such as IVF - but the success rates are much higher than IUI.

Just wondering if anyone else had any experiences to share.
Thanks,
Edie
 

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Hi Edith!
DH and I have friends in the same position as you, it has given the two of us much courage to see our friends cope so well with DI and produce a wonderful little boy (with another one on the way). 
If you don't mind me asking did you try to match your or DP's characteristics?
If it helps to know our friends child is sooo much like their 'other Mum" because he has picked up her mannerisms even though they didn't match to her. (like I said it gives me hope).
Good luck to you and your DP.
Lizi
 

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Hi we are still doing IUI at Nottingham - it did work second try with clomid - but ended in M/C. We have also had problems with poor sperm on at least two ocassions - but have also had some excellent stuff too.

Have you discussed the possibility of doing clomid/IUI or injectables/IUI rather than going straight to IVF?

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Lizibee and Jules,
Thanks for your messages!
Lizibee - we had a bit of a think about this, but in the end matched the donor to me as the potential birth mother and not my partner - my partner and I look very different (me dark, she fair, me tall, she short etc..) but thought that to make things equal, if I give birth to the child, my partner will do the majority of the childcare in the early years and so have am equally strong relationship+convey ways of being to the child which will enhance ressemblance. What's your situation?

Jules, thanks for your suggestions. We have a meeting with our consultant next week and will put forward these ideas. Good luck at Nottingham. Keep in touch,
Edith
 

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Edith - I think the signature says it all! I feel like I'm still an amateur as I haven't even made it to a 2ww yet, may be next time :-\
Lizi
 

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Hi Edie, my girlriend and I will be starting donor IUI in April (at the London Women's Clinic). I don't have any experience to share as yet, but there's a board where there are a group of us all ttc through various forms of donor insemination that you might like to join
http://groups.msn.com/LesbianInseminationSupport/welcome.msnw

I agree with Jules, definitely ask about trying Clomid/triggers/ultrasound scanning with IUI before you get pushed into moving onto IVF (unless age/early menopause is an issue). 4 IUI attempts must feel like a real lack of success when you are going through it, but statistically it's completely normal to have 5-6 attempts at natural IUI before pregnancy is achieved.

We're not really planning on matching the donor characteristics with either of us (I'm fair, she's dark), as I view it as a lottery as to which genetic characteristcs will come through in the child. We're leaning more towards Karen's colouring, but only because that's what more donors have anyway! The key things for us are a) proven fertility, b) educational level achieved (as an indicator of intelligence and c) a leaning towards creative interests.

We've got some good friends where the non-biological mother is the primary carer, and their son seems to have picked up at least as many mannerisms from her as he has genetically from her partner (or indeed from the donor). Nature does play a part, but so does nurture...
 

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Hi Everyone

Great idea to set up this thread.  My DP and I have been posting on the IUI Girls thread but it would be great to hear from other lesbians going through the same thing.

We have been using the Homerton Hospital fertility clinic which has been very good indeed.

Anyway, I won't ramble on now becuase I'm supposed to be working(!!!) but I'll catch up with you all soon.

Victoria
xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi everyone,
Happy International Women's Day to you all!

Nismat thanks for the link to the MSN group, very interesting. I knew there were more lesbian mums to be out there! I agree, 4 IUIs isn't a lot, hetero couples get a year of trying with fresh sperm before being considered for IVF. We are finding it very frustrating only being offered the 4 attempts, and then having a 3 month wait just to get an appointment to talk to our consultant about what to do next. Anyway, we are seeing her on Friday so it's come round at last.

Victoria, good to have your message. What sperm counts are you getting at the Homerton. One of ours was 6 million but the rest were 1 million, which is SO low.

Just wondering if any of you have had problems getting donor sperm recently? I am just worrying that there may be a great shortage now with the new legislation in April that gives access to the personal details of the donor.

