If you can’t rely on your sperm donor coordinator

21 Sep

Chances are that you have at some point been diagnosed by a medical practitioner and simply have trusted their opinion. After all they are rigorously trained in medical science and dedicated to professional ethics.

We don’t trust our mechanics in the same way though and they are highly trained in their field. Is it because historically people have viewed medicine as sacred and therefore are reluctant to challenge those who practice it. Or is it simply that we are generally vulnerable when we seek advice of this nature. Whatever the reason, it is important to remember that medical professionals are only human and, as humans, they make mistakes or can be simply incompetent.

I’ve experienced first hand the mistakes, misjudgments and oversight of doctors. So I should know better than to expect all the relevant information be handed to me on a silver platter…

I’m sure I have mentioned how overwhelming choosing donor sperm has been for me. So many choices. Naturally, after visiting the websites which I was referred to, I would have questions. And who better to answer these questions than my sperm donor coordinator girl. Or…. 

Anyway, all of the websites which I have been searching on have CMV status against all donors, either negative or positive. CMV is Cytomegalovirus, a member of the herpes virus family that includes chicken pox, cold sores, and infectious mononucleosis.

Here is what it says about CMV on one of the sites:

CMV is a virus that most American adults have been exposed to and have immunity to. In healthy adults and children it produces mild cold or flu like symptoms for 1-2 weeks. If a woman who has never had CMV becomes infected with the virus during pregnancy, the child is at risk for developing severe medical problems, such as mental retardation, deafness and seizures. You can be tested to determine if you have been exposed to CMV. If you are CMV negative, you should consider restricting your selections to CMV negative donors, to prevent the small chance of developing CMV during pregnancy and passing it the developing child.

Okay, so statements such as “severe medical problems”, “mental retardation” and  “seizures” are rather alarming. One would think it was a good idea to ask for more information and advice here. The response from my sperm donor coordinator was “I don’t know about CMV. Don’t worry about it, it should be fine”. Hmmpf. I can’t imagine why this made me a little tense. The good ole Aussie attitude of “She’ll be right mate” is just not going to cut it in this case. We are talking about the health of my unborn child after all.

I have had chicken pox, twice actually, and I have been known to get the odd cold sore so I guess that means that I have immunity. But is it too much to ask for some certainty from the people who are meant to know?

I have also discovered over the last few days that because I am doing IVF I don’t need to order as much sperm as someone having donor insemination. Yep, she could have told me that too. I have been overlooking donors who are listed at risk of having a ‘low supply’ when they probably had enough for IVF use. And she mispalced my treatment plan!

I really wanted to embrace my sperm donor coordinator and become friends, despite my first impression of her being 12 years old. But now I really am sorry that I didn’t think to ask her “Now what aren’t you telling me that I should know?”. Oh well, I’m sure she will serve her purpose in doing the actually ordering.

I’m doing lots of extra research tonight – primarily on all the questions I need to think of to ask my doctor tomorrow in regards to donor sperm.  Then I can confirm my short list. There is no point in doing so until I have all the information I need.

A stupid act entails doing the work twice over.~ Burmese Proverb


2 Responses to “If you can’t rely on your sperm donor coordinator”

  1. Amanda November 1, 2010 at 5:40 am #


    I just wanted to give you some info on CMV.
    Simply ask your doctor to give you a blood test, they will tell you if you’re immune or not (results will take 2-5 days to come back). The good news is that 90% of the population are immune and if you have immunity your fetus CANNOT contract it. End of story.

    I think it’s worth getting checked as I too have had chicken pox, get cold sores, etc and have recently found out I’m not immune!!!
    And the thing about CMV is that there is no vaccine to make you immune, so there’s really nothing you can do but hope you don’t come accross it.
    And luckily it is highly unlikely that you will come accross it.

    It is even more unlikely if you’ve worked with children, as children are most likely to pick it up and pass it around with their saliva. (As they all suck the same toys,etc). As children, they fight it off easily, however (and like a lot of illnesses) if you get it as an adult it will make you quite ill. And yes, it can be fatal to a pregnant lady. But just about all childcare workers have had it and are already immune.

    It is spread by bodily fluids …. saliva being the number 1 way. Also semen … so it can be sexually transmitted.

    And this is the very quick lamens explanation of CMV! I hope it answers some of your questions and maybe you can forward it to the clinic????


    • motherinwaiting November 8, 2010 at 12:02 am #

      Thank you so much. I will definitely forward this to the clinic (hilarious that I would need to). Your help here is so appreciated xx

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