Optimise your chances of a healthy baby

GeneXmatch is a service offered to you as a natural step on your fertility journey. Our donors are selected based on thorough genetic testing to optimise the chances for healthy babies. But as the prospective mother, your genes also have a role to play. GeneXmatch is a way for you to minimise the risk of disease-causing combinations from yours and your donor’s genes.

What we do

We test your recessive genes and match them against the same genes of your chosen donor to identify the risk of more than 390 autosomal recessive serious diseases. If you are a carrier of one or more mutations in the recessive genes investigated, we will only match you with a donor who is not a carrier of a mutation in the same gene(s) as you. This reduces the risk of recessive diseases in your child.
The second test concerns 12 genes located on your X chromosome. If you are a carrier of a mutation in any of these X-linked genes, you have a risk of having an affected child, regardless of the donor. In this case, we will offer you genetic counselling to determine your options and how to proceed on your fertility journey.

It’s easy

The only thing we need from you is a saliva sample. You will receive a test kit from us with full instructions on how to provide and return your sample. You will get your result approximately four weeks after the lab has received your sample.

I decided to use a sperm donor

Our newest blogger, Henriette Cranil, is a psychologist and mother of two 7 year-old twins conceived with help from a sperm donor. As a psychologist, Henriette has made it one of her specialities to advise singles and couples in having children with a sperm donor. She helps find solutions to the many questions and dilemmas that rise when they consider conceiving with the help from a donor. 

This is Henriette’s story.

WHEN I was in my early 30’s I began to imagine how it would be to become a mother. The pictures in my head became more and more defined and I started to see images of myself as a mother. I also began to stop and look at children’s clothes and teddy bears. I knew a lesbian couple who were pregnant at the time with help from a sperm donor. They were flying on cloud nine, completely consumed with bliss and happiness. To me it was amazing to witness, and I was wildly inspired.

During that time, I was single, happy and in a really good place in my career as a psychologist. Summer came, I was 34 years old and I asked myself what I was really waiting for in regards to becoming a mother? The answer was, of course, a boyfriend in a “the love of my life”-way but that kind of love doesn’t necessarily appear exactly when you want it. Therefore, I decided to change the order and instead become a mother on my own and subsequently bet on – hopefully sometime – meeting a lovely boyfriend.

Becoming pregnant, becoming a mother

From here on things moved quickly and a few months later I was pregnant. When I reached 5-6 weeks of pregnancy, I went to have the first scan at the Hospital. This was the moment I got one of my life’s greatest and best surprises: there were two beating hearts. I was expecting twins! Today I am the mother of a boy and a girl of 7½ years. 7½ intense, wild, enriching, changing, different, fun, loving and sometimes exhausting, years.

The decision to become a mother on my own was easy for me, but I also went through a lot of considerations during the process. Should I choose an anonymous or open donor? What if it turns out I cannot get pregnant? What is it like growing up without a father? How will the outside world react? How do you talk to the children about it? How do we get by every day? How would it be for a future boyfriend to be involved in this little family?

Let’s share knowledge

I will regularly be discussing questions like these and many others on the blog. Today, I have made it one of my specialties as a psychologist to advise singles and couples in becoming parents through a donor – throughout the journey from the reflection phase to the many phases of questions and dilemmas you meet as parents.

I look forward to sharing thoughts, questions and suggestions for answers and hopefully inspire you to lots of courage, ideas and good decisions!

Twins or triplets from fertility treatment? When one at a time is enough

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In our daily contact with clients, we hear their concerns about all aspects of their process.
No surprise – to most, this is their first time taking this journey.

One concern we often hear, is what if they get twins or triplets from fertility treatment.

Most clients imagine one baby, and even though twins are a blessing, to some, the responsibility seems overwhelming. 


​In the past, the chances of having twins through in vitro fertility treatment were much higher than with a conventionally conceived pregnancy. It used to be common procedure to place three or four embryos in the uterus to increase the odds of pregnancy.

