donor sperm 2An interview with Susan Collins

To read part one click here.

Q: How do you know if a sperm donor has achieved a pregnancy before?

A: When you visit the Cryobanks and are looking at the donors, one of the questions the donors must answer is: has the donor achieved a pregnancy before?  If they haven’t, it might simply mean that they are a newer donor and there’s just not been any pregnancies reported yet.

Q: What information is given regarding characteristics of donor, background information, etc.?

A: For no additional charge, you can visit the website and filter donors based on height, weight, ethnicity, hair color, eye color, etc.  Then each of the Cryobanks has different information that can be purchased.  For example, if you want to see a childhood photo of the donor or a recording hearing the donor speaking, etc. you could pay for that.

Q: Are there any new offerings with Cryobanks?

A: The newest offerings at the Cryobanks include Open Donors or ID options.  This means if the child is registered with the Cryobank when he/she is born, once the child reaches age 18, the child can contact the Cryobank, and because the donor agreed to in advance, he/she will be given the opportunity to meet the donor. Each bank has different rules about that.  They may agree to one meeting or they may just agree to giving out personal information about the donor.  It just depends on the bank.  However, this is much more expensive than doing the anonymous donation.

Q: What is involved in the donor sperm process when going through ART Fertility Program of Alabama?

A: At ART, if a couple is referred for donor insemination after the urology evaluation, with Azoospermia (zero sperm count), they will be counseled and set up for donor insemination cycles after counseling on guidelines and costs.

Occasionally we have new infertility patients that have not had prior screenings.  A semen analysis is the baseline screen.  If the male has no sperm or very little sperm we do a hormonal evaluation and examination.  We may send them to an Urologist to be evaluated for a blockage that may cause a problem.  If there is no blockage, we do a comprehensive evaluation to help the couple have their own biological child and schedule a testicular biopsy if indicated with the urologist. Some men will have sperm in the testicle that can be used with IVF to achieve a pregnancy.   If this is not possible, then donor sperm is a very good and affordable option.

Donor sperm is a cost-effective alternative and allows the female to experience a pregnancy and allows the couple to experience their pregnancy together. Many times, once the baby is born, patients will go back to the Cryobank and purchase additional samples of the same donor so they will have a full biological sibling.

Q: Are there any specific guidelines for the donor sperm process?

A: There are guidelines set forth by the FDA and ASRM, and we follow those guidelines.

There is testing that must be done, required by our clinic and the FDA. The testing must be done on the patient and the partner, if sexually active, regardless of the partner’s sex.

For more information on the donor sperm process, contact our office at 205.870.9784.

The ART Fertility Program of Alabama is located in Birmingham, Alabama with additional locations in Huntsville, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa. The program is led by Dr. Kathryn Honea, Dr. Virginia Houserman and Dr. Chris Allemand who are Board Certified specialists in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. All are skilled in comprehensive infertility care and offer a complete range of infertility services.

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