For couples unable to conceive with their own eggs and sperm, donation is often the best way to have a baby. First you need to understand the legal requirements and best practices around donation
When is egg or sperm donation right for you?
Having a baby is an exciting journey for most couples, but sometimes it just isn’t possible for you or your partner’s eggs or sperm to be used in conceiving. It might be that the woman isn’t able to produce eggs or there are problems with the quality of her eggs.
The same applies to the man, who might either be infertile or perhaps carry a genetic condition that a couple wouldn’t want to pass onto their baby. There are other reasons why a woman might want a sperm donor, including if she is single or in a same-sex partnership and wants to have a baby.
What does sperm and egg donation involve
The idea of sperm or egg donation can seem both alien and daunting to a couple, but sometimes this might be your best chance of having a baby. You’ll be pleased to know there are strict regulations around egg or sperm donation at both a state and federal level. For example, donors can’t remain anonymous, which means when you baby turns 16 he or she will have the right to find out who the donor was, which can be beneficial for many reasons.
A common option that couples and women go with is a known donor programme, which means that the donor eggs or sperm are from someone known to you and your partner. All donors in this programme must have a comprehensive medical exam, including blood tests to screen for certain conditions. It’s preferable if the donors are in their late 20s to early 30s, and, in the case of women donating their eggs have had their children.
The emotional side of sperm and egg donation
As part of the donation process, everyone involved is required to have counselling, with a cooling off period for donors. And for both sperm and egg donations there is a quarantine period of six months.
There are many reasons why counselling is so important. If you are a donor, you need to fully understand the implications of sperm or egg donation, not only from a health perspective but also a psychological viewpoint. I believe everyone needs to fully digest how donation might affect your life now and later on.
You are ready for the donation programme, how do you begin?
As the only female Certified Specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (CREI) in Perth, I am committed to both your reproductive and emotional needs as you strive to have a baby. If you have decided to use the sperm or egg donation process, I will make sure you have all the information you need.
Whatever the reason you are struggling to fall pregnant, I will help you identify the cause and where egg or sperm donation is right for you, I will ensure the whole process is managed with the greatest sensitivity to your and the donor’s needs.