Mother and Child

30 May 2023

Using Donor Sperm to Start a Family

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Sims IVF

There are many different donor programs to help couples and individuals who are trying to conceive. Both donor eggs and donor sperm are available.

Here at Sims IVF, we have lots of patients who use donor sperm to help them achieve pregnancy. If you’ve been considering using donor sperm but you don’t know much about donor programs, below we have provided an overview of donor sperm, its uses, and how to choose a donor.

Why do People Use Donor Sperm?

There are several reasons why people use donor sperm to help them conceive. Commonly, this donor program is recommended by fertility experts when there is male factor infertility, in cases where a male partner has no sperm or a genetic condition and their sperm can’t be used. Donor sperm can also be used for single women and women in same-sex relationships who would like to have a baby.

How can Donor Sperm be Used During Fertility Treatment?

Donor sperm can be used in combination with a range of different fertility treatments to achieve a successful pregnancy. For some, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) will be used to insert the prepared donor semen into the uterus close to the time of ovulation. For others, In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)  will be used to fertilise eggs with donor sperm in a laboratory and the embryos are then transferred into the uterus. 

Choosing the Right Donor Sperm

There are lots of things to consider when a fertility specialist recommends sperm donation. A big part of the process is selecting suitable donor sperm and understandably, you will want to ensure that you’re choosing the right donor for you. Commonly, donor sperm will be chosen with the assistance of a fertility clinic. Your physical characteristics, including hair colour, eye colour, height and build, will be recorded to help select the closest matching sperm donor.

All donors undergo rigorous assessment before being accepted and all are examined and given final approval for donation by a medical doctor. Assessment involves screening both for genetic conditions and infectious diseases. This provides peace of mind to people using donor programs. 

Here at Sims IVF, we use a Danish sperm bank and regulations require them to keep certain information about donors on file. You will be able to find out the following about sperm donors to help you choose a suitable donor for you; age, eye colour, hair colour, height, weight, build, race, complexion, blood type, education/occupation, psychological profile and karyotyping. Extended profile donors have much more detail available on file concerning their characteristics and personality. This is only available to you if you request an extended profile donor which entails an additional cost.

Using the information gained from a sperm bank, whether or not you request an extended profile, will help you to ensure you’re choosing the right donor sperm. A fertility specialist, embryologist  and fertility counsellor will be on hand to assist you when you’re making your choice and they can provide you with ongoing support throughout the process. 

Although you will only receive specific information about a sperm donor, new legislation means that all donors must be identifiable. This does not mean that you as a parent will receive the donor's identifying information. However, any child born using an Identifiable donor will, at the age of consent, be entitled to the donor's identifying information.  Regardless of this, the donor is not allowed to receive information about the identity of the recipient couple or the child. The donor has no paternal rights to a child born as a result of treatment to an anonymous couple using his sperm.

Speak to a Fertility Specialist in Ireland

If you have any unanswered questions and you’d like to speak to a fertility specialist in Ireland, don’t hesitate to contact our team at Sims IVF. We can provide you with additional information about the donor process and support you during your fertility journey.

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