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Thread: Donor Insemination

  1. #1
    Teagan Guest

    Default Donor Insemination

    Hi all,

    This is my first post to this forum I guess my situation is a bit complicated. I try and give the shorten version. Previously I had a 5 year marriage. During that marriage I was trying to conceive actively for approximately 2 years.

    I found the process of trying to conceive during that marriage very frustrating and upsetting. I remember being very naive, I believed that pretty much as soon as I stopped taking contraception I would fall pregnant...I didn't. My (now ex) husband didn't want to go to a fertility specialist believing that it would just eventually happen. The marriage ended in 2001.

    Since then I have been in one other major relationship, for the best part of 12 months in that relationship I did not use any contraception and did not fall pregnant.

    I have been desperate for many years now to have a baby. I am not currently in a relationship and nor do I plan to be in one anytime soon. I have made the decision that I feel financially and emotionally secure enough to look at conceiving a child as a sole parent. I realise that the notion of intentionally becoming a sole parent may be somewhat controversial, but I am unswayed by other opinions on the matter.

    I began looking at fertility clinics in Sydney to first examine why I have been unable to conceive and then secondly to hopefully attempt donor insemination. I was quite suprised to discover that most of the large ivf/fertility clinics in Sydney do not seem to currently have any donors.



    One of the clinics mentioned that one of the reasons that there are so few donors may be due to proposed legislation in NSW. I was wondering if anyone knew what it is about the legislation that has caused such a shortage? Or if the legislation will affect the provision of AC for single women?

    I did find a clinic that said that they do have donors and I have made an appointment in the coming week to go and see a doctor there. I am totally new to fertility treatment and AC. I'm really hoping that I am not totally infertile.

  2. #2

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    Teagan,

    Sorry about your situation. I can understand how frustrating it is to be wanting a baby so badly and wondering why your body won't do what it should. I've long since come to the conclusion that getting pregnant is not the cakewalk we've been led to believe it is for all these years. I for one regretted spending time on the pill when we were first married because after I came off it, we had unprotected sex for three years with no resulting pregnancy.

    Without knowing too much about the legislation in NSW, I suspect it may be about making donor identity available to children who result from IVF gamete donation ... a bit like the adoption situation. Hope someone from NSW will correct me if I am wrong.

    As far as I know, the clinics in NSW do not discriminate on the basis of marital status or anything else so I don't imagine you will have a problem with that angle of it.

    I'm hoping your upcoming appointment will answer a lot of questions for you. Best of luck with everything.

    Melissa

  3. #3
    Teagan Guest

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    Thanks Melissa for your response.

    I am looking forward to the appointment

    That would make sense about the donor identity issues. I remember that Victoria brought in some kind of legislation along those lines (I think).

    From what I can gather the main problem for single and lesbian women in NSW is that at some clinics they are not eligible for medicare rebates for AC because they are classed as "socially infertile". But I don't believe that all clinics make this distinction.

