Sperm donation is the provision of sperm for the purpose of inseminating a female who is not the provider’s sexual partner. Sperm donation is most commonly used for single women, same sex female couples. Heterosexual couples with severe male factor subfertility may also use donor sperm.
The recipient may select donor sperm on the basis of the donor’s characteristics, such as looks, personality, academic ability, race and many other factors. A sperm donors have no parental rights or commitment.
GENNET City Fertility screen potential sperm donors for common genetic diseases, chromosomal abnormalities and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that may be transmitted through sperm. The screening procedure also includes a quarantine period, in which the samples are frozen and stored for a period of time after which the donor will be re-tested for STIs. This is to ensure that no new infections have been acquired or have developed during the period of donation. When the test results are all verified, the sperm samples can be released from quarantine and used in treatment.
Sperm donation can be considered in the following circumstances:
- single women who wish to conceive without a partner
- female same-sex couples
- in cases of azoospermia (lack of sperm in the ejaculate)
- for avoidance of genetic diseases which may be passed on from the male partner
- after recurrent ICSI treatment failures with poor quality sperm
Donor sperm can be stored for future use when the recipient wishes to conceive with additional children by the same sperm donor. The advantage of having more children by the same donor is that they will be full biological siblings, having the same biological father and mother.
It is important to be aware that at the time of donation, the donation is anonymous, i.e. you will not meet or know the donor. Since April 2005 the UK regulations state that your child will have access to the identity of the donor when he/she reaches the age of 18 and some basic information when they 16.
At times women/couples elect to have treatment using a known donor. This may be a member of the family or a close friend. Obviously, under such circumstances the donation cannot be anonymous.