Getting pregnant at 49 – how it really happens…

120px-Pregnancy_test_resultWe’ve all seen the stories about babies born to celebrities in their late forties – or even fifties – with no mention of how they got pregnant. It can make it seem as if having a baby at an age when most women are on the verge of the menopause is effortless when in fact the celebrities concerned will almost certainly have used donor eggs in order to conceive.

Now Sonia Kruger has spoken out about this – and I admit, I hadn’t heard of her, but apparently she is an Australian television presenter who hosts Big Brother and is described by the Mail as a ” fashionable 49-year-old” (because of course not many 49 year olds are “fashionable”….). Responding to a magazine headline which referred to her “miracle pregnancy”, she has gone public about her history of fertility problems, miscarriage and the fact that she was told by doctors that for any woman over the age of 45 the chance of IVF success using their own eggs was zero. She says her pregnancy is  “science, not a miracle” and has been open about the fact that she needed donor eggs in order to get pregnant.

You can read more here and here

 

Donate and help a friend

images-2In an interesting move to increase the number of egg and sperm donors, one UK fertility clinic is offering anyone who donates the chance to nominate a friend or family member for a free cycle of IVF treatment. The clinic carried out a survey which found that the thing that motivated donors more than anything else was knowing someone who was having difficulty getting pregnant – so this scheme aims to capitalise on that by offering them the chance to help someone they know as well as someone they don’t!

The clinic, Bourn Hall, has set up a new website for anyone wanting to know more about becoming a donor and potential donors can visit any of the Bourn clinics near Cambridge and Norwich and in Colchester.

You can find out more about the project here 

Considering donor treatment?

If you’re considering using an egg or sperm donor, you should check out the National Gamete Donation Trust’s new website at www.ngdt.co.uk. The Trust does a lot of work to encourage more people to think about donating, so there’s lots of information there aimed at donors – but there’s also a wealth of information about egg, sperm and embryo donation for recipients. Ranging through practical, ethical and legal aspects of treatment, it’s well worth a look before you make any decisions.

What’s more, it’s a really easy-to-navigate and attractive website – well done to all at the National Gamete Donation Trust!

Could you be a charity trustee?

images-1The National Gamete Donation Trust, a charity which supports egg, sperm and embryo donation, is looking for trustees. The Trust works with donors, recipients and clinics and helps to raise awareness of the need for gamete donation. It also manages the voluntary contact register which helps donor-conceived people born before 1991 to get in touch with their donors and half-siblings, and is currently working to bring the first national sperm bank to the UK.

The Trust is looking for enthusiastic people to join the Board of Trustees, and would be particularly interested in anyone with skills in human resources, business development and/or performance management, communications particularly with knowledge of social media, writing and editing or developing grant applications and business cases

Trustees will attend at least two annual meetings in central London, and will be expected to contribute actively to the work of the charity.  If you’d like to know more, or might be interested in applying, you can find out more at the National Gamete Donation Trust website – http://www.ngdt.co.uk/

New films about donor conception

If you know you may need to use a donor if you’re going to conceive, you are bound to consider the impact this might have on your future family – and particularly how any child you may have will feel about being donor-conceived.  It can feel a daunting prospect, and it is fears about this which sometimes make parents worry about whether to tell their children.

Now, two new films from the Donor Conception Network give a really interesting insight into how it feels to be donor-conceived as they feature young people whose parents used donor gametes to have them talking about their thoughts and feelings. You can buy them on a DVD which has two films, one featuring young people who are growing up in families with heterosexual parents, and one featuring those who are growing up in lesbian families or with single mothers.

Having seen the films, I would highly recommend them to anyone who is considering donor conception. They are really moving, incredibly reassuring and show that what really matters to the young people is being in a loving family;  being donor-conceived is something that can be a totally normal and accepted part of life to young people who grow up knowing how they were conceived. You can find out more and buy the DVD at www.dcnetwork.org