Whenever news of Metromale Clinic and Fertility flashes in the newspaper, there are calls from well intentioned, endearing young men asking whether the clinic requires sperm donors. I am pleasantly surprised by these men and their motives often wondering whether there is a touch of altruism here (pun intended). To help matters or make matters worse, the Hindi movie ‘Vicky Donor’ was a rave adding fuel to fire.
What is sperm donation?
Sperm donation is the process of donating sperm to inseminate or make a woman conceive. The woman in question is usually not the sexual partner of the donor. It is a form of third party reproduction. Fertility clinics can themselves have sperm banks where sperm can be stored and used or can use the facilities of a reputed bank.
How is Pregnancy achieved with Sperm Donation?
Usually pregnancies are achieved by using Intra Uterine Insemination techniques with donor sperm. Sometimes IVF or ICSI techniques can be employed.
How are sperm donors selected?
Donors are usually chosen based on the basis of the donor’s characteristics that match the male partner of the couple requiring insemination. Looks, color, personality academic ability and race can be matched to a certain extent. The donors are usually screened for Sexually Transmitted Diseases and are required to give two samples at least 6 months apart.
In general it falls upon the doctors of the fertility clinic to have a thorough discussion with the recipients before the donor is chosen about their specific needs. The donor source is usually not revealed or rather there is no contact between the donor and the recipient to avoid potential future problems. All said and done, countless infertile couples benefit…. altruism or not!