THE desire to have a baby can make some women resort to drastic measures.
While most wait until Mr Right comes along and they are financially stable, others take matters into their own hands.
Lately there has been a rising number of “spurglars” — a new term for women who “burgle” sperm by various cunning, and sometimes dangerous, means.
From pretending to be on the Pill to buying £20 fertility kits on Amazon to inject sperm, there are many desperate ways spurglars try to realise their dream of motherhood.
It comes as women who are desperate for a baby may not be eligible for free IVF on the NHS.
Guidelines from The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) are that women under the age of 40 should be offered up to three free cycles of IVF if they have been trying to conceive for more than two years without success, or they have had 12 failed cycles of artificial insemination.
Today, the average age for a first-time mother in the UK is 30 — but one in 25 UK births are to women over 40.
Local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) also have their own criteria for who should get help, depending on the catchment area.
While single women can scour the internet for a sperm donor, if they do not meet the criteria for free treatment on the NHS they would need to shell out thousands to have it privately.
The average cost for one round is just shy of £3,000 in the UK and this figure rises depending on the practice.
What is more, there is no guarantee the procedure will be a success.
Between 2014 and 2016 the percentage of IVF treatments that resulted in a live birth was 29 per cent for women aged under 35, and 23 per cent for women aged 35 to 37.
Here, one self-confessed spurglar, and a victim of spurglary, reveal all.
'He was tall and dark…'
ADMIN assistant Victoria Beckett, 29, was desperate to be a young mum – so spurgled.
Now, she is the loving mum to a daughter and has no regrets. She says:
"I knew I wanted to be a young mum – I’d suffered a miscarriage in my teens and it affected me badly.
I’d hoped to start a family with my school sweetheart but found he’d been cheating.
Ideally, I’d be married before having kids, so I could bring them up with someone I loved. But I went from one failed relationship to another. So I knew I’d have to take a different route.
I went to my GP and asked about IVF, but I was told I didn’t meet the NHS requirements. I wasn’t in a committed relationship and was young.
I thought about using a sperm donor and paying for IVF but, at £3,000 a go, there’s no way I could have afforded it on my then waitress’s salary.
I’d have to take a more drastic measure – hoodwink a guy. I knew it wasn’t morally right but I had no choice.
I met Tom on a night out and he was tall, dark, handsome and intelligent. I wanted someone with good genes and he was perfect.
We began seeing each other and, unknown to him, I stopped taking the Pill.
I deliberately had unprotected sex at my most fertile time of the month. It wasn’t long before my boobs started to swell and I had morning sickness. I did a pregnancy test and it was positive.
At 12 weeks, I sat Tom down and told him the good news – except he didn’t see it that way. “I thought you were on the Pill?” he said. He then went into meltdown. “I don’t want to have a baby,” he said. “This is mad.”
Guilt hit me but I pushed it to the back of my mind. “I’m sorry,” I squeaked. “I don’t know how it’s happened. If you don’t want anything to do with it, I can do it alone.”
Secretly, this was fine with me. I didn’t think he’d be a hands-on dad. So I continued with the pregnancy by myself. He didn’t come to any hospital appointments with me and I don’t blame him.
I wanted someone with good genes and Tom was perfect. We began seeing each other and, unknown to him, I stopped taking the Pill.
When I went into labour, my mum held my hand. I gave birth to a beautiful girl. As I held her, I knew it had all been worth it. I would look after her.
Tom came to my house to meet her one week after the birth, but I’ve not heard from him since. He didn’t want to be a part of our lives and I respected that.
He’s never paid maintenance or sent a birthday card. I don’t hold that against him.
I love being a mum and can’t wait to have more children. Ideally I’d be married but, if I never meet “the one”, I don’t rule out being a sperm stealer again.
'She said she was infertile'
SALESMAN Danny Wolfenden, 31, from Bournemouth, was spurgled in his 20s. The trauma knocked him for six and, to this day, has affected his ability to trust women. He says:
"I was casually seeing a girl and she was more into me than I was into her. To be honest, I was seeing quite a few girls at once and didn’t want a serious relationship.
We’d only slept together a couple of times before I broke it off for good. I didn’t feel it was fair to lead her on.
In the days that followed, I didn’t think much of it and was away with work. Later I got a text message from her out of the blue. It read: “I’m pregnant.”
I couldn’t believe it. How could she be pregnant? She’d told me she was infertile and we’d only slept together a few times.
I couldn’t process it all and started to worry about how much it would cost and how it would impact on my life. I wasn’t ready for a child, especially with a woman I barely knew and who I didn’t love.
The next day I called her and told her we couldn’t keep the child. We weren’t in a steady relationship and the best thing would be a termination. It may sound cold but I don’t think it’s fair to bring a child into the world in those circumstances.
She took the news badly. She told me it was her body and she was keeping the baby, who she’d found out was going to be a boy, as she’d always wanted to be a mum.
“If you don’t want to be involved, I’ll do it alone,” she hissed down the phone before hanging up.
As a man, I had no rights and no control over the situation. The power was in her hands. “I think she’s deliberately trapped me,” I told a mate, who nodded solemnly.
Since that day, we’ve never spoken. I did try to contact her but she never got back to me. She changed her address, mobile number and blocked me on social media.
If I’m honest, part of me was relieved. By having no contact, I could pretend it wasn’t happening.
She didn’t want me, she just used me for my sperm and now my son is a complete stranger to me.
She was a few years older than me and panicking about her biological clock.
As a man, I had no rights and no control over the situation. The power was in her hands.
As I’ve grown older – and more mature – I often think about my son. Especially when I see dads playing with their kids in the park.
It’s sad that I’ve never met him and I do wonder if he’ll turn up on my doorstep one day and demand answers. If he does, I would welcome a relationship with him.
But I hope his mother is honest with him and doesn’t paint me out to be the bad guy.
By Deidre Sanders, Sun Agony Aunt
IT is a downside of fertility treatment that having a baby has come to seem like a right to fulfil a would-be parent’s yearnings, rather than taking on responsibility for another human being’s life.
No matter how broody a woman is, it shouldn’t undermine a child’s right to have two loving parents wherever possible.
Children ask about their parentage. If you lie, they often pick up on it. It will not give a child a good feeling to say you tricked their dad.
Some women make great single mums but some do not. There are endless men out there, many of whom write to me, who are either outraged over being tricked or eating their heart out over a child they can have no contact with.
I haven’t paid any child maintenance and have never been asked, but if he needed help I would be there.
Now, I always use a condom because I feel worried about having my sperm stolen again.
I am now in a relationship but we haven’t got any kids yet. It’s going to take me a while before I can trust again."
- Some names have been changed.
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