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Are You Emotionally Ready to Use a Sperm Donor?
Until you and your partner are faced with a potential infertility diagnosis, the idea of using a sperm donor to have a baby likely didn’t cross your mind. However, using a sperm donor is not uncommon: one in eight couples struggle to conceive without reproductive care.
Male factor infertility accounts for one-third of cases, female factor infertility for another third and the remaining third is categorized as “unexplained.” This split is surprising to many, even today, when the fertility community operates in an open and transparent manner.
Learning that a fertility issue is present is one thing, but learning that the issue cannot be addressed through treatment and that donor sperm is needed is an entirely different matter. Partners can struggle with this decision, partly because it simply wasn’t how they pictured growing their family and partly because using donated sperm can seem controversial even though the process has been used for infertile and LGBT couples for decades.
How to talk about your concerns
There are questions infertile couples should discuss prior to selecting a sperm donor. Coming to terms with this family-building route may not be as easy for some as it is for others, and working through your questions, concerns and reservations before starting treatment is important. Diving headfirst into third-party reproduction before you’re actually ready to do so is ill-advised.
- Are you and your partner genuinely comfortable with using donated sperm?
- Have you discussed how using donated sperm makes you feel?
- Do you have a plan for discussing sperm donation with family and friends?
- How much will you reveal?
- What questions are you comfortable answering?
- Do you agree on what kind of sperm donor you want to use?
- What physical characteristics, education, hobbies, background and other factors do you want in a sperm donor?
- When and how will you tell your child about this process?
These can be difficult discussions to work through, especially if you are struggling to accept that sperm donation is the necessary route to parenthood. Regardless, starting this process before you have honestly answered the above questions is not recommended as it can lead to false starts, arguments and possibly even regret if it turns out to not be the right choice for your family.
Sperm donation presents an amazing opportunity for couples and individuals to build their families when they otherwise might not have been able to. The realization that sperm donation is one of your better options for having a child may take time to process, but for those who decide to move forward and select a donor, the Fertility Center of California, Sperm Bank, Inc. offers a collection of patient testimonials to review so you can read real stories from real patients.