Decrease twin pregnancies
One of Denmark’s top biologists, Karin Erb, who is director of the fertility clinic at Odense University Hospital, has done much research on this exact topic: In 2016, her results were published in collaboration with The Danish Health Data Board.

The research shows that back in 2006, 25 % of pregnancies through IVF and ICSI resulted in twins. This number was down to 8,4 % in 2015. Clearly, there is a significant decline in twin pregnancies!

“It’s so amazing. We have achieved the same high chances of pregnancy, but at the same time managed to decrease the high number of twins” Karin Erb in an article.

A major reason for the decrease is that in 1997, The Danish fertility society (Dansk Fertilitetsselskab) set a limit of maximum 2 eggs at a time, and in 2005 they recommended that only one embryo is placed in the uterus, if the woman is under 35 and has no medical issues – the so-called single embryo transfer (SET). 

Risks when you carry more than one 
Many people, doctors included, talk about the risk of having twins, not the possibility, which may sound like there is something wrong with having twins. This is not the case. The reason is simply that a twin pregnancy has much higher health risk than a 1-child-pregnancy:

The risk of premature delivery is ten times higher with a twin pregnancy compared to a pregnancy with one fetus. Premature births can cause death to the baby, as well as neurological damages, hearing problems, poor eyesight and lower IQ.

But as the recent study shows, there is no reason to worry too much about a surprise twin-pregnancy, just because you are having fertility treatment.

Need our help?
We are always ready to help, so if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you are curious about what to expect when starting fertility treatment with the use of donor sperm, we highly recommend that you begin your journey by reading our 8-step guide.

//posted by Stinne, Client Service Manager at European Sperm Bank

Choose your child

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Maybe you don’t want a lot of information about your sperm donor right now… 

But have you considered that your child might want to know more one day?
And have you considered that personality also comes with the genes?
 
Here are a few examples of how and why you should choose a little or a lot of information about your sperm donor.


Basic or Full profile?
When you are looking for donor sperm, there are mainly two options on how to get it: You can buy donor sperm at the fertility clinic or directly at our website.
It can be hard to know how much information you want on the donor. At European Sperm Bank we offer a basic and a full profile on all sperm donors, so you can choose how much or little information you want. Depending on how you want to choose your donor, we give you three examples on approaches:

Choose by physical features (basic profile)
Simple and easy.

If you’re not interested in learning too much about the donor, you can find your donor based solely on basic, physical features such as weight, height, eye colour, hair colour, skin colour, ethnicity and blood type. Also included in the basic profile is a short description of the donor along with information on his education and number of pregnancies.

Choose by personality (full profile)
Personality traits are in the genes.

You can also find your sperm donor based on his likes and dislikes, dreams and plans for the future, travel plans and his hobbies. Maybe you like the active, sporty and extrovert type, or perhaps you relate better with a calm and carefull type of person. Remember that your child’s personality traits may reflect the donor’s to a certain degree.

The full profile includes a wide range of information about the donor’s personality, a personal, handwritten message and an audio interview, plus a 16-page temperament analysis (Kersey Test).
Also included in the full profile is all basic information plus a full medical report and family history, a description of the sperm donor’s physical appearance, medical history, baby photos and family history.

Open or Non-contact
Next, you must choose weather your sperm donor should be open or non-contact (anonymous). All donors have both basic and full profiles, so this decision is about whether you want your child to have the option to get in touch with the donor, when he or she grows up.

The sperm donor himself chooses whether to be a non-contact (anonymous) or open donor. The only difference is that children born with sperm from an open donor can contact us at European Sperm Bank to get in touch with their donor after the age of 18.

So, if you use a non-contact donor, this contact is not an option. It is not permitted at any time for non-contact or open donors to receive information about the children or the women, who have bought sperm.
Neither non-contact nor open donors have paternal rights over a child born with help from donor sperm.

Some parents prefer sperm from open donors, so the child has the option to contact the donor as an adult. Others prefer to make the choice for the child and choose a non-contact donor.
Whether you choose an open or non-contact donor, we recommend being open and honest with your children, and tell them about how they were created, so that it becomes a natural part of who they are.

