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Advise on Proven donor with mental illness in family

February 17 2012 at 11:50 PM
  (Login ArleneT)

 
Hi

I have been thinking of going with the proven donor, but I am torn due to her having a paternal aunt with bipolar disease/alcoholism. Also another relative as alcoholism. I am more concerned with bipolar. I would love to hear your comments Choosing from two one is 27 proven (on going preg from prev cycle), day 3 #s all good and has paternal aunt with bipolar/alcoholism. Other is unproven, 22 years old, also has good day 3 numbers but no mental illness in family Who would you choose? Thanks for your advise I really like the unproven, but thought safer bet was proven, and than started to worry about paternal aunt bipolar. Internet states it is genetic and may skip generation. It isn't diagnosed till 30 years old.


    
This message has been edited by ArleneT on Feb 18, 2012 12:11 AM


 
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demomone
(no login)

Difficult question

February 18 2012, 12:09 AM 

It depends on ow you feel about the possibility of having a chid with either one of these disorders. Can you cope with it? Have you ever confronted anyone with those disorders? I would want to know what the chances are that your child may develop either disorder.

I have worked for years with both of those disorders. They can both be treated but one needs a strong family to help the patient get through rough times. I have met women who actually opt to adopt rather than pass the illness along (bipolar). What we do know is that it is genetic and I have seen several families with members having the illness. There have been many studies on this which you can easily access through pubmed.com

That said, my personal decision would be not to use a donor with a history of mental illness. I don't have the financial resources to help a child the way I would want to (private care) should they develop the illness.

I do think it is great that the donor was honest with her psych history. We chose a clinic that did very intensive psych screenings and we paid extra to have our donor retested.
Good luck..not easy to pick a donor.

 
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(Login ArleneT)

thanks

February 18 2012, 12:16 AM 

I personally don't know anyone with bipolar. I am single doing this and I started to worry that would I always be looking for this in the child. Than would I worry that if it does develop, I may not be able to handle it due to me being old lady when it might appear. What do you think about all the noise on unprovens being a big risk. My other choice seems great, but unproven and 21-22 years old. I also read that young is great and young is not great. My clinic has awesome stats, so I believe they would know how to stim her.

 
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Anonymous
(no login)

As my clinic put it...

February 18 2012, 12:24 AM 

Everyone is an. Unproven donor the first time. Out of your two options, I would go for the unproven one. My donor was unoroven and I got lucky the first time. I would not risk a hereditary mental disorder.

 
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GulfGal
(Login GulfGal)

I like the younger one better

February 18 2012, 12:26 AM 

It sounds like you like her better too, you've just been scared by people telling you not to go with an unproven donor. Remember, every proven donor was unproven at some point.
I panicked about using an unproven donor, but her numbers were good and I felt that "connection". The clinic was also really happy about her numbers and was very pleased at how young she was (she was not a clinic donor, so it wasn't some unproven they were trying to push on me), so I went for it, and I couldn't be happier with my resulting little ones (and have 11 blasts in freezer, in case I decide later that the ones I have aren't enough).
Good luck in your decision.

 
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(Login ArleneT)

thank you so much, it really helps to have advise

February 18 2012, 12:37 AM 

Thank you so much. I am going to go with the unproven, and I do like her better. But just wanted to go the safer route, but when I started thinking of the mental illness I got very anxious and it didnt feel right. Very happy to hear of your success. You both are so wonderful and kind to help me with this. I really dont feel so alone, having this site to hear from those that really know

 
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(Login Raindrops1)

I'm still leaning towards the unproven donor.

February 18 2012, 12:38 AM 

The unproven donor was your first choice. She is only 22, and my understanding is the egg quality is better when the donor is younger. As long as she is responsible and takes all her meds correctly. And you said she meets your criteria well.

I have a brother who is bi-polar with depression. My mom has dealt with depression/anxiety for years. And I have picked up the depression/anxiety gene myself. Depression/anxiety is part genetics and partially learned if you grew up with it. I wouldn't be concerned about the alcoholism. Most likely the aunt self medicates with alcohol.

I would be pretty reluctant to use a donor who's aunt is bi-polar having watched my brother deal with it. Or I would want to find out what the chances are your baby could pick up the illness. Does anyone else in the donor's family have any history of mental illness?

Are you paying for one cycle or a guaranteed plan? If you are paying for a guaranteed plan I would pick your unroven donor as your first choice. But other ladies that cycled many times will tell you to go with a proven donor. In which case maybe you should try to find a different proven donor. I think you kinda have to go with your gut feeling as to which donor you choose.

