Approximately one-third of infertility is due to conditions affecting the male sperm count. In some cases, there is a complete absence of sperm, or prior treatments using the partner’s sperm have been unsuccessful. In these circumstances, your doctor may recommend using a sperm donor to help achieve a pregnancy.
Who are ideal candidates for using donor sperm?
- Male partner with complete absence of sperm in the ejaculate
- Previous failed fertilization with intracytoplasmic sperm injection or poor embryo development
- Single women who desire to conceive a child on their own
- Female couples in a same-sex relationship who desire to conceive
Where do I get donor sperm?
Donor sperm is traditionally obtained from a commercial sperm bank. There are multiple banks throughout the country that you can choose from. Using one of the sperm banks, you can select a donor with the specific physical appearance, ethnic background, education level and personality that you desire.
You can also arrange to have someone you know be your sperm donor. This is called a directed donor. We still recommend that directed donors are processed through a commercial sperm bank so that all the appropriate testing is performed and the person is legally designated as a donor.
How will the donor sperm be used?
Donor sperm can either be used for intrauterine insemination (IUI) or with in vitro fertilization (IVF). Your doctor will perform a series of tests to determine which treatment is most appropriate for you. Most patients are candidates for IUI as an initial treatment using donor sperm.
How do I prepare for the appointment?
If you are interested in conceiving using donor sperm, your doctor will review the donor sperm process at your initial consultation, including testing requirements. All patients who desire to use a sperm donor must complete the following steps:
- Infectious disease screening (HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia)
- Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to determine if the fallopian tubes are open
- Psychological evaluation with a licensed psychologist who will discuss the potential implications of having a child with a sperm donor
- Blood work: blood type, CMV antibody testing, rubella titers and varicella titers