The birth of a child is one of the purest and most intimate events in one’s life. Unfortunately, more and more couples from across the world are unable to conceive a child and become parents – as much as 20 percent of couples globally suffer from infertility.
In vitro fertilization has opened up new horizons for aspiring parents. In particular, sperm donation is an increasingly popular option amongst women and couples who struggle to conceive a child. So how exactly does sperm donation work?
What causes male infertility?
A man is unable to reproduce if his sperm lacks spermatids, or sperm cells. This could be caused by various factors, for example genetic factors, traumas, surgeries, infections or oncology.
A woman might choose to use donated sperm for different reasons:
- oligoasthenoteratozoospermia and azoospermia;
- ejaculatory dysfunction;
- unfavorable genetic prognosis;
- absence of a sexual partner;
- medical and social factors.
Potential donors are usually aged 18 to 40. They must undergo tests for genetic abnormalities that can be passed on to a child. As well as that, donors undergo tests for diseases including HIV, and samples of their sperm are checked for quality and mobility.
Sperm samples of those who showed good results are frozen for no less than six months, and then examined again. Not all of them have the potential to survive freezing and unfreezing, hence why the quality of sperm can be reduced.
Cells that retain high quality upon freezing and subsequent unfreezing are admitted to the donation. On the whole, donor sperm can be used both for intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization.
For many couples and women, having access to donated sperm is the only chance to conceive and become parents. In fact, this unique reproduction technology has been proving its effectiveness for over a century now and in many cases, it is definitely an option to consider.