Posts

Open eller Non-contact (anonym) sæddonor? Dette skal du overveje, når du vælger sæddonor.

Der er flere ting, du skal tage stilling til, når du vælger at få et barn med hjælp fra en sæddonor. Et spørgsmål du uden tvivl kommer til at stille dig selv er, hvordan vælger jeg, om sæddonoren skal være Open eller Non-contact (anonym)? Valget får senere indflydelse på dit barns mulighed for at få sæddonorens identitet udleveret.

For at give dig de bedst mulige forudsætninger, for at vælge den type donor der er rigtig for din familie, har vi spurgt psykolog, Henriette Cranil, til råds. Henriette Cranil har specialiseret sig i at vejlede solomødre til børn af sæddonorer.

Hvad er forskellen på Open og Non-contact (anonym) sæddonor?

Den eneste forskel der er mellem en Open sæddonor, og en Non-contact sæddonor, er muligheden for, at dit barn kan få sæddonorens identitet udleveret, når barnet bliver myndigt. Uanset om du vælger en Open eller Non-contact (anonym) sæddonor, kan du få de samme detaljerede oplysninger om sæddonoren. En donorprofil indeholder blandt andet beskrivelser af donorens helbred og familiens sygdomshistorik, personlige og fysiske karakteristika, mv. Du kan læse mere om donorprofilerne her.

Open sæddonor

• Detaljerede oplysninger om sæddonoren i en online donorprofil
• Når dit barn fylder 18 år, kan barnet kontakte sædbanken og få udleveret donors identitet. Det er kun barnet, der kan få donors identitet at vide

Non-contact (anonym) sæddonor

• Samme detaljerede oplysninger om sæddonoren som gør sig gældende for Open donorer
• En Non-contact (anonym) sæddonor ønsker ikke at udlevere sin identitet

Hvordan vælger jeg, om sæddonoren skal være Open eller Non-contact (anonym)?

Der er intet rigtigt eller forkert valg, når du skal vælge mellem en Open eller Non-contact sæddonor. Begge donortyper er lige meningsfulde. Når du træffer valget mellem en Open og en Non-contact sæddonor, skal du være bevidst om, at du tager et valg på vegne af dit barn, som ikke kan gøres om. En sæddonor kan ikke skifte fra at være Non-contact, til at blive Open sæddonor, eller omvendt. Det er derfor en god idé, at du tænker begge muligheder igennem, og gør dig det klart, hvorfor du vælger, som du gør.

Hvad betyder valget af sæddonor for mit barn?

Ifølge psykolog Henriette Cranil, påvirker det ene valg ikke dit barn mere positivt eller negativt, end det andet: “Dit barn påvirkes af mange forskellige omstændigheder, relationer, og betingelser, og bliver ved med at udvikle sig hele deres liv. Børns identitet bliver i høj grad påvirket af alle de mange faktorer, der rent faktisk er til stede i deres liv – forældre, eventuelle søskende, institutionsliv, skolegang, og graden af omsorg og inddragelse, for blot at nævne nogle få af faktorerne. Dit barn kan, med andre ord, blive påvirket ad andre veje, end lige præcis det, at der er tale om en sæddonor, man aldrig vil få et personligt forhold til” fortæller Henriette Cranil.

Om du vælger en Open eller Non-contact donor, er helt op til dig, men vi råder dig til at være afklaret med beslutningen, og at turde tage samtalerne, når dit barn begynder at stille spørgsmål. Med årsagerne bevidst har du et godt udgangspunkt for at give dit kommende barn gode og velovervejede svar om dit valg.

Kommer mit valg af sæddonor til at påvirke mit barn?

Det er helt naturligt, at dit barn vil komme til at stille spørgsmål, der handler om deres biologiske ophav. Det kan være spørgsmål som, “Hvor har jeg mine læbers form fra?” eller, “Hvor har jeg mit særlige temperament fra?”. Og mere reflekterende: “Ved sæddonoren, at jeg eksisterer?”. Mange af disse spørgsmål er besvaret i de donorprofiler, som er tilgængelige for forældre og børn og er ens for både Open og Non-contact sæddonorer. Opstår der spørgsmål, som ikke kan besvares her, har hverken børn af Open eller Non-contact donorer krav på at få deres spørgsmål besvaret af donoren. En Open donor forpligter sig kun til at udlevere sin identitet – ikke til en relation med børnene.

