Sperm donation is the provision (or "donation") by a male (known as a sperm donor) of his sperm (known as donor sperm), principally for the purpose of inseminating a female who is not his sexual partner.
Sperm may be donated privately and directly to the intended recipient, or through a sperm bank or fertility clinic. Sperm donation is a form of third party reproduction. Pregnancies are usually achieved by using donor sperm in assisted reproductive technology (ART) techniques which include artificial insemination (either by intracervical insemination (ICI) or intrauterine insemination (IUI) in a clinic, or intravaginal insemination at home). Less commonly, donor sperm may be used in in vitro fertilization (IVF).
We recommend sperm donation for couples where the male partner has a serious fertility issue such as a very low sperm count, blocked sperm ducts, or if he is a carrier of a genetic defect. It is also done if he has had chemotherapy or a previous vasectomy that is irreversible or testicular failure due to radiation.
In most cases, we only consider sperm donation when all other avenues to retrieve your own sperm have been ruled out. So if a semen analysis finds no sperm, there are surgical techniques - Percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA), Testicular sperm Aspiration (TESA) and Testicular sperm extraction (TESE) that we can use to retrieve the sperm directly, before we discuss sperm donation.
PESA involves the retrieval of fluid from the epididymas using a needle, under local anaesthesia.
In a TESA procedure, a needle is used to extract sperm from the testicle, under local anaesthesia.
TESE is used when sperm cannot be indentified in the epididymides. During the procedures, a tiny incision is made in the testes to extract the sperm.
Who can be a donor?
A donor should be healthy, non-smoking males between the ages of 18 - 40 to mitigate the risk of genetic defects brought about by age. Traditionally, we use only anonymous sperm donors through registered donor banks. You can also use a donor of your choice, after a complete screening of course!
Single women who want to become pregnant can also option for sperm donation.