Donor Sperm Options
Are you interested to learn more about donor sperm? Donor sperm may be just what you need to help you get pregnant in the following situations:
- Male infertility: If your partner lacks sperm, has a low sperm count or poor sperm quality
- If your partner has a genetic disorder that you are concerned about passing on to your children
- If you are a single woman or in a lesbian relationship
If you plan to use donor sperm, you will be tested for certain conditions. Your doctor will want to be sure that your body will not attack or reject the donated sperm.
Deciding on a donor
One decision you will have to make about donor sperm is whether you want to use a donor you know or whether you will want to visit a sperm bank which will provide sperm from an anonymous donor.
If you do choose a donor that you know, especially if you are single or in a lesbian relationship, make sure to check into your state's laws concerning donor insemination. Paternity laws may apply in some states and you will want to know each person's legal rights concerning the child. If you use a known donor, check with an attorney to see what legal steps you may need to take during the process.
Visiting a sperm bank
When choosing a donor, you will first identify a potential sperm bank. The sperm bank will allow you to screen sperm donors based on the following characteristics:
- Appearance and ethnicity
- Career and education
- Health and medical records
Guidelines for donor sperm
There are strict guidelines on donor sperm, regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Donor sperm samples are screened for a large number of viruses and genetic health conditions, including HIV. After screening, donor sperm samples are quarantined and frozen for six months before use. Before the sample is used, the donor should be retested for HIV and to make sure there are no health concerns.
Pregnancy with donor sperm
Once you have secured the sperm sample and are ready to begin, you may choose to become pregnant via insemination or in vitro fertilization (IVF). Some women also choose to do the process at home, although sperm donations from sperm banks may require that you receive the sample in the fertility clinic office, most likely using insemination.
Discuss your feelings about using donor sperm
Before you begin the donor sperm process, you may want to visit a counselor with your partner. Many emotions can arise when becoming pregnant with donor sperm, and it could help you to talk about any feelings or concerns that you may have.