Couples with severe male factor infertility, single women, or same-sex couples are some types of patients that will consider the use of donor sperm to help with conception. Once this is decided upon, it can be a little overwhelming to try to choose the right donor. Here are some tips:
Find a sperm bank that fits your needs –
There are a number of sperm banks out there, both big and small. The amount of information that is available for a donor — or simply the variety in donors available — may help you to make a decision about which bank you feel most comfortable with. Make sure the sperm bank is licensed and accredited. Some of the more popular banks with our patients at TFC are California Cryobank and Fairfax Cryobank. Sperm can be shipped nationwide, so don’t let a sperm bank’s location dissuade you.
Find out what kind of medical testing the sperm bank does.
By law, sperm banks are required to screen all donors for HIV, hepatitis, and other sexually transmitted diseases, as well as some genetic problems. Also, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends that specimens be frozen and quarantined for six months after the initial HIV test. After six months, the donor is retested to ensure that the donor – and thus the sperm sample – is disease-free.
Consider whether you want to have an anonymous donor or a donor who would be open to being contacted by the offspring.
Some patients would like to have the choice for their offspring of having communication with the donor. Other patients would not want this kind of option.
Decide on some parameters that are most important to you –
Education? Appearance? Religion? If you are making this decision with a partner, you may be surprised to find out that you have different ideas here.
If you have narrowed down the potential donor to a handful of candidates, consider looking at extra information that the bank may provide (e.g. donor-written essays, photos, etc) to really help you to select the right one for you.
Talk it over with a counselor –
At Texas Fertility Center, if a patient is using donor eggs or donor sperm, we require a visit with a counselor to discuss potential issues or challenges that may come up in the short term or long term with the use of donor gametes. This can be an important time for a couple to resolve how they will handle disclosure to the offspring. This can also be a good time to explore other concerns or reservations about the process.
Lastly, feel free to speak further with your TFC nurse or physician about any other questions!
For more information about donor sperm or third party reproduction, please visit http://www.txfertility.com/06donor-program.php