A sperm donor is man who gives his semen so that it may be used to achieve a pregnancy and produce a baby in a woman who is not his partner and with whom he does not have intercourse. Artificial insemination technique is used to impregnate a woman with the donor's sperm. The sperms may be directly donated to the woman recipient, at the sperm bank or through arrangement brokered between sperm donors and recipient women, by sperm agency. Sperm provided by a donor are known as donor sperm.
Sperm donation is mostly used to assists couples unable to have babies because of male fertility issues. But many single women or lesbian women with desire to have children may use donor sperms. The man whose sperm is used is the genetic or biological father of the children produced with the use of his sperm. The numbers of children a donor may father are usually restricted by law. Donors may be either anonymous or non-anonymous but most donors choose to remain anonymous.
Artificial insemination technique for having babies can be very difficult for the couple to accept. It can have ethical, emotional and psychological repercussions for both of them. The issue involved is whether they can accept another man’s child. The husband may have a sense of isolation, inferiority, insecurity and jealousy. The woman may also feel insecure as she is bearing the baby of a total stranger and may think that the husband is not supportive.
She will need reassurance, gentleness and love from her husband. Before going for artificial insemination seek counseling from your gynecologist or fertility expert. Consider other choices too and don't rush into going for donor sperms. Couples may prefer newer options for treating male infertility, such as microinjection rather than artificial insemination if possible. The main limitation for microinjection technique is financial.
Sperm donors are usually healthy men between 20 to 40 years. Men from a sound background, with no family history of illness and usually graduates are considered for sperm donors. The semen is analyzed for quality and accepted only if it has sperm count of more than 100 million per millimeter and motility of 70% to 80%. Semen samples with at least 25 to 40 million motile sperm are accepted. The sperm are stored frozen in sperm banks in liquid nitrogen (frozen to - 196 degree Celsius). The sperms are stored for three months before use. This is the time period that is needed for the HIV virus (which causes AIDS) to become detectable in a person's blood after infection. Blood tests are also done to rule out AIDS, Hepatitis and STDs in the donor. After three months the donor's blood is retested for HIV, hepatitis and STDs. If the man is infected then the donor sample is discarded.
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