AD­VICE from the EX­PERTS

Little Treasures - - FERTILITY -

Fe­male cou­ples Treat­ment op­tions at Fer­til­ity As­so­ciates usu­ally in­clude ei­ther IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) or IUI (in­trauter­ine) with donor sperm. There are two types of sperm donors: per­sonal (from a friend or fam­ily mem­ber) or clinic re­cruited. The wait­ing time for a re­cruited donor is be­tween 20 and 28 months, so we rec­om­mend you talk to us as soon as pos­si­ble for the best chance. All clinic sperm donors need to ex­ceed nor­mal World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion val­ues for their sperm at the time of freez­ing. We then check to see how well the sperm thaws. Some sperm thaws bet­ter than oth­ers, and this helps us to work out whether it is best suited for IVF or IUI. Sim­ply put, we can give sperm a lit­tle as­sis­tance dur­ing an IVF cy­cle, so we only need an av­er­age swim­mer and we don’t need many of them. Whereas IUI re­quires lots of sperm that swim fast and are ro­bust enough to nav­i­gate and sur­vive the jour­ney to the egg. We al­ways need sperm donors, so if you know any­one who might like to do­nate, please share this story with them. Male Cou­ples Sur­ro­gacy is the main treat­ment op­tion for male cou­ples who want to start a fam­ily. It firstly in­volves find­ing a sur­ro­gate to carry a baby; this wo­man can also do­nate her eggs, or an egg donor can also be in­volved, in which case you would need both a sur­ro­gate and an egg donor. Find­ing a sur­ro­gate can be chal­leng­ing. Cou­ples gen­er­ally ap­peal to a friend or whanau and lately we have seen a rise in so­cial me­dia be­ing used to reach a wider com­mu­nity. In New Zealand no money can change hands for sur­ro­gacy and this is largely in place to en­cour­age al­tru­is­tic donors or sur­ro­gates. Coun­selling is also a manda­tory re­quire­ment for sur­ro­gacy, and egg donors, as well as mak­ing an Ap­pli­ca­tion to ECART for Ethics Ap­proval. Le­gal ad­vice is also re­quired. If you are a cou­ple, de­cide if one part­ner is go­ing to pro­vide all the sperm, or if you are go­ing to di­vide the eggs and have half fer­til­ized by each part­ner. We rec­om­mend con­sid­er­ing an egg donor and a sur­ro­gate, as it can make it eas­ier emo­tion­ally for the sur­ro­gate to carry a do­nated egg, rather than her own. The baby must also be adopted by the in­tend­ing par­ents as part of sur­ro­gacy. Speak­ing to a Fer­til­ity As­so­ciates Coun­sel­lor is a great place to start the dis­cus­sion and to make a plan. For more in­for­ma­tion visit fer­til­ityas­so­ci­ates.co.nz

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