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Three Things Growing Families Need to Know About Sperm Donation
For families looking to grow their family with the help of sperm donation, the process can seem daunting, even confusing.
Below are three important points to keep in mind when navigating sperm donation to ensure you have the smoothest, most stress-free experience possible.
1. Sperm donors must go through extensive screening.
While it can seem daunting to have so many sperm donor options, it’s important to keep in mind that every donor has undergone a rigorous screening process, allowing you to rest assured that anyone you choose will be both mentally and physically healthy.
Anyone looking to serve as a sperm donor must first fill out an extensive application, which is carefully reviewed by the sperm bank. But what exactly does the screening process itself entail? Below are a few of the most common aspects involved.
- Medical and genetic history
- Blood and urine testing for sexually transmitted diseases and infections such as gonorrhea, HIV, and chlamydia
- Blood and urine testing to determine blood type and assess general health
- Screening to determine whether a potential donor has the cystic fibrosis carrier trait
- Comprehensive physical examinations
- In-depth dental health evaluations
- Semen analysis
- Verification of educational degrees
- Criminal background check
All of these exams, tests, and screenings are designed to eliminate applicants who do not meet industry standards, ensuring optimal safety for you and your potential future child.
Ensure that you’re working with a trustworthy, reputable sperm bank that complies with recommendations from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Association of Tissue Banks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
2. Male infertility accounts for one-third of U.S. couples’ infertility diagnoses.
While many still believe that couples’ fertility issues can be traced to the woman’s reproductive health, male reproductive issues actually lead to about one-third of all infertility cases. Another one-third can be traced to female reproductive issues, and the remaining one-third to both male and female reproductive factors or unknown causes.
In about 10% to 15% of men who are infertile, a complete lack of sperm prevents conception. Male fertility issues can also be caused by:
- Sperm that is not fully grown
- Oddly shaped sperm
- Sperm not moving in the right way
- Low sperm count
Some sperm problems can be caused or exacerbated by lifestyle choices, including tobacco and drug use, drinking, and certain medications. Health issues, such as certain long-term illnesses, childhood infections, and sexual health problems, as well as cancer treatments and hormonal or chromosomal problems, can all contribute to male infertility problems.
Sperm donation can be a great option for couples struggling to conceive, as well as for same-sex female couples. Meeting with a fertility specialist can provide great insight into the reasons behind your infertility or inability to conceive. Many sperm donor banks also offer general fertility care and artificial insemination services.
3. You can start your sperm donor search for free.
If you’re still exploring your options or deciding on the right path for building your family, you might want to start simply by browsing through a donor database. Searching through these databases is free and easy to do online, from the comfort of your own home.
Getting an idea of your options for sperm donation can go a long way in demystifying the process, making it less daunting and easier to understand. Exploring these databases will also give you an idea of what you’re looking for in a donor, whether that means finding someone who has the same ethnic or racial background, similar passions and interests, or a personality that seems to complement your own.
Sperm donor databases can be filtered for all of these factors and more, such as height, eye color, educational history, hobbies, and so on. Getting a feel for the available options can be a great first step as you embark on this exciting journey.
Learn More About Sperm Donation
To learn more about sperm donation and the various steps involved in choosing an ideal donor, connect with the specialists at the Fertility Center of California.
We’re on hand to answer any questions you may have, whether you’re just starting to consider your options or are already well underway in your sperm donor search.