European Sperm Bank at the Fertility Expo in Copenhagen

26-27th of May we will be at the annual Fertility Expo in Copenhagen!

If you are contemplating starting a family soon, already trying, or if you are receiving fertility treatment, Fertilitets-messen is the place for you and everybody in search of knowledge, facts, explanations and dialogue regarding all aspects of infertility and fertility treatment.

9 percent of children born in Denmark every year, are coming in to this world with the help from fertility treatments. Most of the people seeking help at a fertility clinic are couples who are having 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.

One of the reasons to have a fair about fertility is to share knowledge and bring it into focus. Today, we are all 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!

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.

Obviously, we at European Sperm Bank are participating and we are ready to discuss and answer any questions you might have about donor sperm, how to choose a donor, differences between open and non-contact donors etc.

Time and Place

26-27th of May 2018

Docken, Copenhagen

Opening hours

Saturday/Lørdag: 10.00 – 17.00

Sunday/Søndag: 10.00 – 17.00

Get more information here!

How to get pregnant

How to get pregnant

It is a simple question, but the answer is rarely that simple. To most people, it actually comes as quite a shock when they learn how many obstacles might be on their way. A while back, we tried to explain the different fertility treatment options but understanding the process on actually HOW to get pregnant, an insight into the female cycle might help and be extremely important if you want to start your fertility journey with a home insemination. (with help from the WEBMD doctors):

Understanding and tracking the cycle

Most women have a 28-day menstrual cycle. That means you have about 6 days each month when you can get pregnant. That includes the day one of your ovaries releases an egg, called ovulation, and the 5 days before. To figure it out, you’ll need to chart your menstrual cycle and record how long it lasts. Day 1 is the first day of your period. Since the length of your cycle can vary slightly from month to month, it’s best to keep track for a few months. There are several apps which you can download to your phone and keep a simple track of your cycle (e.g. FLO https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/flo-period-tracker-period-ovulation-tracker/id1038369065?mt=8, Women’s health https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-cycles-period-ovulation/id335875911?mt=8, Period Tracker https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/period-tracker-monthly-cycles/id368868193?mt=8

  • Menstrual period. On Day 1 of your cycle, the thickened lining (endometrium) of the uterus begins to shed. You know this as menstrual bleeding from the vagina. A normal menstrual period can last 4 to 6 days.
  • Follicular phase. During the follicular phase, an egg follicle on an ovarygets ready to release an egg. Usually, one egg is released each cycle. This process can be short or long and plays the biggest role in how long your cycle is. At the same time, the uterus starts growing a new endometrium to prepare for pregnancy.

The last 5 days of the follicular phase, plus ovulation day, are your fertile window. This is when you are most likely to become pregnant if you have sex without using birth control.

  • Luteal (premenstrual) phase. This phase starts on ovulationday, the day the egg is released from the egg follicle on the ovary. It can happen any time from Day 7 to Day 22 of a normal menstrual cycle. During ovulation, some women have less than a day of red spotting or lower pelvic painor discomfort (mittelschmerz). These signs of ovulation are normal. If the egg is fertilized by sperm and then implants in (attaches to) the endometrium, a pregnancy begins. (This pregnancy is dated from Day 1 of this menstrual cycle.) If the egg is not fertilized or does not implant, the endometrium begins to break down.

Source: http://www.webmd.com

Still confused?

It is easy to find your day of ovulation with an ovulation test, which you can purchase online or at the pharmacy. Take a test morning and evening, and perform the insemination/have sex the day after your first positive test.

What to do now?

First of all, we recommend that you start your journey to parenthood by reading our 8-step guide.

You are of course also welcome to ask us any questions you may have. Some of the answers may be available already at our website europeanspermbank.com. If not, do not hesitate to email or call us.

We are here to help you!

