Why might you need a sperm donor

Choosing a sperm donor is a significant decision when considering IVF treatment. Whether you’re a same-sex couple, a single woman, or a heterosexual couple facing fertility challenges, finding the right sperm donor is an extremely important part of your journey. At abc IVF we offer a range of options when choosing the right donor for you. In this blog post, we detail a useful guide, presenting different options for finding a sperm donor, and how to choose the right one for you.

What is a Sperm Donor?

A sperm donor donates their sperm to help others conceive a child. Donors are assessed and required to pass multiple screening tests in order to ensure the health of the individual and give donation recipients as much access to information about their donor as possible. Donor practice in the UK places a limit of 10 families per donor.

Different types of sperm donors:

Open Donors: In the UK, all sperm donors are open donors, it is illegal to be an anonymous donor. This means that children conceived via donor sperm retain the right to contact their donor when they turn 18. Patients using donor sperm do not have access to contact the donor at any point of the journey, however, patients seeking donor sperm have access to detailed information about the donor's physical characteristics, education, and personal interests. This information can also be retrieved by the child at the age of 16. All sperm donors available through our IVF + Donor Sperm   package will be open donors.

Anonymous Donors: Outside of the UK, some countries allow anonymous donation. Anonymous donors have the option to withhold their personal information and withdraw the right to be contacted by donor offspring. This anonymity is maintained to protect the privacy and confidentiality of both parties involved. The criteria to become a donor remains the same as with open or known donors . This includes any paperwork or physical testing and analysis required to determine an individual is eligible to become a donor.

Known Donors: Another option is to use a sperm sample from a known donor, such as a friend or family member. With this option the known donor would go through the same application protocols as an open or anonymous including paperwork and an Initial Consultation. It is essential to consider the emotional implications that may arise from using a known donor. In order to select a known donor for fertility treatment, parties are required to fill out additional paperwork to ensure each party understands the requirements of their position. It is crucial to have a clear understanding of the legal rights and responsibilities of all parties involved. We will discuss this with you in detail in your initial consultation.

Why might you need a Sperm Donor?

There are a range of options why a sperm donor could be a beneficial addition to your IVF treatment. For lesbian couples, a sperm donor is necessary to provide the sperm needed for fertilisation. Single women who want to have a child without a partner also rely on sperm donors. Additionally, heterosexual couples facing male infertility issues may require a sperm donor to achieve pregnancy. Studies show that male factor infertility affects 50% of fertility problems in heterosexual couples.  Couples who wish to avoid genetic conditions from the male partner may also seek a sperm donor.

Finding a Sperm Donor

With our  IVF+ Donor Sperm   treatment package, finding a sperm is donor is made straightforward with full visibility of our services and protocols. As part of this package we will supply a sperm donor through our sperm bank with CREATE Fertility. Through your consultation we will help you to find the donor that is most suitable to you. If you aren’t able to find a donor that fits your personal criteria you have the option to source a donor externally through UK or internationally, as long as the donor meets the UK legislated criteria.

While It’s possible to select a donor from another country, it’s important to note that this will incur additional fees for the transportation and testing of the sample. Additionally the laws regarding donor anonymity in countries outside of the UK vary. In Denmark the option of choosing an anonymous sperm donor is available. The Copenhagen based, CREATE Fertility partner clinic, Vitanova offers this option for fertility treatments. Similarly in Spain sperm donors remain anonymous, Spain based fertility clinic, IVI provide anonymous sperm bank services with their fertility treatment options.

Donor services in the UK are not discriminative, regardless or marital status or sexual orientation individuals or couples can seek a sperm donor. If you are seeking treatment with abc IVF, we offer patients the option to source a donor through our sperm bank which we share with our sister clinic CREATE Fertility. This reduces external costs as we offer packages which include IVF treatment and donor sperm processes.

When selecting a sperm donor, it’s essential to consider factors such as physical characteristics, medical history, and personal traits. Some individuals may prioritise physical resemblance to themselves or their partner, while others may focus on the donor's educational background or interests. The information provided by each sperm bank differs in these aspects. With the option of our IVF+ Donor Sperm package, we provide medical information on donors physical characteristics, ethnic background and health status. The additional information provided by sperm banks varies. Some sperm banks provide information such as, if the donor has had any other children at the time of donation as-well as their gender, the donors job, religion or skills. If this is preferential information for you when choosing your donor, we are happy to partner with external sperm banks as long as donors meet the legal criteria required in the UK. Throughout the process it's best to have open and honest discussions with your partner, if applicable, to align your preferences and make an informed decision.

What difference does the type of donor make to my IVF journey? 

When choosing a sperm donor through our IVF package it will not impact the journey very much. However things to consider are your personal criteria and if you would prefer the option of a known donor or an international donor as the time for protocols such as testing and shipping sperm internationally may impact the length of your treatment. Fertility clinics will not start the IVF process until all criteria protocols are complete. Regardless of the type of donor all donors are required to go through a screening process. At abc ivf we only allow the use of donor sperm from donors who meet our criteria. This aims to ensure the quality and health of the sample, as well as allowing full transparency for those who are using donor sperm in their treatment.

Can I buy Sperm?

Yes, in our IVF+ Donor Sperm package, costs for sperm samples are included within the price. It is important to know that prices may vary when sourcing a donor externally. The services of all sperm banks include the screening, storage, and distribution of sperm samples. Safeguarding protocol ensures that patients seeking donor sperm can have clarity and transparency when choosing a donor. The most important thing to consider is whether your donor meets your criteria. When buying donor sperm through abc IVF, individuals or couples who wish to have siblings using the same donor often buy more than one quantity of their chosen donors sample. This ensures access to the donor sample which can be frozen and used in future treatments.

At abc IVF, we understand the importance of finding the right sperm donor for your IVF journey. Our experienced team is here to guide you through the process, providing support and information every step of the way. We offer a range of fertility treatments, including IVF, and can help you navigate the complexities of choosing a sperm donor.

Choosing a sperm donor is a significant decision that requires careful consideration, whether you’re a same sex couple, a single woman, or a heterosexual couple. By exploring the different options available and considering factors such as physical characteristics, medical history, and personal traits, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your preferences and goals. At abc IVF our goal is to support you on your fertility journey and help you find the perfect sperm donor for your family-building dreams.

If you have any questions about treatment at abc ivf, be sure to sign up to our next webinar here