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#1 of 7 Old 02-20-2010, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#2 of 7 Old 02-21-2010, 10:10 AM
 
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kelly, i have never been in this situation but i have read lots of different things over the last year preparing/trying to conceive. you can ship fresh donor sperm. i guess i know that it can be shipped within the US but... it's worth looking into. here is a website: http://www.home-inseminations.com/semenshipper.html
trying twice a year may work just fine... some people get a BFP on their first try... some people it takes a year or more... healthy or not. but you may want to consider shipping it through the mail to get more attempts in. just a thought.
as far as which method works best... from my understanding, IUI works better than ICI or IVI (intracervical or intravaginal). you can do home IVI with fresh sperm, but to do IUI the sperm must be "washed" (by a clinic) or it could cause lots of pain and cramping as well as potentially causing very harmful infection of the uterus. so if you want to give at home IUI a try, make sure you do TONS of research. maybe you have a midwife you could consult? if you choose to do in-office visits then your OB will probably have a lot of answers/ideas.
sorry i couldn't be more helpful.
good luck!!

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#3 of 7 Old 02-21-2010, 12:28 PM
 
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You're going to have trouble shipping sperm from the US to the UK. One option may be to have him visit you and freeze sperm with a local bank - this might be more difficult in the UK than in the US, as donor sperm is more tightly regulated there. It's also going to be pricey, but definitely cheaper than flying one or the other of you back and forth across the pond.

You could get lucky on the first try, it's true. And to optimize the chances of that happening, you may want to see what kind of medical assistance you can get, you may want to try western and non-western, i.e. acupuncture, herbal, and you want to make sure you know your cycle.

I would suggest getting in touch with single-mother-by-choice in your area, maybe on the MDC tribes, but more likely if you search the 'net, you may find a group of UK based SMBCs who have an e-mail list or something.

For the logistics of fertility, I highly, highly recommend Toni Weschler's taking charge of your fertility, and for the logistics of inseminating with donor sperm, and talking with known donors, coparenting, etc, I recommend Stephanie Brill's book, the New Essential guide to lesbian conception, pregnancy, and birth. Even though you're not a lesbian, she wrote it with you in mind, she is inclusive of SMBCs, even straight ones.

I will also gently suggest that if you're planning on co-parenting across the pond, that will prove much more difficult than getting sperm across, so you might want to consider your long-range plans with your co-parent and see whether one or both of you intends to plan an international move to be closer to the other once the baby is conceived/born/reaches toddlerhood/whatever makes sense. I know for me, I couldn't commit to co-parenting with anyone here, because I am going home to my country, and I don't want to be co-parenting internationally, so that was something I ruled out right away. Your situation may be very different, but be sure that you're both clear on what your expectations are.

Good luck!

SPBC Finally a Papa! Elise Ember Soleil - 10/3/10 - 4:09 AM - 6 lbs 8 oz My daughter eats donor milk! Human milk for human babies!
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#4 of 7 Old 02-21-2010, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#5 of 7 Old 02-21-2010, 02:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kellyuk View Post
Thank you both for your replies, hopefully it will work first time, failing that the idea that sperm be frozen over here is a damn good idea and not something that we had thought of. I will look into the books and the websites that you have advised me on.

Yes, the logistics is a concern once and if a baby were to come along, but this hasn't seemed to phase us.. as yet anyway. I guess our main concern at the moment is the possability of getting pregnant. I absolutly hate the idea that one or the other of us wouldn't be able to see the child when they wanted to, but the urge for us to do this together is so strong we couldn't possibly see ourselfs doing it with anyone else. This may seem crazy to some people, but I dunno, it just feels right even with all the hurdles life will be throwing at us.
You gotta trust your gut through a lot of this.

One thing I did before I started trying was to get every single test I could get. It didn't really help, it was three years later when I finally conceived, but whatever is up with my fertility doesn't show up on tests, apparently.

So, talk to your GP and see what ze will order for you. And get your donor/coparent to get a semen analysis. I paid out of pocket for mine, it cost $60 here in the US.

Roughly, here are the blood tests I would recommend:
For both:
HIV, syphilis, Hep B, Hep C.

For you:
Up to date pap and STD tests. Blood typing. Titres for chicken pox, german measles, rubella, etc. If you were vaccinated, rather than exposed naturally, it's important to get booster shots before pregnancy if you feel that it's warranted. Similarly, get up to date on all your other shots if you were vaccinated for anything like pertussis (whooping cough). It doesn't apply if you have natural immunity, but if you don't, you want to make sure that your immunity is up to date.

If you have pets, get titres run for toxoplasmosis - if you have cats, do your research here. I tested positive on my titre, so toxo is a non-issue for me. It's only the initial exposure during pregnancy that is dangerous.

You also want to check you day 3 hormone levels, and track your cycle for a while, you want to know what's going on with your hormones, your ovulations, and your luteal phase and fix any issues before you start trying.

You may want an HSG and/or SHG - two different tests to assess your uterus and fallopian tubes.

For him:
STD tests, semen analysis. Blood typing, if you have a - rh factor.

Some folk will tell you you need to know your CMV status, and if you're negative, only choose a negative donor. I say phooey on that, sure if you're going through a sperm bank, but otherwise, people conceiving through sex with their partner don't worry about it, why should we?

Some folks will also tell you to ditch him if you have a negative Rh factor and his is positive. I say do your research and decide what risks you're willing to take, and keep in mind that straight couples aren't told not to have babies together if the gestator is - and the impregnator is positive.


Now, all this may sound like A LOT and it kind of is. It may be total overkill, but it's better to know right away if there's a problem before you start spending lots of money on travel and freezing sperm and suchlike.

I did ALL of this testing at least once, most of it I repeated annually, for three years. My results told me that I should have no problems getting or staying pregnant, which turned to be absolutely untrue, but I am very glad I had all the tests done because if I had found out after three years that I had blocked tubes or something the entire time, I would be a very bitter duck now.

SPBC Finally a Papa! Elise Ember Soleil - 10/3/10 - 4:09 AM - 6 lbs 8 oz My daughter eats donor milk! Human milk for human babies!
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#6 of 7 Old 02-21-2010, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#7 of 7 Old 02-22-2010, 12:29 AM
 
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Aww, thanks. I swear I should write a book. I've thought about hiring myself out as a fertility doula/consultant for people TTC.

Our S/A was $60 at our local hospital. There are two different tests - the strict Kruger analysis is the more stringent, and the WHO sperm count/motility/morphology is what we had done. Reproductive specialists tend to prefer the former, and it may cost more, especially if you have it done with a fertility specialist.

If his GP orders it, it's a simple lab test, he can have it done at some (not all) labs, it might be cheaper that way.

The chicken pox/rubella/measles thing is a titre, a simple blood test to check to make sure you have immunity, i.e. that there are antibodies in your blood. If you don't have immunity, it's wise to get vaxxed for these things before trying to conceive, as getting them while pregnant can have lifelong consequences for the fetus, including death, blindness, deafness, brain damage, etc, depending on the specific illness you might catch. That said, lots of people get pregnant every day and don't have the titres run, and don't have immunity, and never get rubella, and are just fine.

In my case, I had antibodies to just about everything under the sun, except Hep B because I wasn't vaccinated. Since it's a series of three shots over six months, I decided not to get it because I didn't want to wait that long to start trying to conceive. But it was a relief for me to konw I didn't need to worry about anything else.

SPBC Finally a Papa! Elise Ember Soleil - 10/3/10 - 4:09 AM - 6 lbs 8 oz My daughter eats donor milk! Human milk for human babies!
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