Donor Conception

How Using Donor Sperm Changed Our Lives

Eloise Edington  |   21 Nov 2020


Toyah and Ricardo candidly share their unsuccessful experience of trying to conceive, a heart-breaking male infertility diagnosis and moving onto donor sperm through Cryos International.

Over to Toyah and Ricardo | @cryosinternational

Toyah and Ricardo from The Netherlands were dreaming of starting a family together. When the time was right, they began trying for a baby. After three months of trying to conceive, Toyah decided to buy an at home male fertility (sperm) test so they would know that everything was fine and that they were able to continue trying to conceive with no stress. However, sadly the test didn’t show the result they hoped for.

“The test was negative, which meant that there were too few sperm cells. My husband then went to the doctor and had his sperm tested twice. The sperm count was 0 both times.”

Being Diagnosed Infertile

After a lot of fertility testing and an operation, the couple were told the devastating news, that Ricardo had the syndrome Y Deletion, which meant that he could not produce any sperm cells and was infertile. The fertility specialist told them that they would have to use a sperm donor to have a child.

”Because it was a long journey up until that point, we had already accepted that this would be our path. We were just happy to know that we could still become parents, but with a donor and a little fertility help. At the beginning of the journey, we thought that we could never have children, and that feeling still haunts me sometimes.”

The Search For a Sperm Donor

Toyah and Ricardo began looking for a sperm donor at sperm bank Cryos. It was important to them that the donor had similarities to Ricardo.

“We chose a sperm donor who had similar interests and appearance to Ricardo. The donor is athletic, has the same hobbies, eye and hair colour. Only the donor’s height is different from Ricardo.”

Related Article – Sperm Donation – What Motivates Men to Become Sperm Donors?

The Process

The ordering process is an important part for those looking at donor sperm. However this process may differ from one fertility clinic to another. Here are Cryos’ tips on how to order donor sperm and considerations when doing so:

  1. Create a private account

  2. Filter by personal preferences

  3. Find and agree on your favourite sperm donor

  4. Purchase donor sperm

  5. Checkout

More details can be found here.

Related Article – Podcast: Male Infertility Causes, Factors & Treatment with Toby Trice Racing


From Two to Five in a Few Years

Toyah went through IUI treatment with donor sperm from the donor they had chosen and, within a few years, the couple had gone from being just the two of them to having a family of five – Toyah, Ricardo and their three lovely boys. To Toyah and her husband, it was important from the beginning to be open about their journey towards parenthood.

”We have always been open about our fertility journey because we would not want to keep something as important as this from our children. The donor helped us, and he gave us the greatest gift – the gift of life – and we want to share that with our children and everyone else.”

Related Article – Male Infertility: We Need to Talk

Ricardo is 100% the Father

The fact that Ricardo does not share genes with the boys does not have an impact on the strong family bonds. Even family and friends sometimes forget that he doesn’t share genes with them because the kids look so much like their father.

“Ricardo’s relationship with our children is very strong. I think that it is because it took so much from us to get them, and we are so happy to have them in our life every day. Ricardo is 100% their father because he has been there from the beginning when they were made and every day since then. They may not look like him on the inside, but they act just like him. DNA is just a piece of the puzzle.”

Toyah’s Advice For Others

Toyah has some advice for others who are using a sperm donor to make the dream of their family come true:

“Take your time to find the right donor for you, and make sure you are a 100% happy with the donor that you have chosen. Also, I would advise others to buy a bulk of straws in one go. The donor might stop donating and that may give you a lot of unnecessary stress. It took us 17 tries to get our three beautiful boys, and we have one precious straw left, which we can use for an IVF in the future – if we choose to have another baby.”

Related Article – Fertility Warriors are Superheroes: Here’s the Proof


If you are trying to conceive and considering using a sperm donor for fertility treatment at a fertility clinic, you can read much more on the Cryos website. You can also go directly to the Cryos Donor Search, where you can look through more than 1,000 sperm donor profiles for free.

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