  4. #4

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    Hi Teagan
    I am currently in the position you hope to be in. Reading your story I felt I was reading my own. =D>
    My ex-husband and I tried unsuccessfully TTC from 1990 - 2001. We went our separate ways, he has since remarried. I turned 40 and tripped off overseas for a month. I too have had another relationship but with no future attached to it. I will turn 43 next month. On my 42nd birthday I made the final decision (after giving it serious thought for the 3 years after my separation) to embark on this journey alone. I am financially secure, have a stable job (as stable as any can be), am very comfortable in my own skin and love my life and my home. I could go on about that but won't bore you. I have very strong thoughts on bringing a child into a 'couple's' home where that home is less than happy. :smt062
    Anyway, I approached IVF Australia in October last year. They have a clinic on the Central Coast. 15 years ago I was with SIVF and the travelling was difficult. In those days more visits to the clinic were required. I used to have to start work in Gosford at 8am. I'd be on the front door step at their clinic in O'Connel street at 6am and then have to rush for the train to make it to work on time. Anyway, I had done my research on the internet before my appointment with IVF Australia. I too, was told ART for single women is OK but Medicare would not fund it because it was considered I wanted to access ART for "social" reasons. If ever there was a ridiculous expression it's that one. I would have been around $14,000 out of pocket - out of the question for me. I have to be very careful not to get on my :soapbox: here, otherwise this post will take 3 hours to read!!! Anyway, I explained where I stood ie. would the government prefer I go out, sleep around and spread disease etc etc? Dr Frank Quinn put it to their Ethics Cmte and I had a phone call at 6pm that night saying I could claim Medicare as I had a history of infertility and endometriosis. My next step was to attend counselling with Lesley in Chatswood. A lovely lady. That went well. I then sat on my hands until the government starting making noises a few months ago about slashing funding for IVF. Women over 42 being restricted to only 1 attempt (I think). Well, that put a rocket up my undies and I pulled my finger out (so to speak).
    At that time, there was only 1 donor. IVF Australia now have 3 - but only 1 who can be accessed as the straws from the other 2 are being kept for previous recipients. I think that's the current status. I have an A4 sheet of paper which describes my donor - eye colour, interests, medical history, family medical history etc. It's only one page but I have to admit, I never knew my ex's family medical history!!! From memory of what Dr Quinn told me, clinics could previously ask donors if they objected to their sperm going to single/lesbian couples. Apparently that caused discrimination problems so that question had to be removed. I think it is considered that a lot of donors only want their sperm to go to couples and because they can no longer request that, they are unwilling to donate at all. That appointment was 12 months ago though so it may have changed. If anyone out there knows more, please let me know.
    Anyway, I could go on and on about this subject but won't. I have only told some close friends (3 of which either live overseas or interstate), my sister (who lives 3 hours away) and a couple of very supportive mates here. That's why I am SOOOOO happy to have found this forum. My boss knows but went on leave 2 weeks before my transfer. I've had to sneak out for blood tests, ultrasounds etc by saying I have a medical appointment and getting a very serious look on my face so nobody asks what they're for. My trip to and from the hospital for EPU was an exercise in perserverance. I got there in the end. It is an interesting journey on your own, but it all works out.
    My ex and I had 4 ART attempts - it took me 2 years to even get him to an appointment. We also tried many, many natural therapies. He was never a willing participant - I now look back and think it was just nerves and not being able to control the result that got to him. I am much more relaxed this time as there is just me in my home with no added stress. Yes, I'd love to have a partner to share it with but just simply don't have any more time to spend looking for one who will understand!!!
    I am on an ICSI cycle. I had my EPU on 11/8, my ET on 13/8 and will have my B/T on 29/8. I am 10 DPO. AF will not set foot on my front doorstep!!!!! I ended up with 2 eggs and 1 embryo - no frosties for me. I have a lot riding on this, with one income, I just don't know if I can afford another shot at it!
    Teagan I am always here if you need/want to talk about this. So far, I have not felt totally alone in this journey. You really do need some genuine buddies who do support you and understand. I have 1 friend I considered a close one who has not contacted me at all since I began my cycle. She cannot accept that I want to bring a child into the world who may never know it's father. It's my belief that there are a lot of children in unhappy homes who are worse off. Be very careful who you tell while you are going through your cycle, there are still a lot of people who simply will not understand that undying need to have a child. You don't need to be confronted with ignorant, small-mindedness which may cause you stress during that time. I'm still happy and confident about this decision but I don't know how common this quest of ours is!!!!
    Good luck, please let me know how you go???
    Sue
    :flower:

  5. #5
    Teagan Guest

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    Hi Sue,

    It was awesome to read your story and know that there is someone else in the same position.

    I'm really hopeful for you that ICSI cycle will be a success!

    I actually spoke to IVF Australia last week about whether they had sperm donors and as you said they only have one at the moment. They also told me that the particular donor will only be making donations up to 10 families and that his donations where up to about 4 or 5 families so far...maybe your one of them (it's a small world).

    IVF Australia were also the ones who told me that I'd be considered "socially infertile" and therefore would not receieve the medicare rebate. But honestly given the amount of time I've spent trying to conceive naturally, and even though I'm currently single, I don't believe that my problem is just 'social infertility'.

    I also rang clinics such as Next Generation and Sydney IVF but both of those clinics told me that they did not currently have donors.

    Finally I rang NSW IVF and it appears as though they do have donors. I have my appointment this thursday.

    I hope you don't mind me asking, but as I have not been to a fertility clinic before, I was wondering what type of tests and questions they start you off with? How long did you see the psychlogist for? How long did it take from deciding that you wanted to proceed to the time you started the ICSI cycle? etc. I'm just so curious/nervous/excited.