“It tears every part of your life away”: the truth about male infertility

This article was published by The Guardian in November 2017. The article is written by  and it provides a significant insight in the thoughts and troubles, that many couples suffering with infertility are struggling with. Especially, the article focuses on the fact, that most practical and emotional support are aimed at women:

My first thought was, ‘Oh, it’s my fault, James says, quietly. He stares at the coffee table through his thick-framed glasses. “I felt helpless. No one was talking about this stuff. You’d go online and there was no male conversation. I’d Google ‘problems having a baby’ or ‘fertility issues’, and the websites that came up were all pink. I’d post in a forum and women would respond on behalf of their husbands. There was nothing for men.” [https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/nov/18/tears-every-part-life-truth-male-infertility-ivf?CMP=fb_gu]

As we at European Sperm Bank previously have written about, sperm counts among western men have halved in the last 40 years according to a recently published study.

Jenny Kleeman adds in the article: “Until recently, the focus of both fertility experts and research scientists has been overwhelmingly on women’s bodies, while male reproductive health has been almost ignored. For decades, the average age of both fathers and mothers has been increasing, but it’s women who have felt the pressure of balancing the need to invest in their careers with the so-called “timebomb” of their own declining fertility. They have been encouraged to put family first and to change their lifestyles if they want to become mothers, at the same time as male fertility appears to have fallen off a cliff.” [https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/nov/18/tears-every-part-life-truth-male-infertility-ivf?CMP=fb_gu]

Please click here to read the whole article. 

Denmark legalizes double donation!

Yesterday the Danish Parliament legalized double donation. This will be carried into effect as of January 1st, 2018. It is a fantastic breakthrough, especially for single women and lesbians with poor egg quality. But also for couples who struggle with both poor egg and sperm quality.

The existing legislation banned the possibility of double donation due to the argument that a child had to be genetically linked to at least one of its parents. This will change now.

It is the opinion of both the Ethical Counsel and the Government that care, love and trust are the most important factors in a child’s life. However, the Danish Government also acknowledge that a strong relation between a child and parent has a crucial impact on a child’s upbringing and that the biological link shouldn’t be underestimated.

And to be honest we agree completely. What could be a more beautiful argumentation than this? “Parenthood is not something to be found in the genes”, as our Clinical Geneticist, at European Sperm Bank, Susanne Timshel, so nicely and correctly puts it. “Parenthood is something you learn, you do and you give based upon love. And love isn’t in our genes”.

The world around us changes constantly and family structures today are numerous and varied. Children grow up in so many alternative types of families/rainbow/mixed etc. – not only the traditional nuclear family. This is also why the Ethical council and Government have decided on a far more liberal legislation on the area.

How to get help

The new law comes with two requirements – firstly there must be a diagnosed health issue and secondly one of the donors will have to be categorized as open donor, so the child will have the option of getting limited knowledge about its genetic background.

Fertility clinics in Denmark and around Europe provide help when in need of either or both donor eggs and sperm donors. To undergo a fertility procedure, Danish policies establish that the intended mother is not older than 46 years old. This specific age limit may not count in other countries.

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 the best possible conditions and foundation to become happy human beings.

Read more here and here.

Get a sperm count test!

Sperm counts among western men have halved in the last 40 years, shows a recently published study. At European Sperm Bank, we regularly get calls from men asking how they can increase their sperm count. First of all – some men are simply just born with a really good quality sperm with a high sperm count.

Do you have trouble conceiving? 
It is always a good idea to contact a doctor, if you have been trying to conceive a child for a year without any luck.
There are simple things both men and women can do to support their fertility. Remember that these are general advice and should be combined with a healthy lifestyle:

  • Exercise
  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat healthy
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night
  • Cut down on alcohol
  • Avoid drugs and anabolic steroids
  • Do not have unprotected sex
  • Get regular tests for sexual transmitted diseases.
Source: vidensraad.dk     ​
Get a sperm count test
If your efforts to become pregnant by your partner have been fruitless, it may be a good idea to test the quality of the sperm and sperm count.
Men are always welcome to visit our labs in Copenhagen, Aarhus or Lyngby, where we test the sperm. When you get the result, we will of course offer advice according to the result.
If there has already been established a low sperm count, it could be serious and a symptom of something even more serious. In that case, it is very important to contact a doctor.

