‘Donating our remaining embryos seemed to be the perfect end to our journey’


Bethan, one half of a same-sex couple, on the decision to donate their embryos after completing their IVF family.

Where to start? For me, the obvious starting point is the end. And what is more powerful than the words we used to sign-off for the very last time from our fertility blog:

“So this is where our story both starts and ends: What an incredible ending it is, and what an incredible future we have ahead. We are immeasurably lucky.”

This specific blog entry was about our decision to donate our remaining five embryos after deciding our family was complete. Poignantly, it also coincided with the day our son smiled for the first time.

Nine rounds of treatment, 463 injections

We often described ourselves as the unluckiest luckiest couple; lucky to have each other, our home, our family and our friends. But so very unlucky to have gone through the journey we needed to in order to have our son. In total it took us nine rounds of treatment – and to be even more precise, 463 injections!

Our journey was wrought with sadness and loss. It was also filled, at various points along the way, with hope and altruism. As a same-sex couple we always knew we wouldn’t be able to get pregnant without the help of a sperm donor.

Donating eggs

We also donated eggs as part of an egg sharing scheme with our clinic to a woman who needed donor eggs, as well as my wife donating eggs to me after it became apparent my eggs were poor quality.

When our son was born, we felt complete. For us, we feared trying again might resurface the trauma and sadness of all those years of trying. We couldn’t imagine feeling that way again.

Donating our remaining five embryos therefore seemed to be the perfect end to our journey – one that started with using a sperm donor and donating eggs, and one that ended with us donating. It just felt so right. To think we could have hopefully helped someone in this way fills us with so much happiness and pride.

If you have embryos in storage, check out the Fertility Network UK factsheet outlining your options.