Fertility Network UK
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Looking for support and advise around using a sperm donor for IUI

Hi all,

I am new and this is my first post. I am looking for some advise around using a sperm donor for IUI.

My husband has been diagnosed as infertile and we have decided to use a sperm donor. We meet criteria for NHS treatment and our consultant has recommended 3 rounds of IUI and then IVF if this is not successful.

There are currently no donors available so we have decided to purchase donor sperm privately from a HFEA approved clinic.

I was wondering if anyone had done this and could maybe explain about the process. We have received a top of the list appointment for the end of this month despite the consultant telling us that there is a 3 month wait to start treatment. We are unsure when we should order the donor sperm and if we can use a donor from another country.

I am just so confused about what will happen next and our consultant is useless and just always says we will discuss it at your next appointment.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Hi, when my husband and I made the decision we wanted to use donor eggs our clinic sent us for implications counselling which was brilliant. It helped us think about issues associated with different donor types and helped us reach a decision that was right for us both. If you use a donor in the UK, your child can ask for their identifying information once they are 18. If you have treatment abroad the donors are often anonymous. This was something we had to think long and hard about. Donor Conception Network is also a really helpful charity. They have a website with helpful resources and you can join up to access other materials/workshops etc. You can give them a call and one of the volunteers can have a chat with you or put you in touch with someone who has had a similar experience to yourself. Wishing you lots of luck whatever decision you make x

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Hi, I’m literally just back from our first appointment to use donor sperm for IUI so hopefully what they told us might help you.

The hospital were really helpful and explained that they only use the European Sperm Bank. We’ve been sent home with the log in details to have a look around it and then we are to call the embryologists to discuss what donor we want and then they will reserve it for us. It takes 7-10 days and is delivered to the hospital (unless we choose an American donor). I’ve not logged in yet to the sperm bank but it feels slightly surreal to be internet shopping for sperm. Definitely not what I usually like to spend my money on!!

Good luck x

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Thank you for the reply. I am starting to panic as we have our top of the list appointment in a few weeks but the consultant hasn’t explained any of the process to us.

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Try not to worry if you can. One thing is for sure they can’t move forward unless they have the sperm in the hospital so they must intend to sort that at the next appointment.

I asked whether we needed to get the sperm sorted ASAP and they said that it was delivered really quickly so we could decide whenever we were ready.

I understand you need to speak to the embryologist first to tell you how much you need and what to look out for.

Maybe have a look at a few sperm banks and then call the hospital to see how much you need and are they ok with that sperm bank x

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Hi

I am going to be in the same position as you and your husband I was just wondering if you are getting treatment through the nhs or privately. Me and my partner are still deciding if this is the route that we are going to go down and wondered if this would be our next step if your going via the nhs. Have you managed to find many matches on the bank?

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We are getting our treatment through the NHS as it is available in our area (Teesside) if you do not have any other children. There is some good stories on dcnetwork.org from families that used a donor that might help you in making a decision.

The NHS sperm bank attached to the clinic has no donors but they have said that we can buy donor sperm privately and still have NHS treatment which we plan to do from the London Sperm Bank as it is HFEA aproved.

Good luck

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Thanks for the information yes we are going through nhs and I was just wondering what happened if they donor bank attached to the clinic didn’t have any suitable matches. I assume we would be in a similar position that if we couldn’t get any from our clinic we could buy privately and still get the treatment through the nhs. Good luck too

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I will phone tomorrow and ask at least then I feel like I am doing something. Thanks for the advice.

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Hi there, it is a weird situation to find yourself in but honestly it becomes quite normal when you get used to the idea. We have such strange views of donor conception in the UK compared to other countries; we’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

As per other posts I would really recommend implications counselling. This helped us work through some of the really natural thoughts and feelings around using a donor. This should be free if your using an NHS service.

We’ve used the European Sperm Bank and it’s been really smooth. We took a few months to decide on a donor, mostly due to stocks being low at that time. From ordering to delivery it was five days. We ordered 5 straws. The advice from our clinic was order as many as you can afford as the delivery charge is around £500 so ideally you don’t want to have to pay that again.

Cycle 1 of unstimulated IUI failed and we’re just about to start cycle 2.

Good luck.

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