Each year, our San Antonio, TX, practice helps many patients grow their families with infertility treatments. Women without a male partner or couples with male infertility issues have found success using donor sperm as part of their in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI) procedure. This option allows you to use sperm from a friend or from an anonymous donor. Please contact our practice to schedule a consultation with one of our doctors if you wish to learn more about how donor sperm can help you realize your goal of parenthood.
Patients who elect to use anonymously donated sperm may be able to choose certain characteristics, such as height, education level, or eye color.
Who Should Consider Using a Sperm Donor?
Using a sperm donor is typically recommended to:
- Couples struggling with male factor infertility
- Single female patients
- Lesbian couples
If you are considering using a sperm donor for any reason, we can answer any questions or concerns you may have during your consultation. Your doctor can help you plan all aspects of your treatment.
Donor sperm can help you to grow your family in conjunction with IVF or IUI treatments.
Selecting a Donor
After meeting with your doctor for a consultation, you may begin selecting a donor.
While using a known donor can provide you with better insight into their medical history and a more thorough understanding of their personality, it can also lead to complexity in your relationship. If you use a known donor, it is highly recommended that you discuss the choice at length with your partner and the donor, and establish a formal agreement.
An anonymous donor can be selected through a donor bank and their identity will remain unknown. Additionally, they will have signed an agreement with the sperm bank that surrenders their parental rights to your child.
Patients who elect to use anonymously donated sperm may be able to choose certain characteristics, such as height, education level, or eye color, from our donor bank. All of our donors must pass through a rigorous screening process that includes a mental health and medical history check, as well as semen analysis.
If you are likely to want to have more children in the future, it is usually recommended that you purchase additional vials of the donor's semen. This can significantly improve the process if you need to undergo fertility treatment again and can increase similarities between siblings.
Factors to Consider
As with many infertility treatments, there are several psychological, moral, and ethical implications that are attached to using donor sperm. Our professional healthcare team will make certain that you are informed of all issues so that you can make a confident decision based on all of the available information.
During the selection process, there are several aspects you may want to consider:
- Is it important to you that the child resembles you physically?
- Are there certain qualities that conflict with your moral or religious beliefs?
- Is the male partner comfortable with not having a genetic relationship with your child?
- Will you reveal to your child that a donor was used?
Reaching these conclusions can be exceptionally difficult and in many cases, may take time. Typically, patients are encouraged to attend counseling to help come to an agreement.
How Does Donor Insemination Work?
Donor sperm can be used to conceive in one of two ways:
- In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
- If you undergo IVF, the donor sperm will be used to fertilize your eggs in the laboratory. The resulting embryos will then be placed in the uterus.
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
- During this procedure, the semen will be deposited directly into the uterus.
Our skilled specialists can perform both of these procedures with the utmost care.
Is Using Donor Sperm Safe?
Extensive testing, including semen analysis, is performed on all donor sperm offered to our patients. As such, using donor sperm is just as safe as pregnancy resulting from intercourse. While the IUI and IVF procedures are associated with their own risks, our team makes every effort to provide you with care that is held to the highest standards for safety and effectiveness.
Donor Sperm Success Rates
Success rates may vary depending on a number of factors, but in general, patients who use donated sperm as part of their IUI or IVF cycles have successfully conceived a child between 60 and 80 percent of the time. If you and your doctor determine that it is appropriate for your treatment, you may increase your chances of success by making multiple attempts per cycle.
Similar to other infertility treatments, the patient's health can play a significant role in the likelihood of success. We have seen the most success in healthy women under the age of 35 who avoid potentially harmful behaviors such as smoking and excessive drinking. However, we have also helped many women over the age of 40 become pregnant using donated sperm.
Is Donor Sperm Covered by Insurance?
Insurance coverage can vary greatly between plans and usually has strict requirements that must be met. In some cases, insurance may cover donor sperm, as well as other aspects of treatment, if you have been diagnosed with infertility.
We offer several financial options to help make fertility treatment affordable for our patients. During your visit to your office, our staff will be available to explain these options and help you select the one that is best for you.
Contact Us to Learn More about Donor Sperm
If you do not have a male partner or if you have had difficulty becoming pregnant because of male infertility issues, using donor sperm in conjunction with your IUI or IVF cycle may help you conceive a child. Our team of medical professionals can help determine if this is the appropriate treatment for you. We will also help you understand all of the implications involved. Please contact our practice to schedule a consultation. Our compassionate and knowledgeable staff is here to help you take the next step in your journey towards building a family.