Sperm donation is a fertility treatment option in which a woman uses sperm from someone other than an intimate partner to conceive.
Candidates for donor sperm include:
- Couples with very severe male factor infertility
- Same-sex female couples
- Single women who wish to conceive
Types of sperm donors
Donor sperm is most commonly purchased from a sperm bank. These sperm banks perform infectious and genetic disease screening on donors and quarantine the sperm for a period of time prior to making it available for purchase. The bank will provide demographic information about the sperm donors such as race, personal and family medical histories, appearance, and education level. Most donors are anonymous, which means that their identity will never be disclosed. Some sperm banks, however, offer the option of “open” or “identity release” donation, in which children will have the opportunity to contact a donor after they turn 18. Another option is to use a “directed” or known donor. In the case of a directed donor, a male friend goes through infectious disease screening and produces sperm to be used for treatment.
Use of donor sperm
Prior to a donor sperm treatment cycle, frozen sperm is shipped to our andrology or embryology labs. Women with regular menstrual cycles and no fertility issues will often start with natural cycle monitoring and timed donor sperm inseminations (IUI). Women with reproductive issues or a history of infertility may require oral or injectable medications with IUI or in vitro fertilization (IVF).