Whether you’re a single woman, a same sex female couple or a heterosexual couple experiencing male factor infertility or genetic issues, donor sperm may allow you to achieve your dream of building a family.
At Inovi, we connect you with potential sperm donors through various sperm banks and walk you through the process of using that sperm with the assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment that’s right for you.
What is the sperm donor process?
For both donors and prospective parents, the sperm donor process begins by selecting a sperm bank to work with. If you are looking to donate sperm, the bank will test and evaluate you as a potential donor. This process takes a few months, as repeated disease testing is necessary. If the sperm bank determines you are a viable donor, you will be able to begin donating immediately.
If you would like to use donated sperm for a fertility procedure, the sperm bank will allow you to review donor profiles until you find the one you’d like to use. Once you select a sperm donor you can proceed with plans for fertility treatments.
What are sperm donor requirements?
Sperm banks follow rigorous screening processes when selecting donor sperm, and multiple tests are performed to ensure high quality sperm. Sperm donor requirements include:
- No infectious diseases
- No genetic abnormalities
- Healthy family medical history
- A normal physical exam
- Must be between 18-39 years of age (some sperm banks only allow up to age 34)
Sperm donors are also counseled on the emotional, psychological and legal issues associated with donating to avoid future surprises.
Can you choose your sperm donor?
Yes! When potential parents begin the sperm donor process they will be presented with many donor profiles from which to choose. Qualities like height, weight, race, interests, education, occupation, stated disposition and more can all factor into your decision.
While it is important to make a careful decision when choosing a donor, sperm donor requirements are stringent enough to ensure all donors are of a high quality.
While most sperm donations are anonymous, some women chose to use a known sperm donor such as a friend. In this case screening for diseases and genetic abnormalities is still important, and you must make legal arrangements that define any financial and parental obligations prior to the use of the sperm.
How do you get pregnant with donor sperm?
In most cases, donated sperm is cryopreserved (frozen) and stored in a sperm bank until it is used for fertility treatments. Once a person or couple selects a certain sperm donor, the vial of sperm is transferred to our lab where we prepare it for use.
Depending on your fertility factors, intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) will be the methods use to achieve pregnancy with donor sperm. Once the method is selected and the lab receives the donor sperm, we will schedule your fertility treatment at the appropriate time in your menstrual cycle. On the day of your procedure the sperm will be thawed and evaluated before it is used.
If IUI is the chosen treatment, the donor sperm will be injected into your uterus during ovulation and the sperm will be allowed to fertilize your egg naturally.
If you pursue IVF, your eggs will be harvested in order to fertilize them in our lab using the donor sperm. During this process the sperm is injected directly into your egg in order to fertilize it, avoiding any difficulty the sperm might have in penetrating the egg. After the fertilized eggs mature for five days, the highest quality one(s) will be transferred to your uterus.
With both IUI and IVF pregnancy is not guaranteed, and only time will tell if the fertilized egg, now called an embryo, will implant correctly into the uterus and begin to grow. A successful pregnancy can be determined roughly 10 days to two weeks after your procedure.
Once you become pregnant, you have reached the end of the sperm donor process. You won’t have to worry about the future, as legal agreements protect you against potential custody or child support battles, and the child will be fully yours. Some sperm banks offer the option for your child to connect with his/her father later in life, though some donors choose to remain anonymous.
Get pregnant with donor sperm
If you’re ready to pursue pregnancy with donor sperm, give us a call at 713-401-9000 to schedule your appointment. With Dr. Stephan Krotz’s experience you can rest assured that everything will be handled with the utmost care in order to give you the best chance of pregnancy.