My donor was not proven but I knew she was the right one. Of all things I knew she was the right one because her ancestry matched mine. There were many other things about her too. I wish you luck in finding the donor that feels right for you.

 
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Anonymous
(no login)

happy to hear your unproven was a success

February 18 2012, 9:32 AM 

HI

Thanks for your insight and just like you my unproven is a 100% match with ancestry and she is very close to her mom. That is something I shared with my mom as well so it really touched me. When and where did you cycle? Do you remember her stats and what age. So happy for you. I think all the ladies on here are just so sweet and caring to post. I know they all will be such wonderful mothers.

 
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(Login Raindrops1)

I hope she is the one for you. (preg ment)

February 18 2012, 12:12 PM 

Certain things donors write can really trigger a connection. That is sweet she is so close to her mom. My donor also wrote about her family.

I cycled at Sea. ttle. Repro. My donor is 25. They didn't give me her stats but on her first cycle she produced 11 eggs of which I was told looked very good. Sadly the couple did not get pregnant with the fresh or frozen embryos. I believe they had male factor issues though and they moved on to another donor unless they picked her again after me. They increased her dosage for my cycle and we received 21 eggs and I got pregnant on the first fresh cycle with several frozen embies in storage.

Birdy had a good idea to ask the genetic counselor about the bi-polar issue with the aunt with the other donor. Maybe she is not a close enough relative to be much of a concern.

 
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Ariadne
(no login)

JMHO, but I would go with the unproven (children ment.)

February 18 2012, 12:39 AM 

Dh's grandmother was bipolar & his cousin is. I have not researched it & this is just anecdotal but it fits your "skips a generation" research. Dh's cousin was dx. in his early 20s, FWIW.

We were not so concerned that we opted for donor sperm, but OTOH, I would not go with a donor with a mental illness that. I don't dwell on it but I do hope our 2 children are not affected, it goes without saying.

My 1st DE cycle was a miserable failure with a proven donor & my two children are via an unproven donor, so unlike some, I don't put much extra stock in proven vs. unproven, esp. if you trust your clinic.

 
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Anonymous
(no login)

thank you

February 18 2012, 9:34 AM 

I am very happy for you and thanks for sharing the unproven information. All the best to you and your beautiful children. How blessed you are to have two!

 
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cotton
(Login BabyCotton)

Proven vs. Unproven (success, m/c, child ment)

February 18 2012, 1:05 AM 

I've had a total of 6 donors
5 of the 6 were proven (this includes one who didn't produce enough eggs for both recipients, so we got cut and never made it to transfer)

I got preg three times:
1 m/c (proven)
1 is now my 3 yr old DS (proven)
1 current pregnancy (unproven)
There was also a chemical pregnancy from another proven donor

All to illustrate that "proven" was not the magic bullet for me.

I would go with your younger, proven donor - good luck!!

 
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THK
(Login perthkitty)

If it were me

February 18 2012, 1:51 AM 

Hi,
If it were me (remembering I am not you ok) I'd pass. I'd pass because both of these illnesses are part of the addictive illness family.
I had a friend with bi-polar and have an aunt with alcholism. They really suffer and so does their family. We have schizophrenia in our immediate family so I was glad to do donor to factor out that particular illness.
I will never ever have to worry about 'looking for it developing' in our child.
I know once you have your heart set on a particular donor it is so hard to change tack but think carefully. Once you made the decision to not take this donor then you would move on very quickly to another donor.
Think very carefully about it (I can see you are already doing this).
Please excuse my bluntness in this email. I write with a caring tone even though you can't 'hear' it, best to you, THK

 
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Anonymous
(no login)

I feel the same way

February 18 2012, 9:41 AM 

HI

I dont know of anyone with these diseases first hand. I do know of a neighbor boy that developed schizoprenia in his early twenties. I use to babysit for him and he was a good kid just easily influenced. I know it is heartbreaking for his parents, his dad was adopted so it may have been from his side. I am afraid that I will always be looking for it in my child or worried that they might develop down the line and I may not be around to look after them. I am going with unproven and praying that God has a plan for me. She is from the donor clinic pool so I know they are strict on who they accept. Previous donors that cycled with them and were proven from the agency they did not want to use again. Thank you so much for the taking the time to respond. It really re-enforces that I am making the best selection.