Henriette Cranil fortæller, at det generelt for disse børn er vigtigt, at de lærer at acceptere, at de er børn af en sæddonor. De skal lære at forholde sig til, at de ikke kender deres biologiske ophav, og for børn af en non-contact sæddonor gælder det også, at de ikke vil have mulighed for at få hans identitet udleveret.

“Det kan være en gradvis proces at acceptere, at man er barn af en donor, og det kan hjælpe børn af en donor at dele processen med en fortrolig, der respekterer og deltager i refleksionerne. Børnenes følelser skal imødekommes, accepteres og støttes. En del af denne støtte kan være blot at lytte til tankerne og følelserne. En anden del af støtten kan være at deltage i refleksionerne: Hvorfor optager spørgsmålet dig? Og hvordan ville det være, hvis du kendte svaret?” fortæller Henriette Cranil.

Vær ærlig om barnets ophav, uanset hvad du vælger

Det helt afgørende for dit barns trivsel og identitetsfølelse er, at der er åbenhed om barnets ophav hos de nærmeste, fortæller Henriette Cranil. At barnet kender til sit ophav, og at du som forælder kan rumme både de positive og de negative tanker og spørgsmål.

“Vi ved, at det kan være svært for et barn, hvis forældrene holder det hemmeligt, at de er barn af en sæddonor – eller at far ikke var den far, man troede. Det kan få indflydelse på børnenes identitetsfølelse,” forklarer Henriette Cranil.

Grunden til at hemmeligheden kan påvirke børnenes identitetsfølelse er, at der er tale om et grundlæggende tillidsbrud, og en livs- og identitetshistorie, der skal skrives helt forfra. Henriette Cranil råder derfor forældre til børn af en sæddonor til at tale åbent med barnet, om deres biologiske ophav, allerede fra 2-års alderen. På den måde bliver det, at være kommet til verden ved hjælp af en sæddonor, en integreret del af barnets livsfortælling helt fra starten.

“Dialogen med de helt små børn, omkring hvor de kommer fra, bør være enkel og faktuel. Senere i barnets udvikling kan samtalen indeholde flere tanker, følelser, og måske kritik, som en sund del af det at vokse op med donorbaggrund som livsvilkår,” afslutter Henriette Cranil.

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.

How to get pregnant v.2 – by PhD Dorte Egeberg

How to get pregnant? The answer might seem simple. But what is really going on? A while ago we explained how important the female cycle is for the chance of conception. This time we will give you the answer from the perspective of a sperm cell. Our new expert, Dorte Egeberg, explains: 

It begins with millions of sperm cells

Millions of sperm cells are ejaculated into the female reproductive tract, where they gain their full ability to swim. To reach the site of fertilization, the sperm cells have to pass through several functional obstacles, many of which require the ability to swim. Hence, the total number of motile sperm cells is a very important parameter to study in the laboratory evaluation of semen quality [1]. The sperm cells are deposited in the vagina enclosed in seminal plasma, a viscous fluid containing factors protecting and nourishing the sperm cells. Inside the female the seminal plasma coagulates and in this way helps the sperm cells staying inside the female in close vicinity to the cervix. Mucus extends from the cervix, enabling passage of the sperm cells from the semen coagulum up into the cervix. Only sperm cells capable of swimming can penetrate the cervical mucus. Furthermore, the mucus excludes the seminal plasma from entering the upper female reproductive tract [2]. This process is mimicked in the processing of IUI-ready samples in the sperm laboratory, where the motile sperm cells are separated from seminal plasma, dead or otherwise abnormal cells. Once through the cervix, the sperm cells swim across the uterus and at the junction between the uterus and the fallopian tubes they have to pass another mucus plug.