  6. #6

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    Gee Teagan, I don't mind questions - I just have to put my memory cap on. That's a bit iffy at the moment - I blame it on the hormones. #-o
    I don't think the clinics have a problem with single women having access to donors - they have to comply with the government's medicare funding laws. I'm pretty sure they're not allowed to refuse you access if you are prepared to pay the full amount as that is discrimination etc etc. I also had to sign a form to say I understood I could not try to find the donor. I think the donor has to do the same. Also that I would not make a claim for money etc, he had to agree to similar things. He is allowed to know 5 things (?) - if his sperm is used, if it results in a pregnancy, if that pregnancy goes full-term, if the child has any medical conditions and I forget the other one. Those damn hormones! Trouble is, nobody knows when laws will change so what is true now, may not be true in 18 years if the child wants to find their dad - I don't have a problem with that. :smt102 It's a very complex legal issue. Laws may change inasmuch as recipient's may be told who their donor is by the clinic if they ask. Very tricky. Your clinic will advise you. Monash IVF emailed their donor info to me. Ask them - can't hurt, email them tonight!!

    Where are NSW IVF based? I sent out heaps of emails to just about every IVF clinic in Australia before my initial appt with IVFA. Monash IVF were more than happy to help and were very kind. They have a clinic in Newcastle. Check out their website - they may have one in Sydney too.

    What tests? Gee, where do I start???? It's all changed a bit in the 15 years since I first went off the pill (and then unfortunately realised I hadn't needed it in the first place!). When I was 26 I was diagnosed with endo (that was 1988). I had 2 laps to treat me for that. Funnily enough, the gyno who did those procedures was the one who did my ET last week! I hadn't seen him for around 15 years (I changed to another one because at that time we didn't have IVF clinics on the coast and I used to have to sit in a waiting room full of pregnant bellies). He works week on week off with Dr Quinn. It actually was funny, there I was in all my glory, legs where they go on that lovely chair, he with his head right THERE. He says "Hi, have we met?" LOL.

    Anyway, I've gone off track, sorry. My ex and I started TTC in 1990. As I knew I had endo (even though I'd been assured it was very mild and wouldn't cause fertility problems.....) I sought treatment after 6 months. I was put on Clomid for 9 months - even though I had perfect cycles. That didn't work. Then after a few more months we finally went to SIVF. I had GIFT (which I didn't want) because my tubes were not blocked and at that time it was considered the best new thing. Had it twice and it didn't work. We also had 2 FET's. In between all of these (I always had around a year's break - wish I hadn't now) I tried many natural therapies. I got a lot healthier but still no bub. You know the rest of my story/journey.

    :smt100 What tests will you have? This is where I am relying on memory - please any of you more recent TTCers help out here!!
    Of course they'll want your complete medical history/menstrual history. They'll check to see if you ovulate. Usually a B/T. You can get ovulation thermometers from the chemist (ah that brings back memories - taking the temp first thing in the morning then rewaking with it still in position). There are drugs which can correct ovulation problems though. Hopefully, that will be all you need, you may not even need that. You may have perfect cycles and be able to fall by just having IUI. I certainly hope so.
    Probably best if I don't try to go into detail about any more tests. I didn't have any this time. Dr Quinn looked at my history and decided ICSI was the only way for me to go - age is of the essence for me. I don't know how old you are but I am sure you have plenty of time left and chances of you being totally infertile will be negligible.

    Counselling is part of the process with all IVF recipients. It wasn't hard at all for me. As I said in my previous post, I have given this many years of thought and serious consideration. I think I was with the counsellor for around an hour and a half. It was just like having a chat with a friend really. Don't think of it as a test or whether you will "pass" or not - that's not what it's about.

    I wasted another 8 months from when I was accepted to when I finally jumped.

    My suggestion, get on the internet and learn all you can before you go for your appointment. There are decisions which were made for me that I would now have questioned. Do as I did, email lots of clinics to see what they say. And, as Melbo said, you'll have a lot of your questions answered this Thursday. Don't be afraid to ask ANYTHING!!! Don't stress about the appointment. I've been with 3 IVF clinics - on the whole, they're a pretty caring lot O
    Let me know how you go?
    Sue
    :flower:

  7. #7

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    Good luck girls. All the best with everything.

