There are a number of factors that may preclude a man from being able to use his own sperm. This may include:
Azoospermia refers to when a man’s semen contains no sperm. If sperm are unable to be retrieved from the testes either (in a process called ‘testicular sperm extraction‘), donor sperm will be required. However, if a man produces any sperm at all, even in incredibly small numbers, the sperm can usually be obtained via testicular biopsy. We can then select individual sperm and fertilise the egg through a special procedure called Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).
In some cases sperm are present, but there are abnormalities of the sperm that prevent successful fertilisation of the egg. Sometimes these abnormalities may be obvious under the microscope – in other cases, poor sperm quality may be suggested by repeated failure to achieve successful fertilisation or ICSI.
Some men carry a genetic disorder that they do not wish to pass on to their child. If there is potential for this to occur, genetic testing of embryos is often sufficient in order to screen for and prevent inheritance of the disorder. However, if genetic testing is not suitable, the use of donor sperm may be an appropriate alternative.
Lesbian couples and single women who want to have a child also require donor sperm.
You may prefer to find a sperm donor from your own social circles, including acquaintances, family and friends. Letting people know about your fertility journey and asking those around you for help can feel scary, but you may be surprised at who is willing to consider donation.
Some people choose to obtain donor sperm by publishing an advertisement in an online forum or printed material. Before officially publishing an ad, it is a legal requirement to obtain approval by sending a copy of the advertisement to the Department of Human Services.
Newlife IVF is dedicated to recruiting local sperm donors so that you have another means by which you can access donor sperm. We are also in the process of seeking approval to import donor sperm and expect to have imported donor sperm available for use from late 2020.
Once donor sperm is secured, the sperm are used to fertilise the female’s egg. There are a number of methods for achieving this, including:
We will consider a number of factors, including your current fertility levels and preferences, before deciding which particular method to use.
The information on this page is certainly not exhaustive, and we recommend that you refer to the information provided by the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA) to gain a more complete understanding of the issues pertaining to the use of donor sperm. If the use of donor sperm is a suitable option for you, our fertility specialists will also dedicate time to helping you navigate this process.Becoming a sperm donor
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