Why use donor sperm
People choose to use donor sperm for a variety of reasons. For example, a male partner (or XY partner) has a genetic or medical conditions that prevent them from making sperm and and therefore unable to provide a sperm sample for use in intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). Cisgender single women and lesbian, same-sex, and non-sperm-producing couples who want children can take advantage of donor sperm to help them achieve the family they desire and in other instances, couples may seek a sperm donor to avoid passing on a genetic disease or disorder that is carried by a male or (XY) partner.
Choosing a Donor
Couples and/or individuals wishing to use a sperm donor usually elect to purchase sperm from an anonymous donor in a sperm bank. In some cases, some may ask a friend or relative to donate (a.k.a direct donation).
At your appointment, we will share trusted sperm banks that you can use to help you select an anonymous donor. We can store your purchased samples in our andrology lab which can help save on shipping costs and ease anxiety about ready availability when it comes time for insemination.
We typically check routine preconception counseling labs on the recipient and recommend documentation of tubal patency prior to insemination.
Sperm Donor Screening
In order to be a sperm donor, individuals are screened and tested at the time of their donation for numerous infectious and genetic diseases including HIV1/2, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
If you wish to use an anonymous donor, then you must purchase the sperm from an FDA compliant sperm bank. The sperm will be sent to our clinic already tested for infectious and genetic diseases listed above. The sperm is usually already prepared for insemination.
The recipient of the donor sperm is typically tested to check blood type and other infectious disease screens consistent with prenatal screening. Oftentimes an HSG is recommended to confirm tubal patency prior to proceeding with insemination. Read more at ASRM »
The Insemination Process
A donor’s sperm can be used with IVF or IUI. If you are using a sperm donor with your IVF procedure, you may still receive fertility medications to prepare your eggs for retrieval. For patients undergoing artificial insemination, the sperm is inserted directly into the uterus around the time of ovulation to enhance the fertilization of the egg.
For patients undergoing IVF, once the eggs are retrieved, they will be combined with the donor sperm and any resulting embryos will then be transferred back to the uterus for implantation.
Success with a Sperm Donor
There is a variety of factors that can contribute to a patient’s chances of conceiving through the use of a sperm donor. The patient’s age, past history of pregnancy, and method of insemination, for example, can significantly impact the likelihood of pregnancy. Patients under the age of 35 with no history of fertility problems have the best chance of becoming pregnant with donor sperm. Patients who fail to conceive after several cycles may be evaluated for fertility problems as indicated.
Make an appointment
To schedule an appointment with a Washington University fertility specialist, please call our office or request an appointment online.