Safe Parenthood with Donor InseminationDr Asha S Vijay
“Let New Hopes & Not Your Hurts Decide Your Path to Parenthood!”
About a third of fertility issues are due to problems with the man a third is due to fertility issues with both men & women. In both cases, using a sperm donor may offer an affordable, safe, low-intervention path to pregnancy. Choosing the donor sperm from the right fertility clinic increases your chances of a successful, healthy, happy conception. So, if you consider undergoing the sperm donation process, here is what you would like to understand.
What is Donor Insemination?
Donor insemination means undergoing IUI using donor sperm. Natural conception is successful with a certain number of motile sperms. We recommend in vitro fertilization (IVF) with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) if the numbers are too low. But if your partner has zero sperm or IVF is not an affordable option, donor insemination is an alternative.
Other scenarios in which donor insemination might include:
• Treatment for a single woman
• Same-sex couple
• If the male partner is undergoing chemotherapy or radiation for cancer
• If the male carries a genetic disease that he does not want to transfer to his children.
How sperm donors are chosen?
Sperm donors are typically less than 40 years of age to minimize the potential risk of genetic abnormalities associated with aging. Usually, donor identity is unknown, although sometimes, a known donor comes into the picture. A sperm donor undergoes rigorous blood testing to minimize the risk of transmitting a genetically transmittable disease. Also, it requires that all donor sperm be quarantined for a minimum of 6 months before use.
Sperm banks have all the details of the donor like:
• Medical history of the donor
• His family background
• Hobbies and interests.
The sperm donor will undergo an initial semen analysis to confirm that the sperm quality is good to freeze and thaw. If selected, the donor will produce more samples. The semen specimen was washed, concentrated, and frozen for at least 6 -months. During this, the donor undergoes re-testing for transmittable diseases & if the results are negative, the sperm is only available for release. Before opting for donor insemination, finding out all the other possible causes of infertility occurs. Therefore, a medical history, physical exam, blood work, and a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) are performed. The timing of insemination depends on the regularity of the recipient female menstrual cycle. If she is young and has a regular, predictable menstrual cycle, donor insemination can be performed the day after a positive ovulation predictor kit (OPK) reading. If the menstrual cycles are irregular, and if the woman is older, then other medications like Clomid or gonadotropins may be added, with additional monitoring to increase the chance of success.
Process of donor insemination:
The actual donor insemination is a quick, simple procedure in the office. The woman must lie on the table for a pelvic examination that includes inserting a speculum into the vagina. A flexible narrow catheter is used to place the washed semen specimen through the cervix into the uterine cavity. After this, some females may experience mild cramping or spotting.
The Success rate of donor insemination: The success rate of donor insemination depends upon:
• The patient's age
• Tubal disease.
• In most cases, the chance of pregnancy using donor insemination ranges from 8-15%.
• The success rate is higher if other medications are used to stimulate the ovaries.
• Donor insemination does not increase the risk of any cognitive defects.
Is a Sperm Donor Right for You? Is Donor IUI Safe?
Yes, IUI is a safe procedure. IUI is the first step in curing infertility & is widely recommended. Many men hesitate to use a sperm donor. They want to possess a toddler who is biologically theirs. But the fact is, sperm donation is a great and safe option. You can even choose a donor who seems like you.
When to opt for donor insemination?
Sperm donation may be a good option if:
• The woman wants the experience of pregnancy.
• The man does not undergo fertility surgery.
• There is a high risk that the couples fertility clock will run out if they keep trying without any medical intervention.
• The couple wants the safest & quick route to parenthood.
When to See a Fertility Specialist?
Fertility features a ticking clock attached, especially for ladies. So trying for natural conception with no success is simply wasting your precious time. Since fertility declines in both partners over time, if the woman is in her 30s, it is necessary to seek prompt help for suspected infertility.
We recommend seeing a fertility specialist if:
• The man features a history of male erectile dysfunction or ejaculatory issues.
• The man has blood in his urine or ejaculate, painful ejaculation or swelling in or near the penis or testicles.
• The man frequently must urinate, especially in the dark.
• The couple has tried for 12 months or longer to get pregnant & the woman is under 35.
• The couple has tried for 6-months or longer & the woman is over 35.
• Either partner has a previous history of infertility where a semen analysis has revealed an issue with the sperm.
• The woman has PCOS
• The women who have irregular periods & never get a positive result on an ovulation test
• The woman is trying to conceive without a partner.
• The couple is not having sexual intercourse for any reason.
Note: Do not try to do at-home insemination with a turkey baster. It is dangerous and unlikely to work. Infertility is a treatable medical condition. The sooner you consult a fertility specialist for treatment, the wide range of options you will have. So, do not delay treatment. Do not hesitate & remember you are not alone. Infertility is common. It is not a personal failure.
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