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Choosing The Right Sperm Donor

Posted Friday, June 26, 2009 9:51 PM

How To Choose A Sperm DonorInfertility problems affect a great deal of couples. Each couple has to be tested in order to find out which treatment options may be right for them. Many couples are able to choose procedures in which they are able to try to conceive a baby that is genetically related to both members of the couple; however, this is not an option for some couples. Some need to turn to sperm donors.

Sperm donors may be recommended for a couple of different reasons. For instance, if the man in the couple does not have viable sperm, the doctor will suggest that the couple choose a sperm donor. Or, if the man is known to be a carrier of an inherited disease such as hemophilia, using a donor may be advised. Also, if the man is HIV-positive, a donor would be a wise choice.

But, choosing a sperm donor is not a simple process. First of all, a sperm bank needs to be chosen. Couples should ask their doctors which sperm banks they recommend. Next, the couple should evaluate those sperm banks on a few different criteria. Phone calls, visits, or internet research is fine, whichever is best for the couple.

It is most important to find out which certifications the sperm bank has and how long they have been in business. They may be accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) or state department. It is equally important to find out how the bank screens their sperm donors. They should have a specific screening process in place—one in which the donor’s medical history is tracked, preferably.

Couples also need to find out if the sperm bank tracks and limits pregnancies from sperm donors. And, they need to ask if the bank allows identification (ID) release of their sperm donors.

After choosing a sperm bank, the difficult work really begins—choosing a sperm donor. Sperm donors can be chosen through a long list of descriptive characteristics, limited only by the screening questions the sperm bank has chosen to ask their sperm donors.

It can be complicated to decide how to start when choosing a sperm donor. Usually, it is best to start with what is personally more important.

For many couples, height is an important characteristic. They want their children to be about the same height as they are, not towering over them and not a great deal shorter. So, height might be a good starting point in choosing a sperm donor.

Race and ethnicity are also important to many couples. Choosing a sperm donor that is the same race and ethnicity as the couple may be a good next step.

After these characteristics, it is really a personal decision. Some couples want a sperm donor that has no other pregnancies. Some want one that has blue eyes. It is not easy to settle on a choice, and it may take time to come to a final decision.

Not all couples will need to use donors to conceive, but sperm donors allow many couples to overcome their infertility.

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