If you did not already freeze embryos, it is time to go sperm shopping! Much like the rest of the fertility journey, the sperm search process is more complicated — and longer — than you might think.
Do you have a known donor?
Or, do you want to use an Anonymous Donor?
What FDA testing is required for sperm donors?
How do you choose the perfect match?
And, it you are using a sperm bank its easy to become a ‘sperm-zilla’ as the search parameters (like Match.com) are numerous — from height, hair color, eye color, ethnic origin, education to celebrity look-alike and SAT scores.
Sperm donors are classified into 5 types each with its own legal, financial and regulatory distinctions:
Known Donor: Someone you know is willing to give his sperm for home insemination only (not applicable to frozen eggs)
Directed Donor: Someone you know who is willing to give sperm for clinic insemination
Co-parenting Donor: Someone you know who is willing to assume parenting responsibilities (financial and logistical)
Open Identity Donor: Sperm bank donor who is willing to be contacted when child reaches a certain age (typically 18)
Anonymous Donor: Sperm bank donor who wants to remain anonymous and can never be contacted by child
Sperm Banks: What testing is required?
Although regulation of the sperm bank industry is the US is surprisingly loose, the FDA does require banks to adhere to protocols to prevent disease transmission.
All sperm bank donors, including Open Identity Donors, must:
Test for sexually transmitted diseases
CMV (Cytomegalovirus) testing — alignment to your (or egg donors) CMV status
Quarantine samples for six months
Pass physical exam including screening for genetic illnesses
Provide personal and family medical history to screen for hereditary diseases (note: these are verbal intakes requiring no paperwork support and rely solely on the honesty of the donor and diligence of sperm bank)