Tag Archives: Donor Sperms

Preparing for your IVF treatment

Your Emotional Preparedness:

There are many complex emotions that you will be encountering as you are anticipating your IVF cycle. If you are using donor eggs, donor sperm, or a surrogate, the emotions that you have will be even more splintered, as you also must consider the weight of genetics in this equation.

Before you proceed with IVF, you will want to speak with a psychotherapist that is trained in infertility. There are some very natural concerns that you will have and feelings that you will be confronted with. Your therapist can give you gentle guidance as you navigate through these new features, in your pursuit of pregnancy.

Some emotions that you can expect to have are:

• Loss or mourning over lost pregnancies, cycles that failed before and possibly even the loss of your ovaries. If you are having IVF, there is a strong likelihood that you have encountered a great loss to get there. It is natural that you will feel grief, as you are anticipating your cycle.

• Fear of not being a “real” parent is another very normal emotion that you may experience as you are preparing for your IVF cycle. Your child will not be any less than your child, and you will be no less their mother. You’ll still be the one they turn to, when they fall off their first bike. You’re just like any other pregnant woman, only you will have fought harder to get there.

. Being afraid that it won’t work after all of the time, money and emotions that you’ve invested in the procedure is natural. The truth is, it may not work and you need to understand that prior to moving forward. Your counselor will help guide you in this matter.

. You may feel scared that you will let down your donor, if they are a friend or family member. You may feel as though you are personally disappointing someone, who went through an enormous quest to help you, if the cycle fails. It’s important to know that you have no control over the outcome and they have been counseled in the possibilities of a failed cycle, prior to the retrieval.

Don’t be concerned if you start to question the decision to utilize IVF, donor eggs or sperm. When you are faced with a huge decision it’s not unusual to falter now and then. This is a big step and it takes some getting used to.

Finally, after all of these concerns and emotions, you may also feel something you haven’t felt in a long time; you may feel hope. Donor eggs may not be a certainty and IVF may not be 100% successful; but you can permit yourself to enjoy a dash of hope, in your anticipation.

Your Physical Preparedness:

As your cycle approaches, there are a few things that you can do to prepare yourself. It goes without say that you should limit your caffeine intake, eliminate smoking, and drinking alcohol. Light to moderate exercise is beneficial to both your emotional and physical well-being, which ultimately is good for your reproductive health. Consult your doctor before you start a new fitness plan and it’s important to remember that a rigorous routine should be omitted.

Remember that you’re not just preparing for IVF, you’re preparing for a pregnancy. It’s recommended that women who are attempting pregnancy begin taking folic acid, prior to conception and you may want to include prenatal vitamins, in your daily routine. This will create the best environment for your fetus.

A diet that is high in leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, calcium as well as protein, is optimal for your pregnancy. You may want to talk to your doctor or nutritionist about foods that would be most beneficial to you, during your pregnancy, or even to help you build a pre-pregnancy meal plan, to prepare you for conception. Do not begin any restrictive diets, such as low-calorie or low-carbohydrate. Though it’s not ideal to be overweight in pregnancy, this is not the time to start a weight loss plan. You can read more about fertility enhancing food on –  https://therotundaramblings.wordpress.com/2008/09/27/foods-that-make-you-fertile/

The month prior to your transfer your doctor may ask you to participate in a mock cycle, to show that you and your donor respond properly to your respective hormone therapies. The endometrium used to be accessed via biopsy, but this technology did not prove itself reliable. Today you will most likely have an ultrasound about 10-12 days into your estrogen-enhanced cycle to measure your endometrius.

You may need to start birth control pills to regulate your cycle so that you can synchronize with your donor’s. You may also be asked to use a gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist, which inhibits the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge; so that your own cycle does not get canceled and the uterine lining is ready for the implanted embryo.

You may still feel unprepared when it is time to begin your cycle, but that is completely normal as well. You may never feel completely prepared. The important part is that you have made your decision and are headed toward the next step in your pursuit to have your child.

