Getting Pregnant <
Trying to conceive
16/01/2014 at 23:07
Hello there! I think some of you will know me from Hitched, but a quick intro for those of you who don't know me: I'm 29, live in South London with my husband of almost 2.5 years. I'm a junior doctor, Brownie leader and a bit of a forum geek. We are not actually TTC yet, but hope to start later this year - my current job ends in August so I want to make sure I have got onto the next level of training before thinking about it. But this is something that H and I have to make a decision about in the next few weeks, hence my posting here - thought it was a bit too BT for Hitched!
My H had Hodgkin's lymphoma 4 years ago. He had chemo and radiotherapy and fully responded and is thankfully back to normal health now. We knew that the chemo might affect his fertility so he had some sperm banked before starting treatment. The first year was free, but now we have to pay for it - it started out at £100 a year but has now gone right up to £250 a year! This price rise made us wonder if it was worth still paying to store it, so he had a repeat analysis done. Thankfully, all his counts are back to normal (they had initially dropped after treatment) but the person at the clinic who he spoke to said that there might still be "hidden DNA damage" that could cause problems - though apparently the only evidence for this is in animals. I'm not really sure how much we need to worry about that, they weren't able to give us any numbers. So we're now in the situation where his sperm counts are pretty much the same as the counts in his stored specimens, but there's this vague nebulous idea that something might not be right there.
Of course, we have no idea if it will be easy or difficult to conceive, and if it does turn out to be difficult, whether it would make any difference at all to use his stored samples for any fertility treatment rather than current ones. My personal feeling is that £250 is a drop in the ocean compared with the costs of fertility treatment overall, and we might as well keep it for extra peace of mind, but he is not convinced that it's worth the money for potentially at least another 2 or more years. The reason I'm asking now is that the next payment is due soon, hence needing to make a decision! So WWYD - pay the money and play it safe, or not worry about this very vague non-evidenced suggestion of "problems" and just hope for the best?
16/01/2014 at 23:46
Hello welcome to MD, its such a tricky one with a lot of what ifs.. Do you know the percentage of chance of 'dna damage' there is? (Totally missed the animal bit until I reread it,)
Personally the above question would help too answer if we should or not. Also could you afford too keep it? I would personally keep it if we could afford too just to be on the safe side, I would be gutted if further down the line this 'dna damage' effected the sperm and our only chance had been destroyed.
Not sure if that helps you at all sorry, but didn't want to read and run!
17/01/2014 at 07:33
I too would keep it, if there is even the smallest percentage that you wouldn't be able to have children otherwise why take the risk? Then see how you are once ttc and reevaluate then x
17/01/2014 at 07:38
Hi H, welcome to MD.
I agree with the others. I would keep it for the same of maybe 250-500 pounds. If you start ttc this year, conceive easily and have a healthy baby then you'll hopefully feel reassured that you don't need it. However you might kick yourself if you destroy it only to find out there are some issues down the line.
17/01/2014 at 08:23
Hi, welcome to MD. If it was me, and the money aspect wasn't an issue, I'd keep it without a doubt just in case.
17/01/2014 at 08:31
Hello, welcome to MD. I've not really got anything else to add really as agree with all the others. It's such a tough one because you don't know how your ttc journey will span out. If you can afford it and both you and H are agreement, I'd keep it just in case.
17/01/2014 at 10:44
17/01/2014 at 11:46
I'd pay it. You may not need it, but I do think £500-£750 is worth it for the peace of mind. Because if you do find it difficult to conceive, or you can conceive but your foetuses all show genetic abnormalities, then those healthy sperm will be PRICELESS to you. OK so if you don't need it then you're down the money, but on the flipside, if you need it and don't have it then you'd be looking at either sperm donation or adoption and that's a big step away from conceiving and bearing your own child. I would just put the money aside - you don't say whether this is a lot of money to you, but my feeling from your post is that you can afford it, so I'd do it. It's insurance x
17/01/2014 at 14:50
I would agree with everyone else. If you can afford it, go for it for peace of mind x
17/01/2014 at 19:59
In your situation I would definitely pay. What would your H say if he got some other health problem or something happened that affected his count if not the quality? You can't predict the future but you'd be kicking yourself if you'd thrown out A grade quality and quantity. Good luck of convincing him of that!
17/01/2014 at 20:55
Thanks for all your replies. We can afford it, so it's not a problem from that point of view, but he's an economist and therefore obsessed with "value" - he will spend loads of money on some things, if he thinks that they are worth the money, but really hates wasting money. But to me it's not about the money, it's about potentially throwing away a chance. Will try hard to talk him round!
17/01/2014 at 22:32
Tell him this: I can see his point about "value", but honestly, if you do need those sperm then trust me they will be worth more than £750 to you!
If you don't need them = £750 down
If you do need them = they are priceless (v.high value)
You don't know yet what the outcome will be
So surely the risk of not having them when you need them, outweighs the £750 (which you can afford- would be different if you couldn't) you'd be down should you not need them? He is gambling that you won't need them, but IF you do, their worth is awfully high.
18/01/2014 at 14:13
I agree with the others, I'd be inclined to keep it just now and see how you got with ttc and it will always be there as a backup plan. If you never need it then thats brilliant but its always an option if you do.
Best of luck to you xx
19/01/2014 at 17:06
Hey and welcome Helenia
Completely agree with the others - definitely keep paying. It sounds like it won't impact your life financially so I would definitely go for it..
20/01/2014 at 23:05
I'd keep them H, I'd rather regret spending the money than regret not keeping them for the sake of a few hundred pounds which is a drop in the ocean compared to the priceless worth of the child that could come from them.
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