This section outlines the steps for those patients wishing to pursue donor sperm cycles.
Implications of Donor Sperm Counseling
Patients using a third party as part of their fertility treatment must undergo professional implications counseling prior to proceeding. There are many psychological, moral and ethical issues surrounding this kind of treatment, with far-reaching implications for the family and the hoped-for child. Issues of disclosure, confidentiality and parentage are also discussed. It is essential that both partners feel comfortable with the decision and that all fears and questions be openly discussed.
The Next Steps: Physical Evaluation
Once the couple has decided to utilize donor insemination, an appointment is made for the couple to meet with the physician or nurse to sign the consent forms, select the donor(s), and give a blood samples for laboratory tests. The female patient will also have a physical examination.
The male will have a clinical evaluation with review of his medical records. Blood will be drawn to determine if antibodies to HIV-I and II (AIDS virus) and other infectious diseases are present. Even though his sperm will not be used for treatment, sexually intimate partners must be tested.
Routine medical and reproductive history and a complete general physical examination will be performed. Blood is drawn for standard preconception screening which includes blood type and Rh factor and rubella titer. Her serum is also tested for cytomegalovirus (CMV), syphilis, hepatitis B & C, and HIV-1&2 antibodies. A Cystic Fibrosis screen and a TSH level are drawn. A complete blood count is done to help assess general health. A cervical culture is performed for chlamydia and gonorrhea to make sure no infection exists.
Consent Form for Donor Sperm
The couple considering the use of donor insemination must be fully informed about all aspects of the process and their consequences. They then must sign an informed consent statement including the following:
- The husband is treated in law as if he were the natural father of the child and all children born shall be legitimate children and heirs to the couple’s estate.
- The couple will never seek to identify the donor, nor will the donor ever be able to identify the couple.
- There is no guarantee that insemination will result in a pregnancy.
- A certain percentage of all children are born with physical or mental defects, and the occurrence of such defects is beyond the control of physicians.
- There is a very small risk of infection.
- Any pregnancy carries with it the risk of obstetrical complications or miscarriage.
- Semen from the same donor may not be available for all inseminations.
- Frozen sperm that has been quarantined for a minimum of 6 months will be used.