Many thanks, and all the best to everyone,
Edith
 

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Yep there are sperm problems! It is quite worrying at times - and other times there are just other things to worry about when TTC! Out of the 6 donated vials of sperm we have had -we have been unhappy with two - one being 4 million, 50% motility and P3 - the other being 10 million, 52% motility P2 (7% rapid forward progression). It all seems to be a bit hit and miss and there seems to be few clinic guidlines and to what is acceptable post thaw. Sometimes I feel like it is a bit luck of the draw and that you get what your given - not great service esp when you are paying for your treamtment! I think there will be a greater shortage after legislation hits and once all the older supplies have run out - my clinic is using sperm from a defunct clinic which is five years old. I think ultimately what will happen is that sperm will have to be imported and this will increase the cost of treatment - I understand that one local private clinic are going to increase the cost of sperm because they are now going to import it (but on the good side it will probably be better quality  ;)

Hi Nismat - nice to see you round these parts!

Hi Victoria - be nice to get a thread going.

Lizbee - loe the new photo - it's nce to actually see pics of people on here  :).
 

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Hi, thought I'd join this thread too after posting elsewhere! I am inbetween treatment at the moment after failing to ovulate at all on Clomid. I am awaiting a tube test and then it on to injections to get me ovulating and iui. In the mean time, its on with the weight loss and fitness regime!!! Good luck to all of you!
 

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Hi everyone

Sorry I haven't posted for a little while.

Sperm counts - we had 4 million or 4.5 million each of our first three attempts but on the fourth go we asked the embrylogist which of the donors on our list had the best sperm.  They pointed us in the direction of one bloke and that time we had 8 million (and got a BFP).

If you can get hold of the embryologist then have a chat with them because ours were really happy to help.

I think the 1 million or 4 million or 8 million number they give you is the number left after all the dodgy ones have been taken away so it will always be a lot lower than sperm counts for fresh sperm.  Also some don't survive the freezing.  Howvere we were told that 4 million was good for donor sperm.

Also (TMI coming up...) I got really brave and DP and I had sex  ^hump^ after the last (successful) basting.  I can't say it was the most romantic time we've ever had cos I was really freaked out by the sperm sloshing around but I ploughed on and now would like to claim that the success was entirely down to my technique!!!  ^roflmao^ ^roflmao^ ^roflmao^

How are you all doing with your treatment or impending treatment at the moment?  What do you think of your clinics?

Homerton Hospital (Hackney, London) has been fantastic.  They are really cool about same-sex couples and have always made themselves available whenever we have needed their help or advice.

Hope you're all okay.

Love Victoria
xxx
 

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Hi Victoria in London!
Congratulations on the bfp! wow! My clinic has been absolutely fantastic - all the staff make us feel really welcome and at ease - we could not ask for more! As for treatment, my pcos is being particularly stubborn and not responding to any tablets! So - we are going down the injectable route, which to be honest fills me with horror - all those needles etc! Still, needs must! I am hoping some drastic weight loss will shock my system into doing something too! Looks like spring has sprung - off to do some gardening now!! :)
 

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Hi all! Herbal tea don't worry about the injections - I am sure they will work and the pain will be forgotten when you see some nice juicy eggs on the sonogram! My partner is borderline PCOS - and has been doing injectables for donating her eggs (not to me) and has been told she has 20 eggs! I am sure inj will get your ovaries going as well.

I am waiting to start my first inj cycle in May - and I can't say that I am looking forward to the injections (in fact I scream sometimes when I watch her inject herself - she does not let me watch anymore!), but I am looking forward to hopefully producing more than one lonely egg! At least my partner will have had lots of practice of inj herslf by then, so she should be an expert when she gets round to injecting me. 

When do you start your inj cycle?

Jules
 

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Hi,
Not sure when I will start, but hopefully soon!! It would be nice to actually get my stubborn ovaries to do something! I am waiting for an appointment at the moment for a hysterosalpingogram (nice word!) to check my tubes are functioning. So, with a bit of luck, we could be cycling by the summer! Whey hey! I just can't wait to get going after the dissapointment of metformin and then clomid not working.
Are you and your partner ttc at the same time?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi all,
Congratulations to Victoria for your BFP ^congrats^!!! Wonderful news. It lifts my spirits to know that it can work for some people.

Hello Herbaltea and Jules - good luck with the needles and your treatment! What clinic are you with Herbaltea? We are booked to start IVF in June and I'm dreading the injections although my GF is a nurse and really looking forward to showing me her technique!

Kings wouldn't let us continue with IUI because of sperm shortages and 4 BFNs, so we are straight to IVF. Feels a bit drastic, as I feel we just need more time with more sperm but we'll see. We didn't have any choice really.

