Sperm donation and sperm preservation are two very important pillars of the modern fertility medicine. On the one hand, donation helps couples (or women) who can’t have kids to fulfil their dreams, and on the other hand sperm banking helps men store their cells for an indefinite amount of time in case anything happens to their reproductive abilities. So, since we already know that storing sperm is possible, all there is left for us to dive deeper into is how do sperm banks actually work. Let’s find out.
The Mechanics Of A Sperm Bank
Each year, countless families choose services like Sperm Banking Australia for the start of their new families. They do this because of various reproductive issues in one or both of the partners. Sperm donation, in fact, is one of the best methods of helping couples with reproductive issues. Some women prefer private donors but in most cases women opt for a donor from a sperm bank. So, this covers the needs but what about the means?
Storage facilities rely solely on random donors from the society. The donors can choose to be anonymous or to give most of their information away (including pictures). In fact the information a donor gives when providing sperm is quite vast. Here are some examples:
- Basic information (age, height, weight)
- Achievements (in sports, academic, etc.)
- Congenital Diseases (including a detailed family tree)
- Health Issues
Some of these tests are done by trained physicians who are constantly on station in the sperm bank. This ensures that the quality of the cells is as good as possible. After a donor gives permission for the bank to use his semen, he then enters a list from which new mothers will be able to choose from.
For more on the actual process of giving sperm and the way its processes and frozen, head over to our Main Page where we discuss these things in greater detail.
Donor Recruitment, Requirements, And Legal Information
Every bank in Australia has its own recruitment requirements and standards. Furthermore, all the little legal details around the whole process along with the actual pricing vary heavily as well. Still, there are a few things common between all donor banks.
The Recruitment Process
There can be two possible reasons for a man to want to donate – the financial benefit or simply wanting to help a couple. Either way he has to go through the same process in both cases and it is important to note that everyone can apply but not everyone can successfully go through the selection process. The first step from the recruitment is to fill out a questionnaire. This can be done in person or online or even over a phone call. The criteria for the following selection vary from bank to bank.
The next part is to see whether the candidate checks out all the bank’s requirements for donating sperm cells.
In most cases, the candidate should answer to a set of certain conditions. Some of them are:
- The candidate should be aged 18 to 45. Some banks might even select candidates between 20 and 35.
- The candidate isn’t adopted and has no history of genetic conditions
- The candidate can produce a minimum of 4 samples per month
- The candidate can produce samples for 6 consecutive months
- Is healthy
Once again, the health inspections are done by medical professionals who also examine the family history of the candidate.
The Legal Part
There have been cases with some awkward situations surrounding the donor babies and their non-biological parents. By law, the donor always stays anonymous and the baby isn’t his no matter the conditions.
There is a clause to this, though. If you arrange a private donor he will be enlisted as one of the legal parents to the baby. Still, most donors rely on this policy because the scenario of a kid looking for its real parents further down the line can be a hassle to handle. After 2005, though, kids can ask about general information (or all the given information) about their donors only once they turn 18.
How Does It All Work From A Biological Standpoint
Once the donor sperm is taken, it can either be stored or used to fertilize an egg. We will now take a look at the second process. This method is called Donor Insemination (or DI). A small sample from the sperm is taken and then inserted into womb via a small tube. It is important to match this procedure with the right time of the female ovulation to increase the odds of conceiving.
Sometimes fertility drugs are prescribed to boost the chances even more by increasing the number of eggs the woman produces.
There is another method called IVF – in vitro fertilization. It basically consists of the female egg being surgically taken and then put together with sperm cells inside lab conditions. Once the sperm cells fertilize the egg (called now an embryo) it gets inserted back into the woman’s womb. From then onward it starts growing and developing into a fetus and eventually a healthy baby.
Are There Alternatives?
If getting sperm from a sperm bank seems too expensive for you, you can try finding a solution in a more private matter. Usually people ask their friends for a sperm donation as a favor or search through various social media sites built for this reason. This method, baring the moral issues, can also be a bit risky since you have no idea of the medical status of the person donating to you. Furthermore, if the person isn’t fully aware of his family’s history you are as good as shooting in the dark. Still, it is an okay method as long as your doctor oversees the whole process and makes sure the donor is healthy.