Anonymous Sperm Donors
Donor sperm may be part of the path to building your family. We accept anonymous donor sperm from approved sperm banks from around the nation. These banks have provided accreditation documents verifying their adherence to the guidelines governing the distribution of donor sperm as set forth by the FDA.
Sperm donors are asked to submit to a testing and screening process that identifies any risk factors that may have exposed them to a communicable (transferable) disease such as but not limited to; HIV, Hepatitis B or C, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia. The donors undergo bloodwork to confirm the absence of any of these diseases. This bloodwork is taken within seven days of a sperm “donation” – usually on the day the donation is made.
Following the initial screening and testing, the vials are placed in quarantine for six months. After this time period the donor has his bloodwork re-tested to confirm no new infections have occurred. These vials of sperm then are released and become available to the public for purchase.
Donor samples are frozen in a variety of ways:
- ICI Ready Specimen: This is a washed or unwashed sample where freezing solution is added to the vial. This sample is meant by the sperm bank to be deposited outside the uterus at the cervix allowing the sperm to swim out of the freezing solution and into the uterus. At Damien Fertility Partners all IUIs (intrauterine inseminations) are performed by passing the catheter through the cervix into the uterus. ICI ready sperm must be removed from the freezing solution by washing it in a uterine friendly solution. This washing process is not recommended by the sperm banks and can compromise the quality of an ICI sample by decreasing the number of swimming sperm. Some patients will opt to purchase this type of specimen for IUIs due to cost reasons (least expensive of the types of vials frozen). Couples who are undergoing InVitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment where they will utilize ICSI (see Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection) to fertilize the eggs will use ICI ready sperm.
- IUI Ready Specimen: This is a washed sample where a uterine friendly freezing solution is used. IUI ready samples are warmed to room temperature on the day of the insemination, evaluated, and directly used for either IUI or IVF. No additional processing of the sample is necessary. IUI ready specimens cost more than ICI specimens and are recommended for IUIs and IVF treatment where conventional insemination (no ICSI) is performed to fertilize the eggs.
- IVF Ready Specimens: Some sperm banks offer IVF ready specimens. These samples generally have a lower sperm count per vial and are recommended only for those patients undergoing IVF utilizing ICSI. Like IUI ready vials these sperm are frozen in a solution that allows the lab to warm and use the sperm without any further washing or preparation.
When choosing a donor it is important to consider that there are “popular donors”. These donors have characteristics that many patients desire. Therefore, there may be a waiting list to purchase his sperm. When planning a treatment using donor sperm we recommend choosing your donor as soon as possible, contacting the bank and purchasing the sperm. It is not necessary to ship the sperm immediately.
Many sperm banks will offer you the opportunity to store your purchased sperm with them. Damien Fertility Partners recommends having two (2) vials of sperm on-site at our laboratory for each treatment. If you choose to purchase several vials of a specific donor you may elect to keep them at the sperm bank.
Many banks offer a buy back policy – they will credit you for any unused vials of sperm if you choose to discontinue treatment with a donor for any reason – as long as those vials have not left their facility. Once the vials are moved out of their labs they will not extend this buy back offer. Some
patients opt to purchase several vials at once to ensure they have enough to build their family over time. Some donors retire after a few years and are not available when subsequent children are desired by a patient.
Please visit the following sites for information on sperm donor banks:
|Sperm Bank||Phone Number||Location||Website|
|Cryogenic Laboratories||1-800-466-2796||Roseville, MN||www.cryolab.com|
|California Cryobank||1-800-231-3373||Los Angeles, CA||www.cryobank.com|
|Fairfax Cryobank||1-800-338-8407||Fairfax, VA||www.fairfaxcryobank.com|
Directed / Known Sperm Donors
We also accept donor sperm from known or designated donors. This may be a family member or close friend with whom there is no intimate relationship.
Designated donors are subject to the same testing and screening guidelines as anonymous donors. However, there is no quarantine period for these donors. Sperm is frozen and placed in temporary quarantine until a complete evaluation is made of the donor. This includes the following:
- Physical Exam by qualified urologist.
- Completion of screening questionnaires which include information on history of risk factors that may have exposed him to a communicable (transferable) disease.
- Bloodwork and cultures for presence of sexually transmitted diseases.
The evaluation can usually be completed in two weeks. The results are reviewed by the physician and shared with the intended recipient of the donor sperm. If a result is returned that would otherwise render an anonymous donor unfit or ineligible to donate sperm, the intended recipient is counseled
as to the potential risks involved in using their known donor. A result that would produce such an outcome would include exposure to a risk factor or a positive result on any one of the sexually transmitted diseases. The FDA guidelines allow a recipient to use an infected or at risk donor as long as they acknowledge and accept the risks involved in using such a sample.
by Robert Miller