    Mel

  8. #8

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    Thanks for your wishes Melbo. =D>
    It is a very controversial topic and it helps to know there are some people out there who will at least try to understand where we're coming from... and where we're hoping to be...
    Sue
    :flower:

  9. #9

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    Sue & Teagan
    I can't begin to understand how painful it is to be your situation and how unfairly the system treats you in trying to achieve your baby dreams.

    I admire your courage and strength to got through this journey.

    Why is it fine the other end of the spectrum for numerous terminations for those without partners or those who decide (for own reasons to end a pregnancy) but not in beautiful creation of life.

    It is discrimination and makes the journey all the more unachievable with prohibitive costs.

    I know legislation is there to protect donor and recipient - but if there are so few donors because of legal scarmongering - that is cruel and sad.

    I feel for you both and I truly hope you get the chance to be mothers.

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the post Trish. Am reading it through tears - this is NOT a good day at all so far. And it's only early!

  11. #11

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    Default sue and teagon

    sue and teagon good luck with all the challenges you are facing what wonderful and brave women you both are!

    The only people who descriminate against single and lesbian ivf are people who either don't want or fall pregnant at the drop of the hat!

    I know if my dh and i where to break up tomorrow my desire for children would only grow stronger and i don't know if i could go through all that meet boy fall in love etc etc and i am only 26!!

    So ladies both keep a brave face and know deep down inside that you are both making the right decision and it will all be worth it when you hold that beautiful creation in your arms

    Lots of hugs!
    Racheal

  12. #12
    Blue Sky Guest

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    Sue & Teagan -
    More power to you girls!! I'm in awe of you.
    I'm amazed that there is such a shortage of donors!
    Hope and [-o< that you get there in the end!
    Blue

  13. #13
    Teagan Guest

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    Hi Sue -

    Thanks for the info about the donors, I will email monash to find out more about what the sitution is. I bought a book call "Your essential infertility companion". It's a british book, but it's quite good. It has a lot of the medical stuff as well as the dicussions about emotions and ethics. It's kind of amazing how much I didn't know about the human reproductive systems.

    I guess one of the main problems for single and lesbian women at the moment is the lack of donors and that clinics like Sydney IVF are not offering anonymous donor insemination. If more clinics go in that direction it's going to be a tough call to start asking friends or family if they wouldn't mind acting as a sperm donor.

    IVF NSW is based in Bondi Junction. They don't seem to have a website. But I am wondering if they have an association with IVF Australia. Did you say that Monash IVF had a branch in Newcastle because I had a quick look and I couldn't see any offices in NSW.

    How's the 2WW going?

    Mel, Trish, Racheal, Blue - Thankyou all so much for your beautiful words, it means a lot.

  14. #14

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    Hi teagan
    where did you get those emoticons ?
    very cute
    I hope you find heaps of info
    will send you a PM

  15. #15

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    Hi Teagan, have been wondering how you were getting along.
    Yes, it's a shame we only really take notice of how our bodies work when something doesn't work quite right!!
    Yep, Hunter IVF is affiliated with Monash. Just send an email to the address on their website. Am pretty sure it was a lady from Melb who helped me. They have a couple of clinics in NSW and QLD I think
    Bondi's probably a little too far for me to travel unfortunately.
    Let me know how you get on tomorrow.
    Big I know how you must be feeling. It really is a very big step to take.

    The 2WW? 8-[
    Sue
    :flower:

  16. #16
    Teagan Guest

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    Hi Trish,

    The emoticons are from another board...when I see cute emoticons I often save them to the hard drive so that I can use them later

    Thanks for the PM (I can't PM back, need to upgrade membership).

    Hi Sue,

    I had a look at the Hunter IVF site, it's got really good fact sheets.

    How are you travelling?

  17. #17

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    HI Teagan.
    Yep, their fact sheets are quite good.
    Please let me know how you get on today...
    If you have a quick look at ALT TTC August #4 you'll see where I'm up to. I don't feel like typing it again. Basically, I've crashed and burned, :af: arrived at 3.30am this morning. In a B-I-G way....
    I really wish you the best with your journey and, again, please let me know the outcome today.
    Sue

  18. #18

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    Hey Tegan.
    How are you?
    How was your appointment??
    Sue

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