Whether you are a single woman, in a same-sex relationship or a couple experiencing fertility issues, conceiving naturally may be off the table. Having a child via sperm donation is one of the potential solutions when it comes to starting your family. Here are a few things you need to know when looking for a sperm donor.
Finding your donor can take time
Between choosing the right bank or licensed fertility clinic, selecting a suitable donor, enduring long waiting lists, undergoing fertility treatment and, last but not least, actually becoming pregnant, things can take quite a while. It’s crucial that you take the time to select a reputable and honest sperm bank, as well as a healthy and trustworthy donor, thus ensuring you and your future child’s wellbeing and optimising your chances of conceiving.
Once all this is done, the time necessary to conceive can depend on many factors, including your level of fertility, the quality of the vials you use and which fertility treatment you opt for. It might take several cycles before you finally fall pregnant. Be prepared to be patient!
You should pay a visit to your GP
Visiting your GP is useful for several reasons. Firstly, they will check to see if everything is alright and ensure that you’re healthy enough to support a pregnancy. Secondly, they will help you to ascertain your most fertile window, and, if needed, they can also recommend a fertility treatment. Finally, they can also give you lots of great advice regarding things such as conception and nutrition.
Additionally, if you’re planning to have fertility treatment on the NHS and you meet the necessary criteria, you’ll need a referral from your GP.
You can find donor sperm online
Sperm banks are not the only way. In addition to choosing a donor you already know, for instance, a friend, you can also look for a donor online. This is a great alternative if you want to cut costs and be able to communicate directly with the donor. This is also a good option to go for if you’d like your donor to be involved in your child’s upbringing.
Besides, more and more singles and couples these days are making the decision to search for a donor on social media (such as Facebook) or on specialized websites that connect aspiring parents with donors.
However, you must make sure that you understand the laws regarding donation and parental rights beforehand, especially if you want to become a single mother, or you are part of a same-sex couple.
Consider the method of conception before purchasing vials
Depending on whether you’re undergoing intrauterine insemination (IUI), intracervical insemination (ICI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF), you’ll need different types of vial. You should choose washed sperm (sperm is separated from the semen) if you have opted for IUI, as raw sperm contains prostaglandins chemicals that could provoke cramps and cause you pain. As for IVF, ICSI and ICI, both washed and unwashed sperm are fine.
Think of the things your child will want to know about their donor
Selecting a sperm donor can be difficult. Not only should you factor in important things such as the sperm motility and health of the donor, you will also need to consider criteria such as skin tone, hair and eye colour, degree of education, height, weight, personality, etc.
It’s easy to feel a little lost when you’re browsing sperm bank catalogues. With that in mind, a good tip is to think of the future. To help you make your decision, first think about how you imagine your child. Would you prefer them to more closely resemble you or your partner?
However, although physical details are important, there are other things to consider. Imagine what you would enjoy telling your child about their donor. Your kid will most likely love to hear stories about their donor’s personality or hobbies, as well as the kind of job they were doing.
Donor-conceived children are as healthy as children conceived naturally
In case you were wondering, you’re not putting your future child’s health at risk by conceiving via sperm donation. In fact, Australian researchers have found that children conceived with donor sperm through IVF are as healthy as their peers.
All you have to do to guarantee your future child’s wellbeing is ensure that you choose a healthy sperm donor. Don’t hesitate to ask them to prove that they have no STDs, genetic diseases or chromosomal abnormalities.
Your love for your child will be the same
Having a baby via sperm donation is a huge decision. Your head might be full of questions and you may feel a little lost. However, one concern you can immediately strike from your list is whether you or your partner will love your child with the same intensity. The answer is yes, of course you will!
DNA is not the be all and end all, and on top of that, research has found that families started thanks to sperm donation are just as happy as those conceived naturally.
Are you considering using a sperm donor? What are your questions and concerns? Do leave a comment below.
*This is a collaborative post