5 Things You Should Know About Sperm Donation

What instantly comes to your mind when you spell or hear the word ‘sperm donation’? This is one of the foremost questions that reproductive counsellors ask interested candidates who call up or visit our Fertility Clinic in Kolkata for sperm donation!

#1 What is Sperm Donation?

5 Things You Should Know About Sperm Donation
Sperm donation indicates the process of donating, collecting and preserving sperms (from professional and screened sperm donors) which thereafter can be used in artificial insemination procedures like IUI (Intra-Uterine Insemination), IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) etc. Most couples dream of becoming proud parents. Infertility strikes a cruel blow shattering their dreams of enjoying the bliss of parenthood. Assisted Reproductive Technology (ARTs) like IVF, ICSI, IUI, LZH etc. procedures have emerged as soul-savers to couples diagnosed with infertility, in the last few decades, helping them to have their own child.

#2 Why Donor Sperms are needed?
“In humans, 40 million to 1.2 billion sperms are released in a single ejaculation event.” But only a single sperm fertilizes the egg during fertilization which ultimately forms the embryo and ushers in pregnancy. When sperm count is less or sperms are almost absent in the ejaculate, artificial insemination through the use of donor sperms comes across as the preferred choice for the couple.
The most topical cases where the husband is unable to inseminate naturally is due to one of these conditions –
      Azoospermia - This is a condition when there is a total absence of any sperm in the semen ejaculate of the male. This again can be of two types – obstructive azoospermia and non-obstructive azoospermia. There can be both biological causes as well as ‘acquired’ causes of azoospermia in males. The ‘acquired’ type mostly occur as a result of some previous genital surgery such as vasectomy or the treatment of cancer etc.
      Cryptozoospermia - This is a condition in males where very few numbers of sperms are found in the semen. As a result, the chances of getting an egg fertilized becomes almost impossible (there’s a high sperm casualty rate as compared to the rate of successful insemination)
     Asthenozoospermia - In this condition, the sperms suffer from lack of motility, which makes it almost impossible for the sperms to swim towards the fallopian tubes where the egg is located in females, ready to be fertilized
    Teratozoospermia This is a sperm-morphology related problem which  results in unsuccessful fertilization
If your reproductive medicine specialist has diagnosed you with one of these above four conditions, then artificial insemination using donor sperm is the way to go.

#3 How Are Sperm Donors Selected?
First, you need to select a reputed Infertility Clinic that has a good success record in conducting ARTs like IVF, IUI, ICSI etc. along with offering facilities like egg freezing (cryopreservation), semen analysis and semen donation (donor sperm bank) to help willing patients emerge as proud parents of the future.
In our Fertility Clinic in Kolkata (our Mother Centre) as well as in other branches, we follow a rigorous screening and evaluation of the sperm donor before selecting the individual. Here are some of the parameters we look into –
    Family & Background Check - The candidate is rigorously screened on the basis of his bio-data, family and background. “Why are you interested in donating your sperms?” – being a common question to start with. The counsellor then evaluates his answers and only upon finding his answers satisfactory the candidate is recommended for the next step of the selection
     Comprehensive Health Check - The candidate is tested for his susceptibility to diseases (like cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anaemia), drug addiction, and STDs or sexually transmitted diseases like an HIV infection. If anyone of the above is tested positive, the candidate gets disqualified as a sperm donor
     Semen Analysis - This is by far the most crucial step in selecting a sperm donor. Factors like sperm count, motility, sperm morphology is tested in the laboratory by experts.
    Genetic and Other Medical Tests - The above tests are primary but not decisive yet. A potential donor must also clear tests for both Hepatitis B & C as well as ABO-Rh factor determination and several other pathological tests to determine whether all required standards are met with

#4 Are Donor Sperms Safe for Pregnancy?
Absolutely. Donor sperms are the ideal specimens confirming with the medical requirements for the artificial insemination procedure, hence, you can be well assured that donor sperms will be safe for pregnancy. In recent times a single woman wanting to be a parent can also opt for DI (Donor Insemination) and enjoy the bliss of motherhood. As there is a strict evaluation process in place at the most reputed infertility clinics you can rest assured that the donor sperms are healthy, free of genetic disorders or hereditary anomalies.

#5 How Successful Are Donor Inseminations?
Women over the age of 35 years are naturally prone to experiencing difficulties in conceiving. It has been found that women below 35 years with a sound health condition has a success rate of 50-60% with donor inseminations. Lower success rates have been reported in cases where either the woman is above the age of 35 or there are gynaecological problems (like endometriosis, ovulation problem etc.) involved. In cases where no successful insemination is recorded even after a few cycles, the reproductive specialists will evaluate the fertility of the woman concerned and the process may be repeated.

Today with more sperm banks opening its doors, and more people willing to become sperm donors, couples and individuals who were diagnosed with infertility have found their silver lining! However, we suggest you evaluate the profile of the Infertility Clinic offering Semen Donation and Banking Support before committing yourself to the purpose.

For more in-depth information on Assisted Reproductive Technology procedures and tips on how pregnancy and fertility, keep following The Genome Blog.