My clinic only gives me very few options!
The high standard and quality of donor sperm from European Sperm Bank is exactly the same whether you buy it on our website or at the fertility clinic.

But most clinics only have a few donors “in stock” at a time, so a much wider selection of donors is available to you directly at European Sperm Bank. We strongly recommend that you choose your donor carefully and do not make hasty decisions.

Choose carefully and wisely
The extended profile may be more or less important for you as a parent, but for your future child it is a great and easy way to answer the questions that your child may have and a good foundation for you and your child to talk about.

When you start this journey, it is important that you carefully consider the amount of information you want on your chosen donor. If you’re convinced that you and your future child will be happy with basic information on a donor, then choose a basic profile.

But what you need to consider thoroughly is that your child may ask questions and want more information in the future. With a full profile you will be able to answer questions like what does he look like, what is his hobbies or what does he do for a living?

We are here to help
As always, if you have any doubts in this process, please don’t hesitate to contact us at European Sperm Bank.

Remember: Carefully consider what decisions are the best for you and your future child!

//posted by Stinne, Client Service Manager at European Sperm Bank

Ready to have a child? Come to Fertilitets-messen in Copenhagen!

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Fertilitets-messen, the first ever fertility expo in Scandinavia, takes place at Bella Center Copenhagen 22-23 April 2017.

If you are thinking about starting a family, already trying, or if you are receiving fertility treatment, Fertilitets-messen is the place for you!

​Here, you and everybody in search of knowledge, facts, explanations and dialogue regarding all aspects of infertility and fertility treatment.


For the first time ever in Scandinavia, Fertility Link hosts a large expo in Bella Center Copenhagen with numerous expositions and seminars.

One of the reasons to have a fair about fertility is to share knowledge and bring it into focus. Today, most people are probably familiar with friends or family, who have needed assistance in trying to conceive. We all need to speak up and openly about it – let’s help each other and spread the word!

9 percent of children born in Denmark every year come in to the world with the help from fertility treatments. Most of the people seeking help at a fertility clinic are couples, who have trouble conceiving; some are suffering from PCOS, some need donor eggs, some need special procedures such as ICSI or IVF. Others are single women and lesbians, who need donor sperm.

Fertilitets-messen aims to break the taboos so often associated with infertility by providing unbiased information, and heightened levels of information, enabling you to make an informed choice.

We at European Sperm Bank are participating and we hope that you will come and meet us at booth number 09. We are ready to discuss and answer any and all questions you might have about e.g. donor sperm, how to choose a donor, differences between open and anonymous donors etc.

Would you like a free ticket?
We have 10 day passes to give away, so hurry up and email us, if you would like a free ticket.

We look forward to seeing you!

Time and Place
22 and 23 April 2017 from 10:00 to 17:00 at Bella Center Copenhagen. Show on map
More info at http://www.fertilitets-messen.dk/en/

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Keep an eye out for the bike and the balloons!

Adult donor children share their thoughts

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When do I tell my child about the donor? Do I? And how will my child react?

At European Sperm Bank, we recommend being open and honest with your child, and to tell them about how they were created, so that it becomes a natural part of who they are.

But the final decision is yours. 


Here you can read short quotes from adult donor children, who were conceived 20 to 40 years ago. ​They are from a time where having children with the help of a sperm dono was less usual than today. Recieveing infertility treatment were more of a taboo, and therefore many parents had a difficulties explaning the facts to their children.