Sometimes doubts run through my mind about whether we are making the right decision trying to have a baby. It seemed different when we were doing IUI for some reason, but IVF is seems such an all consuming, uphill struggle just to get pregnant. I worry that the child will only end up hating us and spend years in therapy because of having 2 mums.

Don't know if anyone else feels the same at times? I haven't told my parents yet and am a little nervous about their reaction I think. Probably some internalized homophobia going on for me today ...

GF's birthday tomorrow, going to Brighton for the day 8). Have great weekends everyone  ^sunny^.
love Edith
 

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Victoria, many congratulations on your BFP
;D ;D ;D

Edith said:
Sometimes doubts run through my mind about whether we are making the right decision trying to have a baby. It seemed different when we were doing IUI for some reason, but IVF is seems such an all consuming, uphill struggle just to get pregnant. I worry that the child will only end up hating us and spend years in therapy because of having 2 mums.

Don't know if anyone else feels the same at times? I haven't told my parents yet and am a little nervous about their reaction I think. Probably some internalized homophobia going on for me today ...
Yes, I do sometimes worry about the effect on the child and that it will end up hating us/being bullied/ resenting us because it won't have a known father. :(

However, as time has gone on (we've been en route towards ttc for 5 years now), these thoughts have become less and less, and I feel fairly positive most of the time that the most anyone can do as parents is to provide a secure and loving home environment, and do all we can to enable the child to have as "normal" a life as possible. Children will always get bullied for one reason or another, and I think that if we don't give them any reason to view themselves as different/inferior for having 2 mums, they should be more able to cope with any issues that arise. We also plan to be as open as possible with doctors/schools/playgroups etc., right from the start, just by stating our situation in (hopefully) an unobtrusive manner, and letting people get on with it. If they have a problem, tough. I should add that we currently live in a very traditional country village, so we will be seen as pretty unusual :( , however, we are planning to move to our nearest town (still very far from a gay mecca) this summer.

Also, I've been reading research stuff, and it really does seem to show that children brought up by 2 mothers are often actually far more balanced individuals than those in traditional families :)
And as Dr Robert Winston (he of Child of Our Time/fertility expert fame) said when asked about lesbians having families: "how can you go wrong when a child has 2 nurturers/care-givers?" ;D

Hope you had a good time in Brighton
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi all,
Feeling a bit more upbeat and courageous! Thanks Nismat for your thoughts - it must be hard being in a country village - are you able to be out as a couple?

Hows your pregnancy progressing Victoria and your treatment Jules?

If anyone is London based, there is an April get-together for lesbians in Oval, South London that I discovered on the MSN lesbian insemination link that Nismat mentioned in one of her first replies on this thread. Sorry to exclude those of you who are not london based but if you are, it would be lovely to see you.

Happy Easter all
love Edith
 

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:) Hello all!
Just caught up on the posts - interesting to read about 'country villages' and di/same sex parents etc.

We moved to a 'very' traditional english village 2 summers ago! I was quite apprehensive about how we would be percieved, but most have been fantastic! The only thing that has worried me throughout our di journey, is the reaction of the locals. The thought of having to tell people i'm pregnant etc - and being able to see the questions/shock in their eyes. I am quite a sensitive type and I do worry about what people think, but after giving it some thought - it's our lives, our family, and I don't want to be 80 sitting in my rocking chair wondering what might have been if I had been braver!

We have decided to be totally up front in how our baby was conceived - well to the closest people we know in the village and by the true nature of villages, word will soon get around I'm sure!

I just hope we get to the point where we can tell people i'm pregnant  ::)!!! Still awaiting hsg appt.

Happy Easter all!  ^daisy^
 

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Hi everyone,

was not going to come clean that I am in a gay relationship, but now I have found you lot, I just cant help it!!!!

I have been looking for people to talk to who know what I am going through and I think I may have just found them!!!

Currently about to start my fourth IUI. Day one will probably be end of this week, beginning of next so should be having IUI mid April!!! Having treatment at Midlands Fertility services.

Anyone else a member of Pinkparents???

Kerry. :)

 

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^hello^ Bagpuss (Kerry!) Glad you found us all! i'm not a member of pink parents, but have seen the website etc. Best of luck with your 4th iui - I just can't wait to get to the stage of having iui and getting started!
 
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