 
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THK
(Login perthkitty)

good for you

February 19 2012, 11:00 PM 

HI Anon,
I"m a great advocate of going proven but when faced with such decisions (as yours) and having your choices I'd go unproven. Your unproven donor is also younger so that is a good thing too.
Its hard making all these decisions. But somehow you get used to it so that when another one comes along you just get quicker at it and move on quickly too.
We here have to deal with some amazing issues. I think this makes us pragmatic and definite. Just get your babe on board and things flow quickly from there (do they what happy.gif take care, best, THK

 
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E&H
(no login)

I would go for the unproven one too

February 18 2012, 2:32 AM 

Its not just you who has to suffer if your child develops bi-polar down the line, its could be passed down in generations. I do know a doctor in Malaysia who is bipolar and his family really suffer beyond belief. I also believe addictive personalities e.g.. alcoholism is passed on. As others have said, a proven donor was once unproven. If her stats are good, low fsh, high astral follicle count, good health history, doesn't smoke, doesn't drink - I'd 100% go for the unproven given the history of the other own.


 
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Anonymous
(no login)

Yes, unproven

February 18 2012, 9:42 AM 

Thanks for your insight. I agree with all your statements, but it is so wonderful and more reassuring to feel others share the same opinion.

 
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lizzie
(Login lizzielizzie)

Re: Advise on Proven donor with mental illness in family

February 18 2012, 7:53 AM 

As a person who finally found success on her 7th DE cycle, when faced with the choice, I decided to go with younger. The donor the clinic matched me with was very young (23) with no kids and unproven. We took her. She gave us an amazing cycle, with 43 eggs, 35 fert, 19 still going on day 5, and 7 A frosties.

That said, it is all a crap shoot. Go with your gut instinct.


    
This message has been edited by lizzielizzie on Feb 18, 2012 7:53 AM


 
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Anonymous
(no login)

Wow that is awesome

February 18 2012, 9:44 AM 

Hi

Yes, I agree it is all a crap shoot. I am assuming that not all previous donors were proven andif they were so what. It did not produce a babyfor you. God bless you and all your future children.

 
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Mrs. M
(no login)

Agree with pp's

February 18 2012, 8:52 AM 

I would use the younger unproven donor. We did a cycle with a four time proven donor and ended up without a baby. We are now cycling with a 22 y/o unproven donor that has great stats. I would not take the chance with the mental illness in the family history. I work on healthcare and funding for mental illness is so inadequate. People often cannot get the help/support they need unless they have the finances to pay for it themselves.

 
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Anonymous
(no login)

Thanks and my prayers are with you for this to work

February 18 2012, 9:47 AM 

Hi Ladies,

Thanks again for all your insight. Unproven, young, great match with good stats is my choice. The rest is out of my hands. I will continue to pray for all of us to take home a healthy baby. Boy are these babies ever so lucky to have moms that care so much about them and want them

 
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green.elephant
(Login green.elephant)

good choice

February 18 2012, 11:38 AM 

Through my eyes, in this case, unproven = good choice. I am using unproven too - someone has to go first - they're all unproven at some point and her background is by far better than your other option. Personally, for me, mental health & addiction in the family history were red flags and based on the criteria that my center uses to select donors, I am sure that the potential donor with family mental health issues and family alcoholism would not have even made their cut to be a donor.

 
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minniet
(no login)

from my experience

February 18 2012, 11:09 AM 

I would prefer the unproven if the proven had any bipolar illness in her family.

This is one reason we did not proceed with another donor in July of this year - I saw family pictures and they haunted me; I sensed mental disorder in the family.

My sister is bipolar and my father was as well. There is nothing anyone can really do about bipolar illness (despite what people say), and their illness set our family up for incredible pain. To this day, my sister, who is nearly 50 is mean, angry, disruptive and uses everyone in our extended family for money. My father simply could not hold down a job and had a terrible temper at times he had no control of, which scarred us all (though I loved him dearly). Thank goodness, my sister no longer speaks to me (she won't tell anyone why, and I am now thankful she does not speak to me, as she traumatized me too much with her swings).

If you do have a child with bipolar disease, you may end up managing their troubles for the rest of your life, and worrying that they may be homeless or not taken care of after you die. This is the case with my mother. She is fighting advanced cancer and my sister's disease still took priority many times.

Using DE for me, this is the greatest hope of all, that there will be little chance of this occurring in our family.


 
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(Login Raindrops1)

So sorry Minniet.

February 18 2012, 12:19 PM 

It is difficult to watch family members with mental illness. And i feel bad for them and you that it showed itself in anger. My brother with bi-polar has never been angry, just very depressed. But he does have good days and I know his life is challenging.

If possible, I agree it is best to avoid this mental illness if you can. It is sad to watch and be a part of.

 
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Adrah
(no login)

I agree

February 18 2012, 4:37 PM 

I am a therapist who works with people who have psychiatric disabilities. Bipolar disorder is difficult to treat and a lifelong condition. I would not chose a donor who had bipolar illness in the family. I'm sorry for the troubles with your family! You sound very strong.