In these quotes some of them have always known that they were conceived with the help from a sperm donor. Others were told as adults. Here is how the reflect on what knowing or not knowing has influenced them:

“It’s a little weird because when you tell your middle school friends your dad was a sperm donor they all look at you like you were made in a lab.”
—Aria, 22

“Sperm donation is such a niche thing to do that I wonder what my biological Dad is really like. Sperm isn’t rare and difficult to extract like eggs so it makes me wonder why he thought he should donate sperm in the first place. Like, was he an egomaniac or was he broke or what?”
—David, 19

“The main thing I’ve wondered is how many half brothers and sisters I might have. As an only child I wondered this a lot when I was in middle school and I still wonder about it now. One? Twenty? More than the idea of meeting my biological father I’d love to meet any half siblings I might have. What has their life been like? Do they look like me? Would we recognize ourselves in one another? These are things I very much still think about.”
—Mary, 35

“My mother waited until last year when my father died of a heart attack to tell me that my biological dad was a sperm donor. I’ve only spoken to her once since then it made me so mad. I know that I will at some point but I’m just not there yet.”
—Daria, 29

“I’ve worked out my feelings about it now, but my parents made the terrible decision to not tell me that I was the result of sperm donation until I was nearly 17. It really, really messed me up emotionally and I didn’t come to grips with it until I was nearly out of college. I spent several years truly resenting my dad who loves me and was a wonderful father to me.”
—Mark, 26

“One thing that bothered me growing up and I don’t think she did it on purpose was that my mother always referred to my biological father as a ‘donor’ rather than as a person. It was unconscious but that made me feel like half of me wasn’t real somehow and I think a lot of depression I had during my teen years was because of this feeling.”
—Cynthia, 24

“Most people just assume that all sperm donors are anonymous and most are but you can choose to be an open donor or an anonymous donor. My biological dad chose to be an open donor. It wasn’t until I was nearly thirty that I actually decided to try to contact him and I’m glad that I did. I waited until I was married and had a family of my own before I did it though because I didn’t want meeting him to destabilize me emotionally any more than it had too. Turns out that he’s a great guy. My parents were a little worried about me meeting him at first but now I feel like I just have more family and meeting him did explain some things about my own life that I’d previously struggled with.”
—Michael, 40

Source: thoughtcatalog.com

Then and Now – What has changed?
The thoughts you have just read come from adult donor children, who were conceived 20 to 40 years ago.
Since then, many things have changed and many taboos about infertility and donor children have been broken down.

Remember – today many more than 100,000 donor children have been born around the world.

So not only is having children through insemination more and more common and usual now than just 20 years ago: Today, there are many more options for people seeking sperm donors. Much more information is available.

At European Sperm Bank you can get extended profiles for every donor with background story, hobbies and interests, family history, baby pictures, staff impression and both a handwritten letter and an audio interview.

This way, you as a parent have much more knowledge about the donor to share with your child, and you are equipped to answer more questions about who this person is and why you chose him.

//posted by Michael, Communications Specialist at European Sperm Bank

Double donation with donor egg and donor sperm

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In Denmark today, it is not legal to be inseminated with both donor egg and donor sperm at the same time.

​However, The Danish Council on Ethics has recommended that the law should be changed to make it possible for people to have a child from both donor egg and donor sperm.


A main reason for the recommendation is, according to the council, that the family structures that exist today are numerous and varied, and that children grow up in many alternative types of families – not only the traditional nuclear family. This is why the council supports a more liberal legislation on the area, and that the prohibition should not be based merely on the lack of genetic association.

However, there are still many questions left unanswered: Should it then be legal for the one part of a lesbian couple to be impregnated with her partner’s egg and donor sperm? Should double donation only be allowed for infertile women or when there is a significant risk of hereditary deceases? Should this include all women seeking reproductive assistance or only couples?

Also, the importance of the child knowing about its genetic background is seen as twice as important with double donation, as the child will have no genetic association with its legal parents. Therefore, the amount of information available on the donors is being discussed. Potentially, a change in this legislation could affect the very strict law on surrogacy in Denmark as well.

Source: etiskraad.dk

At European Sperm Bank, our goal is to help as many people as possible to fulfill their dream of having children, and to do our part to give these children have the best possible conditions and foundation to become happy human beings.

We follow this development closely, and are eager to advice and discuss the effects of a potential change.

//posted by Michael, Communications Specialist at European Sperm Bank

Single moms: ‘Sod it, I’m going to have a baby on my own.’

