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  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-20-2014 11:03 PM
Letitia

There's no reason you can't search donors at more than one bank.  When we started TTC (seems forever ago, guess it was ?2005) there were not that many identity release donors in general.  I registered with Xytex, The Sperm Bank of California, can't remember where else, a bank in New England?  Made a big Excel spreadsheet and listed the donors and then filled in the boxes for their qualities.  


Family health history was extremely important to us and the first thing I looked at.  My partner has type ii diabetes and early arteriovascular disease in her family, so we avoided that like the plague.   We have a friend with Autism in her family - she only considered outgoing, verbal donors.  Why saddle a kid with a double dose of genetic bad luck for something serious?  

 

We looked for people whose interests made them sound like someone we might have been friends with if they had lived in our neighborhood.  My partner and I are both athletic and active, so being an active person was important to us.  We weren't trying to breed a racehorse - what we wanted was people who are comfortable moving their bodies so that we'd have a better chance of being able to bicycle and hike as a family.  

 

None of the donors sounded like dunces.  I think the banks screen for that.  

 

Embarrassingly, we had a height range.  I'm short and didn't want too short, she didn't want a super-tall one.  So we only considered medium-height guys. We also thought about race.  Did the kid need to be the same color as us?  We have friends who even considered particulars of appearance.  Having the donor look something like the non bio-mom was important to them.  

 

Having successfully gotten someone pregnant is also a big plus.  Ours apparently had super-sperm.  

 

Theoretically, there are reasons you would not want a CMV+ donor if you are CMV- .  CMV can cause birth defects, so if the sperm gives you the infection (CMV is one of those viruses that hangs around forever) that's a bad thing.  Being CMV+ doesn't mean the guy was promiscuous or using needles; the infection is passed around like mono.

 

The rest of it came down to who sounded likable, and how many vials were available.  Don't buy the last vial!  If there's any chance you'll want more than one kid and having the same donor is important, consider availability.    

 

It's been a while, so I've probably forgotten some steps.  Like I said, I was very systematic and reviewed every single ID release donor in the country from all the banks I could find doing identity release at that time.  The numbers got small really fast once I used a couple screens, like no family history diabetes and height no more than 6'2".

 

My sister's best friend was adopted and got a letter from her birth parents written to be given to her when she was 18.  It made a huge difference for her in understanding who she was and I think feeling more connected to the world.  That played a big part for me in only considering identity-release donors.  I don't have any need to know the guy - I'm very thankful to him, but don't need to meet him.  But I don't want my kids to feel there's a mysterious hole in their history.

03-07-2014 04:51 AM
prettyisa If cost is a factor, look into Northwest--they have pretty low prices and there's not a premium (I don't think) on willing-to-be-known donors. I don't know if there are cheaper banks elsewhere--there definitely could be--but it's WAY less than someplace more well known like California Cryo. You don't get as much information (no baby pics, no voice-recordings, etc), but in our case we didn't want any of that, so it wasn't a problem to not have it offered.
03-06-2014 07:42 PM
NiseNise

Friederike- Thank you! Financial reasons are exactly why we were thinking about anonymous donor but we are going to put more thought into it.

 

Redrockband- Thank you! I could see us being just as silly and impatient but we are going t try the ICI for the first try. Wish us luck :D

03-05-2014 11:46 AM
redrockband

Other folks have already shared a lot of info. We did at home ICI's at got pregnant on our 2nd well-timed try. We had one awfully timed try due to being silly and impatient. So it certainly can happen. We also have friends who got pregnant on their first try. 

 

That being said, I charted my cycles for almost a year before our first insemination, took a bunch of herbs and mucinex to increase cervical fluid, and had some initial testing done. I don't remember all the testing we did, but a progesterone test to make sure I ovulated was probably the most important. They also did some other hormone tests, all which came back normal. 

 

If you want to try at home and find no reason not to, two books I think worth reading are Taking Charge of Your Fertility and The New Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy, and Birth. 

 

I don't really have any tips, we tried a few different things but I don't know if any of them helped or not to be honest. 

 

On picking a donor: It's a totally personal decision. I thought it would take us a lot longer to pick one but it was pretty easy and fast. We also chose a willing to be known donor after a lot of consideration. We wanted to leave that option for our kids to decide one day. 

03-05-2014 06:53 AM
friederike

We started with an anonymous donor for financial reasons, but realized that we didn't want to keep the option of finding his/her biological heritage one day from our child. Now that we're preggo with an open, extended information, donor, we're very happy having loads of information, even though it was a couple hundred bucks extra and our kid might never want to meet the guy.

 

We also tried all the different options of concieving, home IVI, unmedicated IUI and IVF.

I would never suggest doing an IUI at home unless you really know what you're doing. My doctor is a fertility specialist and even she managed to hurt me quite badly with the catheter at one IUI. The downside of home IVI with frozen is the awful sucess rate (4-5%) as compared to the about 14% chance of IUI. The benefit is the low cost and the privacy you get. And some people have to be in those 4-5%, right?