 
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Minniet
(no login)

Thanks raindrops and a drag

February 18 2012, 7:15 PM 

I would nt be so worried about alcoholism as I would bipolar or schizophrenia.

You're both kind. I feel fortunate to not be bipolar.

 
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Anonymous
(no login)

Raindrops and Adra - auto spell errrr

February 18 2012, 7:16 PM 


 
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Adrah
(no login)

LOL...n/t :-)

February 19 2012, 10:36 AM 


 
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birdy1600
(Login birdy1600)

I hear you

February 18 2012, 9:27 PM 

with me it's alcoholism. And though they say they have not found a gene my family is proof there is something going on there. And I have had other medical doctors say they are sure of it.
So if my donor had close family with chemical dependency, I probably would have moved on.
I, too, feel that we have additional blessings that, though we don't know for sure, we are pretty certain clinical depression is also not in her family, and DH and I both have had our bad bouts with it.
You are being a good mommy before the fact by watching out for your little ones. do what you need to do honey.

 
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birdy1600
(Login birdy1600)

ask to speak with genetic counselor

February 18 2012, 11:23 AM 

I think it may be okay. it's not the donor nor her immediate parents. you may be okay on this.

 
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(Login Blessed_Thistle)

Not sure if this was mentioned but...(kids ment)

February 18 2012, 12:16 PM 

I would think I could be comfortable with her disclosure because some might try to hide it. If I otherwise really preferred the proven donor, I'd go that route. Otherwise, the unproven looks promising too. My kids (from donor embryo) have two suicides in their genetic background - a great grandparent on both sides. So I have already been down the path of "what if?" and decided to move forward. If you could put aside proven vs unproven and the familial mental health issue (consider this would be genetically speaking your child's great aunt and I would wager many of us have an alcoholic or mentally ill great aunt/uncle) and ask your heart which one really speaks to it.


    
This message has been edited by Blessed_Thistle on Feb 18, 2012 12:16 PM


 
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(Login Raindrops1)

So true.

February 18 2012, 12:26 PM 

What family doesn't have at least one addict or some mental illness? Of course there are different levels of severity. And environment plays a huge role too. At least she was very honest in writing it down.

 
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futurebeauty
(no login)

My family has both alcoholism and schizophrenia

February 18 2012, 12:48 PM 

My father is a alcoholic and DH's mother is schizophrenic and we still chose to have children together. Both our bio kids are healthy but DS may show some signs of potential issues w/ anxiety but he is only almost 4 yr old. I worry about the potential of mental illness in our future w/ our bio kids and now our future DE child but I really wanted our children to be related.

When I chose our donor, I picked someone w/ a better medical history than myself. I would steer clear from anything abnormal in a donor's history as you want to give your children the best start. Why have to worry if you don't have to???

This is my 2 cents.

happy.gifhappy.gifhappy.gif FB

 
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Anonymous
(no login)

Re: Advise on Proven donor with mental illness in family

February 18 2012, 8:18 PM 

I dated someone with bipolar I (big difference from bipolar II, where the type I are more likely to have major manic/psychotic issues.) I loved him dearly, he was handsome and creative and wonderful, but those episodes were horrible. Even with me trying to protect him, keep him on his meds, getting enough sleep, stable, etc.,, his behaviors would escalate and we'd end up with 7-10 days in a hospital and jobs/school, etc. in tatters. It was more than I felt I could cope with for the rest of my life, and it seemed like some of his sort of "crazy" beliefs were starting to creep into real life like he had special religious powers, etc. There was no way, given the choice, that I could bear going through that with my children.
Sorry to be so negative, but I agree with the others if going for DE trying to avoid things that might be issues.

 
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emilyr99
(Login emilyr99)

Makes me a bit angry! Doesn't answer fully but...

February 24 2012, 3:53 PM 

My father was bipolar, technical diagnosis was manic depressive, paranoid schizophrenic. My sister has offered to be a donor and I accepted.

Obviously this was an easy choice for me, but even when I was a teenager and looking into the possibility of this being hereditary, I was told that the chance of this being inherited by me would only be increased by 50% of the normal level which is only a 4% chance anyway, making it 8%, so it's very low and that's a direct line from my dad to me!

Everyone in the world has a genetic history including mental illness. There is such a stigma which makes me so mad. My dad was a great guy and yes we had challenges, but so does everyone! Don't you want the best chance of success? If this donor gives you that, then take it!

I don't mean to offend at all as we are all going through a tough time, but no matter which donor we use, we get a genetic history and it's a complete gamble in any case. I say go with your gut, but don't consider mental illness to be a deal breaker, please!

 
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