Three men discuss sperm donation | Ember Fertility Center

Sperm Donation

Key points of sperm donation

  • Donor sperm is an option for conception via in vitro fertilization (IVF) if the male partner has a very low sperm count, blocked sperm ducts or is a carrier of a genetic defect.
  • Donor sperm may also be used for single women or LGBTQ+ couples and individuals who want to have a baby.
  • Sperm donors are usually selected from a reputable sperm bank.
  • Sperm donation involves rigorous medical testing and evaluation of both donor and recipient.
  • Third-party assisted reproduction, also called third-party fertility, is a form of assisted reproduction using a third person outside of the intended parents as an egg donor, sperm donor, embryo donor or as a gestational carrier.

Our fertility center provides sperm donor resources and various services for infertility treatment.

At Ember, everyone is a VIP – very important patient

And we have a thing for the small things: Each Ember patient gets a dedicated fertility coordinator, a patient’s personal care guide through every clinic detail, from the very first phone call to meeting your little miracle.

What is sperm donation?

Sperm donation involves a male donating his sperm in a semen sample to help an individual or a couple conceive a baby. We use this fertility treatment to assist when male infertility is associated with low quantities or quality of sperm. It is also a good option when the man has a genetic problem such as cystic fibrosis he could pass along to his child.

Our fertility specialist can insert donated sperm into a woman’s uterus, which is known as intrauterine insemination (IUI). We Can also use donated sperm to fertilize mature eggs in our lab through IVF, allowing us to implant the resulting embryo into the woman’s womb (uterus). Sperm donation can also assist LGBTQ+ patients or individuals seeking to build a family.

We offer Ember patients high-end sperm donors, meaning sperm from men who are highly educated with academic degrees such as Ph.D., MD, Pharm D, JD, and MBA from Ivy League schools and those with a history of healthy lifestyle factors (see more below). Ember uses trusted sperm agencies (sperm banks) to connect qualified donors with recipients.

Sperm donation is part of our third-party reproduction services (third-party fertility)

Third-party reproduction is used when prospective parents or individuals need the help of another person in combination with certain fertility treatments to have a child. Third-party reproduction typically includes using sperm, eggs or embryos donated by a third person that will be used in IVF procedures to achieve pregnancy for the intended parent(s). In third-party fertility, a gestational carrier (a form of surrogacy) can sometimes be required to carry a pregnancy.

Such third-party assistance enables couples or individuals experiencing infertility to have a child they could otherwise not achieve. LGBTQ+ individuals and couples and single intended parents who are not experiencing infertility can also benefit from our third-party reproduction services.

Acquiring donor sperm

Sperm donation is mainly done through sperm banks, which maintain large catalogues of potential donors. Recipient patients can choose donors based on a wide variety of features, including height, weight, appearance, ethnicity, blood type, interests, religion, education and other characteristics.

Sperm banks are licensed, regulated and equipped to:

  • Collect the sperm.
  • Evaluate sperm quality.
  • Test the sperm for diseases and genetic problems.
  • Quarantine it for a designated period of time to ensure the sperm is healthy and free of sexually transmitted infections.
  • Store the sperm by freezing.

The sperm donor can be anonymous or may be known by the recipient woman/couple. The donor’s and recipient’s identities may be shared by agreement if desired.

Following a consultation with their fertility specialist, couples or individuals arrange to have the sperm shipped to our clinic where we keep it cryopreserved until it is used in a fertility treatment.

Guidelines for sperm donation

Sperm donation involves rigorous medical testing and evaluation of both donor and recipient. This may include discussions on social history, family medical background and sexual history. It is important for both parties to be prepared to address psychological and legal issues concerning sperm donation due to the complex genetic and parenting issues involved.

Additional guidelines for sperm donation include:

  • Strictly deal with reputable sperm banks and/or agencies.
  • Sperm donors must be of legal age and should be under 40, as older men typically have lower quality sperm.
  • Discuss sperm donation with our experienced fertility specialist, including the different types of sperm processing available and their suitability for the individual patient. 
  • Seek legal counsel familiar with reproductive law in the donor’s and recipient’s state(s) of residency, and get signed agreements detailing rights and obligations.
  • Reach out to mental health providers experienced in third-party reproduction to discuss sperm donation, as they can help all parties come to terms with the components of sperm donation, including such long-term issues as telling the child later in life.

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