Couples use donor sperm (DI) when the husband/partner has no sperm or a very poor semen analysis (azoospermia, oligospermia, poor motility), or when there is a genetic problem which could be inherited from the male. Single women who want a biological child also use DI.
One must be psychologically ready to proceed with DI. Most doctors recommend that any patients considering DI see a counsellor who is skilled at clarifying feelings about infertility, and about trying DI. It is essential that both partners feel comfortable with the decision and that all fears and questions be openly discussed. For some, it may mean dealing with various moral and ethical questions; for others, exploring questions about donor selection and whether to be open about the decision to do DI and whether to tell a child conceived by DI how they were conceived.
Information about a donor’s physical characteristics, race, ethnic background, educational background, career history, and general health would be available. Many banks provide written profiles of the donors they have available. Some sperm banks are open to providing non-identifiable information about the donor (even photographs) as well as providing a service for adult offspring to obtain information about the donor.
All donors should have tests for certain infections such as syphilis, hepatitis B, cytomegalovirus (CMV), gonorrhoea, chlamydia, streptococcal species and trichomonas. All these organisms can be transmitted via semen to a woman. Some can have grave effects on the fetus; others principally affect the woman. The donor’s semen should also be checked for the presence of white blood cells which can indicate an infection within the reproductive tract.