Genetic matching helped Polly find the perfect sperm donor

Polly Freytag is in the process of becoming a single mother by choice

She made the decision after more than six months of collecting information and considering the potential impact on her life.

The 31-year-old German followed her heart and booked an appointment with a local fertility specialist, excited about starting a new chapter.

Now, almost a year later, Polly has come a long way. She has picked a donor and booked sperm storage at European Sperm Bank and is now waiting for the right time for her insemination.

Polly said: “My decision is made and the question is no longer whether to become a solo mum, but when. Because I chose to go for genetic matching between my genes and the sperm donor, I know there is a lower risk of my future baby being born with inherited genetic disease too. With that knowledge in mind, I can take the next steps on my fertility journey with a much lighter heart.”

Gene testing

The donor sperm waiting for Polly at European Sperm Bank HQ in Copenhagen is, genetically speaking, a good fit for Polly. She can rest assured that she chose a good donor as there are no obvious genetic mismatches. This service is called GeneXmatch and is an option for women who would like to have their own genes tested and matched against the genes of the donor. This match will identify the risk of almost 400 serious inherited genetic diseases, optimising the chances of a healthy baby.

“It wasn’t until a few years ago that my family found out we are actually healthy carriers of some genetic defects on a number of our genes, which could potentially cause my future child serious diseases”, Polly says. “So, the decision to choose gene testing was really easy for me.

“I just asked myself if I would have had any genetic testing done had I been trying to conceive with a partner naturally. The knowledge I have about my own family meant I was never in doubt about choosing this option as part of my fertility treatment.”

There are thousands of diseases that can be transferred to the child through male and female genes. Most individuals are healthy carriers of at least one inheritable disease – often unaware of their carrier condition. Often, they haven’t got any knowledge of the reproductive risks. The fact is that if a man and a woman are both healthy carriers of the same disease, there is a 25 percent risk in each pregnancy that the child will be affected. So, even women who are unaware of any genetic diseases they may be carrying would benefit from GeneXmatch. In simple terms, you can optimise the chances of a healthy baby.

Having a healthy child is the main priority

When Polly had decided on a donor, Polly was sent a saliva testing kit for her to use and return to the laboratory.

“Everything was explained very clearly; the instructions were easy to understand, and it all went smoothly. I was a bit concerned about the amount of saliva required, but I needn’t have worried at all.”

Even though Polly started the gene testing process during the hectic Christmas period,  she received her results within four weeks.

Polly said: “I was curious and excited. I was nervous about the wait and the results because I did not want to have to choose a new donor, but I tried not to overthink it.”

The results were positive and she was given the go-ahead with her chosen donor.

“I’m convinced that it was a good decision to go through this process in the end, one of the main things is to have a healthy child.”

So, when will Polly have her insemination?

“Currently, I am finishing a project at work and I hope that I will be able to have my first try with an IUI before Christmas 2019.”

We wish her the best of luck and are looking forward to following her journey.

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