Dr Sharma's Story
“I am a 33-year-old medical doctor living with my parents and elder sister. I have worked as a gynaecologist and was aware of fertility treatments and the use of donor sperm before I started my own journey.
“I am of Indian origin and in our culture there is, unfortunately, a stigma and embarrassment around the issue of donor sperm and being a single mother. Luckily, my own parents and sister have always been very supportive with the decisions I make and continued to be so throughout my fertility journey.
“I found that I never had time to go on dating or matrimonial sites to find suitable partners. All of my time was either spent studying or going to work and I never felt a spark between myself or anyone that I worked with.
“I had been diagnosed with a severe form of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) when I was 13. I had been given metformin at the time and my parents were told that, in the future if I did want children, I would need clomiphene to trigger ovulation.
“All these years I had been so busy with my work, but at the back of my mind I knew that my time was running out and my fertility window was narrowing.
“In 2017, I read an article about fertility options for single women. I knew that fertility treatments were available for couples, but single women were not given this option through the NHS. I looked on the London Women’s Clinic site and saw that they held an Open Day for single women who were interested in fertility treatment. I registered my interest and then began doing my own research as I had always wanted to have children, whether I was in a relationship or not.
“After attending the Open Day, I arranged a consultation, blood tests and ultrasound at London Women’s Clinic (or you can write LWC) at their London Bridge location. I saw Dr Nair, who was very helpful and supportive along with the rest of the staff. I had several appointments at London Bridge and London Women’s Clinic, which included mandatory blood tests and smear. I also did my own research around donor sperm. Sometimes my research took me to different banks in London, America and Denmark – but ultimately, I decided that ordering donor sperm from the London Sperm Bank was the best course of action. Sometimes there can be issues around the transport of sperm, so I thought that the close and easy-to-reach location of the London Sperm Bank to their partner, the London Women’s Clinic, was a definite benefit.
“When I went through my treatment, there were no donors of Indian origin on the catalogue, which meant that I had to wait for a little bit. I wasn’t surprised by the fact that there were no Indian donors at the time because sperm donation often isn’t looked at favourably in my community. For some reason, blood donation is seen as acceptable, but sperm donation is seen as embarrassing.
“After a wait, I found a suitable donor that was the same origin as me. Myself, as an individual, and my family, have never discriminated against a race, religion or caste, but it was important to me that, if I ever had a child as single mother, that the child would feel like they belonged to me and my community. This was why I decided to wait for a donor from the same community.
“London Sperm Bank does not provide photos of donors, but I found this procedure ethical and I had no problem selecting someone using the characteristics and the impressions provided, rather than judging on looks. The staff at London Sperm Bank were helpful and professional at all times.”
“I then underwent an insemination treatment (IUI) with the sample from the donor sperm that I selected and went for a natural cycle procedure as I had not been keen on hormones or medicine.
“By the grace of God, the first cycle was successful and after 41 weeks, I, along with my family, were blessed with a divine baby girl, weighing 3.3kg.
“My daughter has brought so much happiness to me and my family, words cannot describe it. She has created new relations, she made my parents grandparents, she made me a mother, she made my sister an aunty.
“Seeing her innocent, gummy grin and applauding her life’s milestones give my life perspective and a sense of meaning. I am grateful to the Almighty, my family, the staff at London women’s Clinic, the staff at London Sperm Bank and my sperm donor.
“I feel privileged in sharing my story to help spread awareness of the noble act of sperm donation among males and females.
“Sometimes in life, you don’t find someone suitable to have a child with, but that shouldn’t prevent you from having children of your own. Single women should consider sperm donors as an option, just the same as a couple might.
“Donation of any sort is a noble act and should not be seen as an embarrassing procedure and should be encouraged. For me, blood donation and sperm donation can both be life-changing forms of giving. While blood donation saves lives, sperm donation creates those lives.”
Learn more about our partnership with London Sperm Bank and receiving sperm donation via the LWC.