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Equal access to IVF for lesbian couples and single women

New laws that grant lesbian couples and single women equal access to IVF have been passed by MPs voting in Victoria’s Parliament. The Assisted Reproductive Treatment bill was approved by 47 votes to 34, in a three day debate that lasted in the early hours. It will now be debated in the Upper House before it can become law. 

MP’s were given a free conscience vote on the bill, which included measures to permit the posthumous use of gametes – such as using a dead partner’s sperm – with many opposing the bill on grounds of the welfare of the child. Labor MP Marlene Kairouz, who voted against the bill, told MPs: ‘Bringing a child into the world without ever having the opportunity to meet both its parents shows disregard for its wellbeing, its needs and dignity.’

The reform comes after a four-year review conducted by the Victorian Law Reform Commission in to the current artificial reproductive technology (ART) laws in Victoria contained in the Infertility Treatment Act, which the new bill will repeal. ‘This is about updating our laws, bringing them into the 21st century but ensuring that the interests of children born of these arrangements are absolutely paramount,’ said the Attorney-General, Rob Hulls, before last week’s debate. It will also mean Victorian laws meet federal discrimination legislation by ensuring all women have equal access to fertility treatment. At present, lesbians and single parents have to travel to other states to receive fertility treatment. The bill also give greater parental rights to gay couples and parents of surrogate children. 

Rainbow Families Council spokeswoman Felicity Marlowe expressed her support for the proposed measures. ‘What we’d be really wanting to see is that people understand that the spirit of this bill is that the rights and best interests of children are upheld and we believe that voting in favour of it in the upper house will ensure that our children are not second class citizens,’ she said. 

The Attorney-General dubbed the bill ‘good reform’. He said, ‘When we’re dealing with social reform and particularly, obviously, conscience votes there are always passionate views that are held on both sides of the house.’

Posted by: Goral Gandhi, MSc

                  Laboratory Director

                  Rotunda – The Center For Human Reproduction

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‘Internet sperm’ founder jailed

John Gonzalez, the founding director of a controversial UK-based online company – ‘ManNotIncluded.com’, which delivered fresh sperm to women for DIY-insemination – was sentenced last week at the Wood Green Crown Court in London to sixteen months incarceration for five counts of fraudulent activities. Judge Juliet May QC said that he had ‘siphoned off thousands of
pounds’ in a ‘sustained course of fraudulent conduct’ and banned him from being a company director for five years.
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) led the investigation, which uncovered shocking business practices – including one client receiving sperm in a dirty coffee canister, while two former employees describe how women were given sperm from donors with completely different characteristics than requested. Gonzalez was successfully
prosecuted for lying to officials, forging documents and falsifying debts to evade relinquishing assets to creditors while illegally embezzling those funds to support an opulent lifestyle. Ultimately, he pleaded guilty to two counts of fraudulent trading, one count of financial misconduct, one count of forgery and one count of perjury.
Gonzalez launched the online business June 2002 amidst stormy criticism, claiming the website was the world’s first to courier fresh sperm and insemination equipment directly to lesbian, single and medically infertile couples who paid to register on the site, charging up to £7,000 for delivery. Some critics viewed the service as a threat to the family unit and dubbed the site ‘morals not included’.
Gonzalez’s service illustrated a loophole in current UK regulation, which governs frozen gamete storage and use, but not ‘fresh’ sperm. Medical practitioners and government authorities warned that this kind of service poses a potential threat to women’s and the resulting child’s health because the fresh sperm is not screened for any diseases. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology 1990 Act requires sperm donations to be quarantined for up to 180 days for testing. Some infections such as HIV may take up to three months to incubate, meaning that an HIV test at the time of the donation may not detect the virus even though the donor might be carrying it.
The service also presented potential legal complications. Under UK law, donors whose sperm is obtained through HFEA licensed clinics are not the legal parents of any resulting offspring. However, the legal position on the parentage of children born via sperm donated outside of HFEA license is unclear.
Gonzalez maintains that ManNotIncluded.com boasted 20 pregnancies and more than 5,000 customers. In December 2004, Gonzalez illegally liquidated the company with debt totalling over £220,000 and then continued to trade under a slightly different name. Meanwhile, he embezzled £185,000 from these company accounts.

