Giving You the Ability to Conceive
Donor insemination is a simple and effective treatment which involves the use of frozen, screened, anonymous, donor sperm to achieve pregnancy. At his New Jersey practice, Dr. Louis R. Manara offers this treatment as an option for patients who are unable to conceive through traditional methods. Donor insemination is a highly successful procedure, with most recipients conceiving within 4 to 8 months, depending on their age and fertility status.
If you struggle with infertility and are interested in learning more about insemination with donor sperm, please contact the Center For Reproductive Medicine and Fertility in Voorhees, New Jersey today.
What Is Donor Insemination?
Donor insemination is often selected as a method of treatment where a male has been found to be unable to produce sperm due to a genetic disorder, hormone deficiency, cancer surgery, chemotherapy, injury or infection. In some cases donor insemination is used to avoid transmitting a significant genetic illness known to be carried by the male. For some women who desire to become a single parent, donor insemination is a treatment option. Similarly for some same-sex couples who desire a family, donor insemination is an option.
The workup prior to undergoing donor insemination includes a careful review of a couple's history, laboratory screening, and execution of a consent form. Commercial sperm banks screen donors carefully and provide detailed information about each donor to potential recipients. Sperm banks maintain active "donor lists" providing patients with choices to suit their individual needs. They also assist patients in the selection of the sperm donor by making information available to them in the following ways:
- Medical history – All donors are required to complete a detailed medical history which is available to potential patients
- Background information – Donors provide information on education, ethnicity, career, religion, interests etc.
- Physical characteristics – Such things as hair color, eye color, skin tone, height, wt, etc.
- Personality – Self describer personality characteristics may be provided by donors in the questionnaires that they complete
- Photos – Certain sperm banks will provide baby photos of donors as well as photographs taken at various times during the donor’s life.
- Audio and video interviews – Some sperm banks provide additional information in the donor’s own words through an audio or video interview or in the form of a written essay.
It is becoming more common for donor-conceived children to grow up and want to learn more about their background. Today many sperm banks offer a group of donors who are willing to release their identity once offspring turn age 18.
Becoming a Sperm Donor
Sperm banks follow very strict procedures for selecting which men may become sperm donors. Generally donors must be between 18 and 38 years of age and must complete a detailed complete medical history questionnaire as well as a comprehensive family history. Donors also undergo a complete physical exam with attention to any physical abnormalities for signs of infectious diseases. Samples of the potential donor’s blood, semen and urine are tested for HIV, HTLV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, cytomegalovirus, syphilis, trichomonas, gonorrhea, and other common genitourinary tract bacteria. In addition to these additional screenings, donors must report regularly for repeat histories, examinations, and repeat laboratory testing. All sperm is frozen to allow for a 6 month quarantine after which the donor must be retested for all of the diseases mentioned above. If once again all of the testing is negative the sperm may be released for use by a patient.
Cryopreservation and Donor Sperm
Anonymous cryopreserved human sperm has been commonly used to help infertile couples since the early 1980’s. Cryopreservation of sperm requires careful addition of materials to protect the cells from freezing injury. In addition, the rate of lowering and raising the temperature of sperm must be regulated to prevent injury to the sperm cells. The freezing of sperm serves two important purposes. Freezing sperm allows a method of maintaining sperm until a later time when the sperm will be used for insemination. Additionally, frozen sperm may be quarantined for a period of time so that the donor may be re-screened for infectious diseases such as HIV. While sperm freezing does have a negative impact on sperm fertilizing capabilities, specifically lowering the percentage of motile sperm, the specimens of most men do remain capable of fertilization after cryopreservation. Studies done to date have confirmed the safety of cryopreserved in terms of the offspring conceived.
Selecting a Donor Sperm Bank
When it comes to choosing a sperm bank, it is important to select a reputable bank that will be able to provide for all of your needs. Obtaining the answers to the following questions may be very helpful in selecting a sperm bank.
- How long have you been in operation?
- Do you have a diverse donor panel?
- Are you accredited/licensed/inspected?
- What donor information options do you offer?
- What is the cost to order vials?
- Do you provide a quality commitment?
- What happens if the quality commitment isn’t met?
- What information does my physician need to provide to the bank?
- How does your identity-disclosure program work?
- Do I feel comfortable working with this bank?
Learn More about Donor Sperm Insemination
Donor insemination is an effective treatment option for patients who struggle with infertility. To learn more about the use of donor sperm for insemination, please contact our New Jersey practice today.