Sperm donation is an essential way to have a baby for many people. It enables pregnancy in women who are single or in same-sex relationships. For other couples with severe, untreatable male factor infertility, or in the cases when the male carries a hereditary disease that he doesn’t wish to pass on, sperm donation becomes the treatment of choice as well.
At Anova Fertility, we accept Known Sperm Donors (i.e. friend or relative) as well as donor sperm from a few, regulated and reputable sperm banks. Patients considering sperm donation should know that thorough screening is carried out and documented on all donor sperm samples available through sperm banks, according to Canadian Federal Regulations. This screening involves a thorough family history, complete medical, social and sometimes psychological history, blood group information, genetic screening and screening for transmissible diseases. Thorough testing of Known Donors is also required.
As part of the regulated guidelines, all donated sperm must be quarantined for a period of 6 months to ensure that the donor still screens negative for infectious diseases such as HIV after initial testing. Clinics that store and distribute donor sperm are inspected by Health Canada every five years.
When choosing sperm from a sperm bank, you will have the opportunity to select your own donor from available samples. Catalogues are available online, and can be requested by mail as well. Donor choice can be based on racial or ethnic background, physical or social characteristics, or previous history.
As part of the sperm donation process, patients considering this option must meet with a reproductive counsellor, as does a Known Sperm Donor, when applicable. This is an important step in the process as the counsellor will review all aspects of sperm donation treatment with you (not just from a medical perspective) and give you the tools to make decisions and better consider the impact of these decisions on your family in the short and long-term.