Using donor sperm
Sims IVF donor program assists anyone needing donor sperm in order to achieve a pregnancy.
You might consider using a sperm donor if the male partner in the relationship has no sperm or carries a genetic condition; you are in a same sex relationship; or you are a single woman.
As recommended by the doctor and depending on other factors involved, donor sperm may be used in combination with IUI, IVF or ICSI as appropriate.
Dr Kennedy discusses sperm donation
- Who are the sperm donors?
Donors are ordinary, physically healthy men from a broad cross section of society who's ages range from 18-50 years. Most of them are students from institutions of higher education. They receive only small remuneration for donation and it is believed that they are genuine in their wish to help others.
- How are the donors assessed?
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.
- Genetic screening
This involves a full medical assessment and a medical history covering grandparents and any descendants. The medical history places particular emphasis on any heritable conditions that may be present in the family and all donors are karyotyped. In specific situations, tests for other heritable diseases may be carried out (sickle cell disease, thalassaemia, Tay Sachs, cystic fibrosis.
- Infectious diseases
All donors are tested for Chlamydia, HIV-I and -II, HTLV-I, Hep B surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis C (HCV-Ab), syphilis, gonorrhoea. These tests are carried out once every three months and all semen samples are quarantined for six months before they can be used to ensure as far as possible that the samples were negative for these diseases at the time of donation.
- Genetic screening
- What information is available about the donor?
The majority of the donor sperm that we use in the Sims Clinic is obtained from a Danish donor bank. Regulations in Denmark require the donor bank to keep, at a minimum, the following information about donors on file:
Colour of eyes, colour of hair, height, weight, type of build, race, peculiarities of appearance (eg. complexion), age, education/occupation, blood type, karyotyping, psychological profile, and infectious screening results.
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.
- So does that mean that the sperm donors are completely anonymous?
No, new legislation has been brought in that means 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.
- What happens if we need to use donor sperm?
If treatment using donor sperm has been recommended and all issues have been discussed and considered with the doctor and the counsellor, suitable donor sperm is selected for the couple or individual. The physical characteristics of the patient(s) are recorded. The hair colour, eye colour, height, build, and blood group are noted and these are used to pick the closest matching donor or based on characteristics you find acceptable.
- If we have a child using donor sperm can the same donor be used for more treatment?
Yes, in most cases reservation of donor sperm for future siblings is possible. As soon as you know you have an ongoing pregnancy, if there is still some of that same donor available at the donor bank, we advise you to contact the clinic in order for us to advise you on how to reserve some for future treatment.
To find out more about using donor sperm please book an appointment with a Sims IVF fertility specialist or contact us.