About 1 out of 1.000.000 sperm cells enters the fallopian tubes

In humans, of the millions of sperm cells deposited after coitus, only a very few sperm cells have the potential to reach the fallopian tubes. Once inside the fallopian tubes the sperm cells follow clues excreted from the supportive cells of the egg, the cumulus cells [3]. On the way the sperm cells undergo a series of biochemical and functional modifications, collectively referred to as capacitation, which renders the sperm cells ready for fertilization. Eventually, the sperm cells met the barrier of cumulus cells surrounding the egg cell. To pass through the cumulus cells, the sperm cells have to use their very special stroke, known as hyperactivation. But this is not the last obstacle for the sperm cells to pass, i.e. surrounding the egg is an impenetrable shell, the zona pellucida [4]. In order to pass the zona pellucida, the sperm cells have to undergo a very special process called the acrosome reaction, where hydrolytic enzymes are released from a deposit at the top of the sperm cell. These enzymes are capable of breaking down the zona pellucida and in this way allowing the last step of fertilization [5].

Only one sperm cell is needed for fertilization

In the end, only one sperm cell will fertilize the egg. The success of a sperm cell to finalize its primary goal depends on several parameters where each parameter is believed to explain a minor proportion of the total fertilizing ability, and that only sperm cells that possess all these properties will essentially be able to fertilize the egg.

As always, if you have any comments or questions don’t hesitate to contact us!

 

  1. Sakkas, D., et al., Sperm selection in natural conception: what can we learn from Mother Nature to improve assisted reproduction outcomes? Hum Reprod Update, 2015. 21(6): p. 711-26.
  2. Suarez, S.S. and A.A. Pacey, Sperm transport in the female reproductive tract. Human Reproduction Update, 2006. 12(1): p. 23-37.
  3. Eisenbach, M. and L.C. Giojalas, Sperm guidance in mammals – an unpaved road to the egg. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol, 2006. 7(4): p. 276-85.
  4. Liu, D.Y., C. Garrett, and H.W. Baker, Acrosome-reacted human sperm in insemination medium do not bind to the zona pellucida of human oocytes. Int J Androl, 2006. 29(4): p. 475-81.
  5. Overstreet, J.W. and W.C. Hembree, Penetration of the zona pellucida of nonliving human oocytes by human spermatozoa in vitro. Fertil Steril, 1976. 27(7): p. 815-31.

“Most men will donate sperm because they want to help”

In October 2017 students at Brand Design at KEA were briefed by European Sperm Bank on a challenge called “How to attract and motivate young men to become sperm donors?”. Here is what one of their lecturers thought about the task. 

If you are in a relationship, your partner has a huge influence whether or not you chose to become a sperm donor”, “Most men will donate because they want to help – not for the money”, “Some men feel the need for spreading their super genes”, “A lot of men don’t volunteer to be a sperm donor cause they fear for the reaction in their surroundings”.

These and many more, were some of the interesting insights our 90 students at KEA Brand Design, were able to conclude after an intense 3 week process. First, we had a briefing session where Annemette Arndal-Lauritzen from European Sperm Bank gave the students a lot of insight and background information to the challenge. After a million questions, initial thoughts and ideas our students went to work.

Every group had to create a video demonstrating their process. See one example here.

The goal for the project was not about creating final executions and strategies to solve the problem, but about gaining insights around the target group. Researching and understanding potential sperm donors, the company and market. Who they are, how they think and feel about the subject, what’s driving or stopping them etc.  We saw many different approaches in this insight hunt. Some did street interviews, some got people to illustrate how they imagine the clinic should look, some held more classic focus groups, others gave the respondents homework to do and we even had one group who asked young men to take photos of the places they would masturbate. They certainly showed many creative ways of getting knowledge.

One of our groups found that a main barrier in becoming a sperm donor is the fear of accidentally bumping into “your offspring” one day in the supermarket. The thought of meeting “mini-me’s” scare them away. The students then asked a focus group to match photos of fathers and children to investigate if the fear was real or not. And it showed that NO ONE were able to pair the right fathers and kids. So maybe this kind of fear and barrier is something to deal with.

Thanks a lot, to European Sperm Bank for giving us this challenge, it was a super project.

By Laura Elmøe, Lecturer at KEA, Brand Design, Copenhagen