Sperm quality matters – also in donor sperm
MOT is short for ‘Motile Total, which is the way to express how many sperm cells are moving forward. MOT is counted in millions per milliliter, so MOT20+ means that there are more than 20 million forward-moving sperm cells in a milliliter. A straw of donor sperm used for insemination contains 0.5 milliliters, so a quality of MOT20+ will give you a total of over 10 million sperm cells for insemination. The reason we are very particular about MOT20+ is that many clinics and researchers find it to give the best chance of pregnancy, e.g. Shady Grove Fertility, with clinics in 22 locations in the USA. They have systematically collected data from 47,500 IUI cycles with different MOT qualities and concludes that MOT20 donor sperm gives you a 17% chance of success whereas using MOT10 donor sperm reduces your chances to 11%. In other words, your chance of pregnancy is 50% larger with MOT20+.

If you would like to know more about sperm count (or anything else), you are welcome to contact us

Fertility Show London this weekend!

We at European Sperm Bank are participating and we hope that you will come and meet us at booth number E30. We are ready to discuss and answer any and all questions you might have about e.g. donor sperm, how to choose a donor etc.

​Time and Place
Saturday 4 November 2017
10am – 6pm
​Sunday 5 November 2017
10am – 5pm

Olympia London Exhibition Centre, Hammersmith Road, London W14 8UX
The Fertility Show takes place on level 2 of the Olympia Central Hall, the entrance is on Hammersmith Road.

More info at https://www.fertilityshow.co.uk/london

We look forward to seeing you!

Keep an eye out for the bike and the balloons!

France: Fertility treatment for singles and lesbians

During the presidential election in France, Emmanuel Macron promised to legislate on access to medically assisted procreation for single women and lesbians if he was elected. 
​In France, medically assisted procreation is reserved to heterosexual couples only, with most or all of the bill paid for by public healthcare funds.
Macron said, during his campaign, that he would wait for the recommendation from the National Consultative Committee on Ethics to reach the largest consensus.
And now the committee has officially proposed a change in legislation.


Only two months after the presidential election, the CCNE (National Consultative Committee on Ethics or Comité Consultatif National d’Ethique) has issued a recommendation for granting female couples and single women access to sperm-donor techniques of medically assisted reproduction.

Not only does this statement bring France a step closer to the biggest gay rights reform since same-sex marriage was legalized in 2013 (France was the 14th country in the world to legalize gay marriage). It also makes it possible for French single women and lesbian couples to have the children, the wish for, without having to travel abroad or go against the law.
Alongside the CCNE, French gay rights groups also call on Macron to legislate rapidly, however so far, no official statements have been made from the President on the matter. Please make sure you to read further on this topic here.

​Source: Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-politics-procreation-idUSKBN19I1TJ

What to do now?
​First of all, we recommend that you start your journey to parenthood by reading our 8-step guide.
You are of course also welcome to ask us any questions you may have. Some of the answers may be available already at our website europeanspermbank.com. If not, do not hesitate to email or call us.  We are more than happy to help you on this journey. Please contact us so we can discuss the best option for you. If you haven’t found a fertility clinic or even a country to have treatment in, we can also be of assistance in recommending clinics around Europe with french-speaking staff.

Please also note that OUR WEBSITE IS FINALLY IN FRENCH!

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

From Paris with love

PicturePia Weng (midwife) and Lilian Thykjær Jørgensen (European Sperm Bank)

Even though our offices are  located in Denmark, European Sperm Bank has a very close collaboration with fertility clinics in more than 60 countries. 

One of the countries, where fertility treatments with donor sperm is not as widely known, is France. 

Because of that, we were asked if we would inform women in France about the possibilities of having the treatment in another country – Denmark for example.

​This became a seminar in Paris, established by the fertility clinic Vitanova.


o
​One of the participants from this event wrote the following email to us afterwards:“At the first meeting in Paris, we were given the opportunity to learn more about the fertility treatments offered by a fertility clinic in Copenhagen, as well as about the different types of donors. The meeting was co-facilitated by two midwives from the fertility clinic and by the European Sperm Bank sperm donor coordinator.