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We’ve heard stories from Mika and Catherine. Now Vanessa Gray shares her story about being a single mom with a donor baby.

Vanessa Gray had an artificial insemination and gave birth to her son Theo at age 42.

She had been single for a long time. She wanted a husband and children, but after turning 40, she realized that meeting someone in order to have a child wasn’t necessary: “I’d been single for five years. I had kind of given up on meeting anyone. I just decided, ‘Sod it, I’m going to have a baby on my own.’”


How did you choose the donor?
In Vanessa’s case, she was only provided with very little information about the donors by the fertility clinic and found it very difficult to choose the right sperm donor. She only had physical features and personality descriptions to go on. Luckily, now there are a lot more options to choose from at the sperm bank.
Vanessa eventually picked a donor and got started. The insemination process was an amazing and very fast experience for her. She contacted the clinic in April, took hormone injections in June and was inseminated in July. And she conceived on the first try. 
 
Being a single mom
When the baby finally came, she realized that she had been in a bit of denial. Having a baby was much scarier, much harder and much more tiring than she’d expected. She had worked almost all the way up to the birth, and for the first five months, she moved in with her mother. “My mother’s help made all the difference: she made sure I was eating and resting and that Theo’s clothes were laundered. 
In general, Vanessa doesn’t rely on others for help or do things outside her limit. Now, she finds herself challenged with balancing her everyday life and being a mother, but when she’s forced to prioritize between doing the dishes and playing with her son, as she says “Theo wins hands down”.
Vanessa hasn’t dated for a long time, but she would like to meet someone and have a relationship. She doesn’t really consider Theo not having a father as an issue: “At some point, I know Theo will ask me about why he doesn’t have a Daddy, but as there has never been a predominant male in his life I think he will be OK with it”, she says.
Her family, friends and co-workers have all been very supportive. Some have had some considerations about her starting a “non-conventional family”, which wasn’t really something she’d planned to have. But she is happy with her choice, and even though she doesn’t go out as much with her friends as before, she is very content: “I prefer to go out with Theo”, she replies.
Vanessa stresses that if you’re thinking about conceiving via a donor, you should just do it: “I did it at the right time for me and I have absolutely no regrets. It’s the hardest thing you will ever do and you don’t find that out until you’re doing it!”
Source: Stylist.co.uk

Facts about insemination with the help of a sperm donor:
What does the process involve?
What is IUI and ICI?
How much does it cost?
How does sperm donation work?

Want more? Read more stories from other women

//posted by Michael, Communications Specialist at European Sperm Bank

Single Moms: “The donor will be spoken about”

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In the last part of the Single Moms article, single mom Mika shared her story of having children on her own.
Today, single mom Catherine explains how she deals with having to wonderful donor children. 

Catherine found out that she had limited eggs and because her relationships were not working out, she decided to go it alone. 

After running some blood tests, Catherine Gaywood (37) found out that she only had a limited amount of eggs left. Time was short and after realizing that the expected “happy ever after” was not going to happen anytime soon, she decided to give IVF treatment a single try…


She didn’t what to look back and regret not trying, but if she wouldn’t get pregnant, she would get on with her life.
Through a private fertility clinic, she came in touch with the sperm bank. They were very supportive and helpful and made all the arrangement with the clinic.

How to choose a sperm donor?
“To choose a sperm donor is like internet dating…”, Catherine says. “You can filter results by employment status, education attainment, height, hair colour, eye colour, body type and so on.” Eventually, she did find a suitable sperm donor and after just one treatment, Catherine was pregnant with twin girls.

Being a single mom
As many single mothers, being alone with the full parental responsibility, especially with two babies, was hard work. ”I am jealous of other mums,  as they seem to have more time to spend just enjoying their child, whereas I always seem to be fulfilling some task and I never have time to myself”, Catherine explains. Luckily, her parents were and are a great help and daily support to her, so things work out beautifully.

