Some women or couples may need to consider the use of donor sperm in order to conceive. Donor sperm is typically used as a treatment for male factor infertility or for single women or lesbian couples. It can also be used in situations where the male carries a hereditary disease that he does not want passed on to his offspring. Donor sperm can be used in IUI (intra-uterine insemination) or IVF (in vitro fertilization) cycles.
Donor sperm is available through commercial sperm banks (or cryobanks). We only accept donor sperm from well-regulated and reputable sperm banks. The sperm donors are thoroughly screened according to federal regulations. This screening is performed by the cryobank and typically includes family history, complete medical, social, and sometimes psychological history, blood group information, genetic screening, and screening for infectious diseases. Donor choice can be based on racial or ethnic background, physical or social characteristics, or previous history of fathering pregnancies. The sperm that you receive from a sperm bank has been quarantined for at least 6 months. It is only available for use when the sperm donor has tested negative again for infectious diseases (HIV, Hepatitis B and C, gonorrhea, etc.). The frozen donor sperm is purchased from the sperm bank and shipped to our fertility center in a special container. We follow the patient through her cycle (with or without ovulation induction medications) using sonograms to determine when she will be ovulating. On the day of ovulation, the semen specimen is thawed and washed and then placed into the uterine cavity (via the cervix) using a soft plastic catheter.
Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is a common virus that infects people of all ages. Over half of adults by age 40 have been infected with CMV. There is no vaccination available for the CMV virus. There is a small risk of transmission of the CMV virus to the patient from the donor IUI.