For patients who experience infertility due to a complete lack of sperm, pregnancy can still be achieved using donor sperm. Patients can arrange for sperm through one of several national certified sperm banks, such as Fairfax Cryobank or California Cryobank, where donors are appropriately screened and the sperm is quarantined. After a patient chooses a suitable donor, a frozen sample of the sperm is shipped to our facility for use during a treatment cycle.
For women with no cause of infertility other than the sperm factor, an IUI can be done around the time of ovulation during a natural cycle, where ovulation is monitored with home ovulation predictor kits. Usually 1 IUI is done on each of the 2 days following a positive home ovulation test to cover the possible time of ovulation. Alternatively, the natural cycle may be monitored with ultrasounds and blood tests. When the egg is mature, ovulation is triggered with an injection of hCG and an IUI is done during each of the 2 days following the trigger shot.
For women in who natural cycle/IUI has been unsuccessful or who have other causes of infertility in addition to the sperm factor, such as irregular ovulation, a single blocked fallopian tube or endometriosis, IUI with donor sperm is coupled with ovulation induction or superovulation as discussed previously.
Click here to learn more about our IUI program.
The use of donor sperm from an anonymous or known donor should follow the same basic guidelines.
There are two very important screenings that should take place with donor sperm.
Screening for infectious disease risk
Sperm can carry infectious disease such as HIV, Hepatitis and Cytomegalovirus. All of which can have severe health consequences for both mother and child. The FDA requires all sperm donors to be tested for infectious disease prior to donation. The sperm is then held in quarantine for 6 months. The donor then has to be re-tested in 6 months to be certain that no new disease has occurred since the time of donation BEFORE the sperm that had been previously frozen are released for insemination.
Screening for genetic disease risk
DNA matters. Remember, the sperm a patient selects will contribute half of the genetic make-up for a future child. Sperm donors should be screened for familial genetic illness based on their ethnicity. Careful screening for genetic illness can minimize the risk of a genetic disease being transmitted to a child.
Screening for Semen Parameter: Quality Matters
The only way to determine quality and any issues associated with the sperm is to have the sample fully tested and evaluated by a physician and scientists at a qualified sperm bank. A semen analysis is a test that tells the doctor the number of sperm in semen, whether they are normal in shape, and how well they move. Without a sufficient number of healthy sperm sample, the chances of a successful pregnancy are extremely low. Sperm banks assure that a sufficient number of normal sperm are available for freezing. Many donors applicants are refused because they fail the testing for infectious disease screening, or the genetic disease screening and or a sufficient number of normal sperm.
It is also recommended that sperm be used for treatment under the guidance of a fertility specialist and a fertility clinic. This will keep risk low, ensure the most effective insemination, and ultimately result in the highest likelihood of success.
Learn more about the testing, definitions of testing terms and an overview of the collection process by clicking here http://www.shadygrovefertility.com/male.
The Sperm Bank
The educated consumer should be wary that not all sperm banks are equal. Check to make sure that the sperm ban strictly follows the FDA guidelines.
The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends that a single sperm donor not donate to more than 25 families within a population of 800,000 people to keep the risks very low of a half brother/sister accident meeting.
Testing for the Female
Obtaining good quality, healthy sperm is only half of the equation. It is important for women to understand that diagnostic testing plays an important role in determining the best course of action for those wanting to conceive.
A series of tests can used by fertility specialists to determine the likelihood of a female achieving a pregnancy through insemination. The testing will be individualized and often give the physician important information about the health of the woman’s eggs, fallopian tubes and uterus; all important factors in achieving and maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Testing looks at the following factors:
- Are you ovulating?
- Are your fallopian tubes normal?
- Is your uterus normal?
For more information about infertility issues please call Shady Grove Fertility’s New Patient Center at 1-888-761-1967.