In a warm and caring environment, the participants could ask all the questions they had, share their experiences and motivations for those who wished, and learn about the practical aspects of insemination, IVF and of the process of choosing and buying donor sperm. A small presentation of the tools used for insemination was also made by one of the midwives.

This evening, rich in exchanges, allowed everyone to leave with a better visibility of the possibilities offered by the fertility clinic and the specific process of the different stages, from the preliminary interview to the birth of the child.”

We share knowledge
European Sperm Bank host and participate in seminars all over Europe. Last fall, we were in Copenhagen and Stockholm, and this year we hope to visit many more cities.

We know what questions and concerns you may have about your insemination and sperm donor. Every year, we give advice and talk to thousands of women and couples from more than 80 countries. You can talk to us about all topics like choosing a donor, screenings and tests, and how to talk to your child about the donor.

We are here to help you – so feel free to contact us.

Want to know more? 
Subcribe to the blog newsletter and get a notification next time we hold a seminar: You ca also contact midwidfe Pia Weng or visit Vitanova 

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

A landmark in Danish Fertility history

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This is a very special year in Danish fertility. 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the legislation that created equality to all Danish women in need of fertility treatment.

On January 1st 2007 the Danish government finally voted to provide equal rights for those in need of fertility treatment in Denmark; heterosexual couples as well as single women and lesbians. Prior to that, it was only possible for heterosexual couples to receive fertility treatments with public aid. This year we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the amendment that changed the Danish legislation


The 2007 legislation is not only a landmark for some people. It has contributed to a growth in birth rates in Denmark. After years and years with a significant decline in births, it became obvious that in order to turn things around, a change was necessary.

​Doctor Søren Ziebe, medical director at the fertility clinic at Denmark’s largest hospital Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen said in an article in January:

We need to help each other in order to get the children, we want.” He also adds in connection with the larger number of single women seeking help: “…it is now or never for them. If they don’t start having children, their going to live a life without children. It is important to help them with this…we know, that it is definitely their plan B to come to us. They would certainly prefer to have children with a man, but unfortunately that was not an option.
Source: dr.dk

The progressive and innovative midwife
One of the women who were greatly affected about the inequality in fertility treatment, was the founder of the fertility clinic Stork Klinik, Nina Stork. In fact, 2017 also marks the 17th anniversary of the opening of Stork Klinik in Copenhagen. This is no ordinary anniversary: Stork Klinik was a pioneer in equal-right fertility treatment in Denmark.

Actually, the change of law in 2007 started in the opposite direction back in 1997, when the Danish Parliament decided that only heterosexual women, who were married or in long-term relationships, should receive medical treatment for infertility by a doctor. This even shut down ongoing treatments of single women or lesbian couples.

Danish midwife Nina Stork and her wife Inger were undergoing fertility treatment, and Inger actually achieved pregnancy, but unfortunately and sadly had a miscarriage. As the couple were now one of many left with no alternatives to inseminations by a doctor, Nina decided to start a non-government founded fertility clinic.

​Coincidentally, the 1997 law left room for midwifes to perform inseminations, and so Nina Stork was able to open Stork Klinik in 1999.

During the years after the opening of Stork Klinik, several politicians tried to close the gap in the legislation in order to prohibit the treatment of homosexuals.
​Nina Stork participated, together with LGBT groups, in often heated debates and finally the law was changed in 2007: The rights for all women to have the same options no matter their sexual orientation or marital status.
Source: dr.dk

Where to go from here?
Today, Stork Klinik is one of the largest fertility clinics in Denmark, where women from all parts of the world come to fulfill their dream of children, but the fact is that Denmark is a pioneer when it comes to fertility treatment. In this small country, more than 15 clinics assist in making people’s dreams of babies come true.

If you need any assistance in finding a clinic in Denmark or any other country, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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