The best chances using frozen and if you have no know health issues in my opinion would certainly be IUI with a professional (midwife, doctor) and a bit of monitoring. I would suggest a trigger shot, timed with an ultrasound as a low tech option. It gives you greater chances of catching the egg, but no follicle stimulation with its potential side-effects. Charting and testing at home also works well for some people, but there might be more guess-work involved with OPKs. Home IVI with fresh from a know donor has slightly better chances (about 20%) than IUI with frozen and the best chances would of course be IVF (30 - up to 70%). But for most people that is medically unnecessary and way to expensive to try without specific reasons.

Looking back on my personal journey (one year TTC, one early loss) I would suggest running some small tests of your hormone status in advance to avoid spending loads of money if there is an issue. Mostly AMH, TSH, FSH pre-ovulation and progesterone past-ovulation. I really wish we had known about my abysmally low AMH before we spent 8000$ on sperm, the blood test was only 25 bucks or so. My regular cycles and pretty follicles every month were really decieving.

03-04-2014 07:08 PM
NiseNise That's wonderful!
So did are you and your partner using a midwife? Or can it be done with just you guys?
It's very stressful but we are finding fun in thinking about various ways the baby could look lol
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyFaith View Post

Hi NiseNise

At the moment we are also trying to sort through all the donor information and research the various sperm banks for upcoming IUIs.    While as prettyisa said, it's highly personal, we have decided to go with an open donor.  We'd like the child to be able to try to contact the donor if he/she is curious and wishes to do so.    I am finding that picking a donor is really tough....
03-04-2014 07:05 PM
NiseNise Very stressful and we are very open about what we want.
That was very helpful I am going to check out Queer Conceptions
Quote:
Originally Posted by prettyisa View Post

Hi Nise! Some of those questions are very personal to you and your partner--everyone has different opinions about whether anonymous is better than ID release and vice versa. In my case, my DP and I decided that we wanted there to be a possibility for our children to find out more about their donor when they are adults, so we chose one that has a release policy when the oldest turns 18. We have opted not to be in touch with donor siblings yet, but some have contacted us, so there is the possibility that we could pursue relationships with some of them in the future if our kids decide they'd like to do that.

As for IUI vs ICI, if you want to do an at-home insem and neither of you is a nurse, ICI is probably the way to go. There are some midwives who will do home visits for IUI, if you really want that option (and can find one). If you head to Queer Conceptions they will probably be able to give you the exact statistics on the efficacy rates, as well as LOTS of tips on timing, etc.

There are lots of sperm banks out there, but depending on what you are looking for in a donor the options can be pretty limited. I know finding donors of color can be pretty tricky, so you might find that you have fewer options than you might like, but they are out there. I think keeping an open mind about which bank to use and seeing which one has donors that fit your needs rather than deciding to go with one exclusively is a good option. We ended up switching banks after a few tries and were really happy that we did.

It's definitely stressful choosing a donor, but it can be kind of fun, too! Good luck!
03-04-2014 01:46 PM
Babyfaith

Hi NiseNise

 

At the moment we are also trying to sort through all the donor information and research the various sperm banks for upcoming IUIs.    While as prettyisa said, it's highly personal, we have decided to go with an open donor.  We'd like the child to be able to try to contact the donor if he/she is curious and wishes to do so.    I am finding that picking a donor is really tough....

03-04-2014 07:08 AM
prettyisa Hi Nise! Some of those questions are very personal to you and your partner--everyone has different opinions about whether anonymous is better than ID release and vice versa. In my case, my DP and I decided that we wanted there to be a possibility for our children to find out more about their donor when they are adults, so we chose one that has a release policy when the oldest turns 18. We have opted not to be in touch with donor siblings yet, but some have contacted us, so there is the possibility that we could pursue relationships with some of them in the future if our kids decide they'd like to do that.

As for IUI vs ICI, if you want to do an at-home insem and neither of you is a nurse, ICI is probably the way to go. There are some midwives who will do home visits for IUI, if you really want that option (and can find one). If you head to Queer Conceptions they will probably be able to give you the exact statistics on the efficacy rates, as well as LOTS of tips on timing, etc.

There are lots of sperm banks out there, but depending on what you are looking for in a donor the options can be pretty limited. I know finding donors of color can be pretty tricky, so you might find that you have fewer options than you might like, but they are out there. I think keeping an open mind about which bank to use and seeing which one has donors that fit your needs rather than deciding to go with one exclusively is a good option. We ended up switching banks after a few tries and were really happy that we did.

It's definitely stressful choosing a donor, but it can be kind of fun, too! Good luck!
03-03-2014 07:32 PM
NiseNise Is there anyone who can help us on picking a donor? My partner and I were going to use a close friend as a donor, but he has recently decided that it may be too much for him to handle greensad.gif our other option we chose is to do home insemination after purchasing sperm from the sperm bank.

Do you think its beneficial to use a donor that can be contacted or an anonymous donor?
Do we need IUI or ICI?
Are there any tips to greater our chances?

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