Before having the twins, Catherine would tend to rush her romantic relationships because she wanted to get to the family-part as soon as possible. This resulted in pushing way the guy and starting over. But now that she has her family of three, she has a bright look on her future love life: “Going forward, my hope is that when I meet someone new, I will be able to appreciate that person in their own right rather than assessing them on what they can offer”, Catherine concludes.

When she first revealed her plans to her parents, they were shocked and worried if she were capable of taking care of a child on her own. It did not take long, however, before her mum and dad were painting the nursery and looking forward to be grandparents.

“The donor will be spoken about”
Catherine was never concerned that the girls would not have a father. “I actually feel that my choice is healthy, and one I can hold my head up and be proud of”, she says. “As a role model for them, I have not settled or compromised and the environment that I will bring them up will hopefully remain stable. I have been very open about the fact I used donor sperm. I will make sure the girls are aware of this right from the start –  “the donor” will be spoken about.”

Even though some friends have fallen out of touch, because they did not comprehend Catherine’s decision, she has a strong, supportive network of friends, which to her is vital for a single parent: “Accept all offers of help and support and make sure you have a support network for every step of the way”, Catherine ends.

Source: Stylist.co.uk

Facts about insemination with the help of a sperm donor:
What does the process involve?
What is IUI and ICI?
How much does it cost?
How does sperm donation work?

Want more? Read more stories from other women

//posted by Michael, Communications Specialist at European Sperm Bank

Donor Children in School – Honesty and Openness

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How do you explain to the school and the other parents that your child was conceived with the help of a sperm donor? And how does your child deal with questions from classmates?

In collaboration with the Danish fertility clinic Stork Klinik, European Sperm Bank has published a pair of booklets with information on how the school, the class and the other parents may better understand and support donor children: One booklet for parents and one for teachers and others who work with children.


More and more donor children are starting kindergarten and preschool, and because we at European Sperm Bank are thinking about the future and the well-being of these children, we try our best to support them in any way we can.

Children born with help of a sperm donor might experience some difficult issues growing up – just like any other child. In Denmark more than 20.000 children have been conceive with the help of a sperm donor since the 1980’s. There is absolutely no reason this should be a secret – or that these children feel weird or different from any other children.
A recent published article in “Folkeskolen”, a magazine for teachers in Danish primary and lower secondary school, argue that openness and honesty is the key to understanding, which we at European Sperm Bank fully agree with.

Say it like it is
Ludvig, a child born with the help of a sperm donor, started preschool in 2015. He lives with his mother Iben Harder Nemensen and older sister Mikkeline – born with help from the same sperm donor. Iben explained to both her children at a young age, that even though their family might be different from others, they are still a normal family. The children have a father; they just don’t know him.

Anette Bejstrup, who is the teacher in Ludvig’s preschool, states in the article that she does not spend any extra time understanding a childlike Ludvig as she does with any other of the twenty-five 6-year olds in the same class room.
In preschool especially, we talk a lot about family and family ties; who you live with and about mom and dad. That’s how the children learn about each other. It is important for me to know, if there is anything particular, that the student needs my help with in regards to the other children”, says Anette Bejstrup.

Ludvig’s mother Iben adds: “After the introduction round I told (the other parents) that Ludvig is a donor child and therefor doesn’t know his father. I also mentioned, that we are very open and honest about this fact at home, so that the other parents were more than welcome to ask if they had any questions in regards to this. I explained it very simple and afterwards I occasionally was asked about it”.

Iben continues to stress the importance that the other children in the class know that Ludvig is a donor child – and that these children then might come home and ask their parents about it. This brings up an opportunity for both children and parents to talk about it in a simple a non-dramatic way.

Need more information?
November, we also wrote about the importance of telling your children about their origin. Inspired by The Donor Conception Network, we mentioned a few points, which can be helpfull, if you are in doubt about how to explain the insemination to your surroundings and how to tell your child.

The Danish pdf-versions of the booklets are available for download here:
Donorbarn i klassen (til lærer og pædagoger)
Donorbarn i skole (forældre)

If you are curious about our booklet or would like further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us

//posted by Stinne, Client Service Manager at European Sperm Bank