WLW (LGBT) TTC in next year - where to begin?

My partner and I, both female, are planning on starting our journey TTC around the end of this year/beginning of next year - and we have NO IDEA where to start!

We know we each want to TTC, with my partner carrying first (she is 35 next month, I am 29). We don’t know if either of us will be able to conceive. She has very abnormal (heavy and months long) cycles that she will be seeing someone about within the next few months to have checked out prior to TTC. 1 1/2 years ago I had a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst that caused an ovarian torsion, which resulted in emergency surgery to remove one ovary and Fallopian tube. [name_m]Prior[/name_m] to that I had almost no cycle for several years, but after the surgery I’ve since mostly regulated.

I have so many questions for TTC. We would very likely go the unknown donor route - has anyone used a donor bank and if so, which one did you use (we’re in southern US) and what was your experience? Did you TTC at home or at a clinic? In general, and especially from other WLW/LGBT that have gone through this journey: where do you recommend starting? What are things to consider? Any tips or words of advice?

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Hi there! I created a thread for donor conceived support but there hasn’t been any activity yet. I’m so happy to know there are other families considering donor conception here on NB!!

Since I have a known donor, I can only provide limited advice on sperm banks. I have a lot of knowledge on all of this, but no first-hand experience. There are a ton of FB groups for this kind of thing tho, I would highly recommend joining one or two!!

But as far as my advice - I would recommend a fertility workup for your partner. Heavy periods don’t necessarily mean she’ll have trouble conceiving. Abnormal periods would be more concerning. But they can do all sorts of tests to see if she’s a good candidate for at-home insemination (sometimes called ICI) or in the clinic with IUI or IVF. Although ICI could save money if it works, it’s a gamble.

The US is experiencing a sperm shortage at this time. If you find a donor that you like, and you want all of your children from the same donor, you will need to purchase at least 6 vials, but as many as available would be the most ideal.

Depending on the number of vials available for the donor you chose, you may want to skip ICI and go straight to IUI or IVF so you don’t waste the limited amount of sperm that you have.

One thing I would find out from the clinic and/or health insurance company - [name_f]Do[/name_f] they require a certain number of failed IUIs before allowing you to jump to IVF? This is very important when you have a limited supply of sperm.

Let me know if you have any questions, I’m happy to help however I can!

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I’m hoping to start my SMBC (single mother by choice) journey later this year and I am planning on TTC using donor sperm via a clinic, however I’m UK based and I haven’t started yet so I’m probably not much help in regards to clinic recommendations. However, I second @Elle1 with saying it is best to get a fertility check for both of you, as it is always good to know where you stand! I also recommend reading it starts with the egg by [name_f]Rebecca[/name_f] Fett, I’ve only just started reading it but it gives useful suggestions for taking supplements etc, which can help increase egg health, it also suggests that you can improve your egg health in just 3-4 months.
I agree with @Elle1 that joining Facebook groups for people in similar situations can be really helpful, some groups are really proactive in sharing information including clinic recommendations etc. Oh and if you are thinking of starting next year it is worth looking at the financial side as just the sperm on its own can be very expensive, although as you are in the US and have health insurance apparently that can sometimes cover (some if not all) treatments so that can help.

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Hi! [name_f]My[/name_f] wife and I were about to start TTC last [name_u]March[/name_u] when COVID hit. We ultimately put things on pause, but should be starting things back up soon. The information below is from the two appointments we had last year. We are based in the US too, so hopefully this helps.

We decided to work with a fertility clinic, so our first step was to setup an initial appointment. We met with a nurse who asked us about how many kids we wanted and who was going to carry. She also explained how everything would work using their clinic. From there we did some initial bloodwork to determine things like CMV status and my wife completed a test where they put dye in her fallopian tubes (hysterosalpingogram). The next step would have been to do an egg health check, which would have been done after her period.

As I recall, the other steps were that we needed to select a donor and then do a DNA test to make sure we would be compatible. The clinic does require that we meet with a counselor for a session about using donor sperm. Our plan is to use a donor who is willing to be contacted in the future and our clinic recommends Seattle Sperm [name_m]Bank[/name_m]. We will be doing IUI through the clinic and their policy is to try 3 times before switching to the other partner or to IVF.

TLDR: find a clinic and setup a consultation. They’ll explain everything to you!

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That certainly seems like a lot to navigate without guidance. Starting with a clinic is a great idea. Thank you!