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Many women would ask a male friend to father their child

A survey of 3,103 men and women, has found that 45 per cent of women surveyed would consider asking a male friend to father their child in the absence of a suitable partner.

The report by the company reveals that both men and women have concerns about fertility issues, with two thirds of the women polled that were not in current relationships expressing doubts over their ability to conceive naturally, and 26 per cent of men voicing similar concerns.

The most intriguing trend to come out of the survey was women’s willingness to consider alternative means to conception in the absence of a suitable partner. Women between the ages of 28 and 31 were most likely to entertain the idea of turning to a male friend in absence of a partner, while half of the single female survey respondents thought about meeting a partner on a frequent basis. Many women questioned also made it clear that they would consider a ‘second best’ option in the event that they were unable to find their ‘ideal’ partner.

Psychologist Linda Papadopoulos commented on the changing social norms of parenting, which were challenging the conventional nuclear family unit. She stated that ‘reconstituted families, same sex families, and single parents are much more prevalent these days, and rather than ascribing to the ‘norm’ it seems that women and men are more flexible with their definition of ‘family”.

Posted by : Goral Gandhi, MSc,

                   Laboratory Director,

                   Rotunda – Center for Human Reproduction (Pvt) Ltd

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UK survey reveals that three-quarters of infertile patients would consider treatment abroad

An overwhelming majority of infertility patients in the UK said they would contemplate travelling abroad for fertility treatment, according to the first comprehensive study on the strength and motivations behind the fertility tourism industry. Among the 339 infertile patients who responded to an online poll conducted by Infertility Network UK, 76 per cent stated they would be willing to seek fertility treatment outside the UK with 70 per cent citing their reasons would be to avoid higher costs and long wait-lists at UK clinics. Infertility Network UK performed the survey for this year’s National Infertility Day on Saturday, 19 July 2008, when it announced its findings at a conference in central London.

 Other popular reasons provided by the patients for why they might prefer to receive fertility treatment abroad were high success rates (61 per cent) and the greater availability of donor eggs and sperm (54 per cent). The UK has suffered a decline in the number of egg and sperm donors since removing donor anonymity by law in 2005. The 24 per cent opposed to treatment in overseas clinics were commonly concerned about lower standards, lack of regulation and language-barrier difficulties.

 Clare Brown, Chief Executive of Infertility Network UK, blames the current ‘appalling’ difficulties – such as ‘postcode lottery’ arbitrary provision – that infertile couples face in Britain in order to access fertility assistance: ‘If the NHS funded three full cycles of treatment as recommended by NICE, many couples would not be forced to consider going abroad for treatment’, she said. She warned that regulations can be totally different for foreign fertility clinics and it is ‘absolutely vital’ for individuals to do ‘thorough research beforehand’.

 Yet the study revealed an 88 per cent level of satisfaction from those who received treatment abroad, reportedly not only due to lower costs, shorter waiting-lists and successful pregnancy rates but also due to general staff attitude, atmosphere and state of the facilities. Clare Brown added that she hopes ‘that clinics in the UK take into account the findings of this survey and learn from the good experiences many couples have had at clinics abroad’.

 Among those who were dissatisfied, 47 per cent experienced problems due to language and communication difficulties and 37 per cent due to unregulated practice. Prime Minister Gordon Brown stated, ‘The Government is working directly with Infertility Network UK, as well as experts in the NHS to ensure the needs of people with fertility problems are recognised and addressed’.

 25 July 2008 marked the 30th birthday of Louise Brown, who was the world’s first IVF-conceived child born in England. Thirty years onward, roughly 3.5 million IVF-assisted babies have been born worldwide, averaging at least 200,000 annually. However, infertile individuals in the UK are among the least likely in the developed world to receive IVF with one of the lowest annual IVF performance rates in Europe – under 700 per million Britons.

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