This Fact sheet has been written to help potential donors considering the option to donate their sperm at Life Fertility Clinic. It aims to take you step by step through the process, explain why certain steps are done and answer most of the questions that commonly arise during sperm donation. We suggest you read the leaflet carefully before embarking on sperm donation and refer to it during the process. If you are unclear about any aspect of the process, the medical and nursing staff at Life Fertility Clinic are always happy to answer your questions or concerns.
All donors and their partners will undergo screening blood tests, genetic testing and counselling, which are mandatory prerequisites to our sperm donor program. All aspects of treatment and legal implications will be discussed along with the donor’s feelings about donating semen.
WHO NEEDS DONATED SPERM?
Sperm donation now offers women the chance to become pregnant in the situation where:
- Male partner has absence / limited semen parameters.
- Male partner carries a genetic disorder.
- Severe male factor infertility.
- Numerous repeated IVF failures attributed to sperm problems.
- Single women who desire a child.
CRITERIA FOR DONORS
- To be aged between 21-50 years old.
- Can be known to the recipient or clinic recruited.
- Must produce good quality semen to be analysed and tested.
- Must be prepared to produce at least 10 semen samples.
- To undergo counselling with a Life Fertility Clinic Counsellor.
- To be screened for infectious diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C, syphilis, HTLV 1 & 2 cystic fibrosis chromosomes, and blood group. Have repeat blood tests after six months.
- Give consent to treatment and complete a medical and lifestyle questionnaire in order to rule out the possibility of an inherited condition or transmissible infection being passed on.
- To provide Life Fertility Clinic with nonidentifying and identifying details to be recorded on our donor register.
- It is illegal in Australia to receive payment for sperm donation.
It is crucial to remember that all consultations, blood test results, including assessment of the medical and lifestyle questionnaire, education and counselling sessions and consent forms must be completed by the sperm donor before the sperm can be used.
A minimum two week cooling off period is mandatory prior to commencement of the recipient’s treatment.
On completion of 10 sperm donations the sperm will be quarantined for 6 months. After this quarantine period, the sperm donor is advised to repeat mandatory screening bloods. The test results must be cleared medically prior to the release of the donated sperm to potential recipients.
HOW ARE DONORS AND RECIPIENTS MATCHED?
- Clinic recruited donors.
The recipient will be given a profile of the potential donor consisting of non identifying details such as physical characteristics (hair and eye colour, height, weight, build, complexion, race), blood group, career, and education to assist in the decision making process of whether they will accept the potential donor. It is very difficult to match physical characteristics due to the limited number of sperm donors.
WHEN AND WHAT TREATMENT IS THE DONATED SPERM USED FOR?
- Sperm donation is used in conjunction with insemination and IVF treatment.
- The donor sperm insemination process involves thawing and preparing the semen sample in the Life Fertility Clinic laboratory and then placing the prepared donor semen sample into the recipient’s uterus via a thin catheter at the time of ovulation. This procedure is performed by either the IVF specialist or an IVF Nurse Coordinator.
- The use of donor sperm in IVF occurs when the female recipient’s eggs have been collected during an egg collection procedure. The donor sperm is thawed and prepared in the Life Fertility Clinic laboratory for the purpose of inseminating and fertilising the eggs. This procedure is performed by the Life Fertility Clinic embryologist.
Life Fertility Clinic has a register in which names and details of every sperm donor, recipient and offspring are recorded. Non-identifying donor information is released in conjunction with the donor’s consent in a profile format to match potential recipients. However, when a child born as a result of treatment using donor sperm reaches the age of 18 years, they are entitled to obtain the donor’s identifying details by applying to Life Fertility Clinic. This register also maintains and records the number of offspring generated by a sperm donor. Once ten families have been attained, donation must cease. As a sperm donor you are entitled upon request to Life Fertility Clinic to obtain non-identifying information about the recipient, including the number and gender of persons born.
There are many factors to consider when deciding to become a sperm donor. An important factor is where you stand legally as a sperm donor. As a sperm donor you can withdraw or change your consent at any time of insemination or fertilisation, but you have no legal rights or responsibilities to any child born as a result of the donation.
Counselling is mandatory for every sperm donor (and their partner) who is considering donating his sperm. The sperm donor and their partner must attend a minimum of two counselling sessions. This gives the donor the opportunity to talk through the implications of this with a counsellor. Counselling acts as an assessment of your suitability to become a sperm donor. It also gives you time to talk through your feelings about donating your sperm and how this may affect your life, now and in the future. Most sperm donors find it very helpful to have the opportunity to reflect upon what they are planning and appreciate being able to talk freely and in confidence about such an important and sensitive matter.
- Obtain a referral from your GP.
- Make an appointment for your consultation with a Life Fertility Clinic specialist.
- Attend a mandatory one hour education session with a Nurse Coordinator.
- Attend a minimum of two counselling sessions with a Life Fertility Clinic counsellor to discuss the implications of sperm donation (partners must attend all counselling sessions).
- Attend blood screening tests, complete medical and lifestyle questionnaire and consent forms.
- Produce initial semen sample for analysis and testing prior to donation.
- Produce at least 10 semen samples at Life Fertility Clinic laboratory for donation and quarantine. This number will be determined by our scientists and depends on the results of each sample produced.
- Donated semen quarantined for 180 days.
- Repeat screening blood tests to be attended and results must be negative prior to release of semen to potential recipients.
- Donor sperm matched with recipient.
- Recipient commences required treatment.
- Donor sperm thawed for treatment.
- The Donor Conception Support Group of Australia Inc.
PO Box 554
Seven Hills NSW 1730
Phone: (02) 96245110
The Donor Conception Support Group of Australia Inc. is a self-funding organisation run by volunteers and has been in existence since 1993. The membership is made up of people considering or using donor sperm, egg or embryos; those who already have children conceived on donor programs, adult donor offspring and donors.
The Donor Conception Support Group provides support, help and research assistance with:
- A bi-monthly newsletter.
- Information nights for donors (past and potential), donor recipient families, donor conceived offspring and other interested parties.
- A library with a collection of books and articles on fertility and donor issues available to members, as well as audio and video tapes. These can be borrowed at meetings and social days, or arrangements can be made to send the books to you in the mail.
- Personal stories – read how others have coped and dealt with donor related issues.
- Telephone contacts for personal support.
- Consumer advocacy on issues relating to donor recipients and offspring.
PO Box 6769
Silverwater NSW 2128
Phone: 1800 888 896
Fax: (02) 97370245
Access is a consumer based, independent, non-profit organisation committed to being a national voice in promoting the well-being and welfare of infertile people of all ages.
Special services provided: provision of a range of fact sheets about infertility, a quarterly newsletter, a register of Australian regional infertility self help groups and a list of accredited infertility clinics. Access serves 5,000 members around Australia and internationally.
CONTACT LIFE FERTILITY CLINIC
The friendly and professional team at Life Fertility Clinic are eager to assist and answer any questions regarding our donor sperm program.
For more information or queries regarding any of the services offered at Life Fertility Clinic, please contact us.