Hello, this is Eloise, Founder of Fertility Help Hub. As you may know, I have three children via sperm donation, after my husband’s unsuccessful micro-TESE sperm extraction. When we were choosing a sperm donor, we felt totally overwhelmed. How do you even start when picking the characteristics of your unborn child, especially when you are having to replace your partner’s genetics?
Having struggled with choosing a sperm donor personally, I know it’s a topic of great importance for so many and we often get readers asking about it. Being given some guidance and expert hand-holding can really go a long way, so that’s why we asked Cryos International to give us their top tips on navigating the process of choosing a sperm donor.
Here’s what Cryos have to Say…
If you need a sperm donor for fertility treatment, for whatever reason, you are probably wondering how you should go about choosing the right sperm donor. Cryos is the world’s largest sperm bank and for more than 30 years, we have helped couples and singles find a sperm donor for fertility treatment. We want to share five tips that hopefully will help you when choosing a sperm donor:
1. When Choosing a Sperm Donor, Decide how Much Information you Want to Know
How much information people want about the donor is each couple’s personal and individual choice. In our free Donor Search, you can see both donor profiles with a lot of information (extended donor profile) and donor profiles with only basic information available (basic donor profile).
To some, knowing a lot about the donor – such as interests, family history and seeing photos of them – helps them to get an idea who the donor is. For others choosing a sperm donor, personal information about the donor is not of importance; they are comfortable only knowing the basics like hair colour, eye colour and ethnicity. You can take a look at the different types of donor profiles in Cryos’ Donor Search to know what feels right for you.
2. Decide Whether Your Child Should be able to Contact the Sperm Donor in the Future
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a sperm donor for fertility treatment is whether you want your child to be able to contact the donor in the future. You can choose between ID Release donors and Non ID Release donors.
With an ID Release donor, your child will have the opportunity to find information about the donor’s identity when they turn 18. With a Non ID Release donor, neither you nor your child will have access to identifying information about the donor. Be mindful that, with the internet, social media and ancestry services becoming more and more common worldwide, Non ID Release donors may not be 100% anonymous in years to come.
3. Choose Whether You Want to see Adult Photos of Your Sperm Donor
When choosing a sperm donor, you’ll need to decide if you want to have as much information about the sperm donor as possible. If you do, you have the option to see photos of some of the donors as adults.
Before getting access to the donors’ adult photos, you should consider if you think it will help you gain the full picture of the donor, or if it feels better for you to choose a donor with no photo or just a photo from his childhood. Again, this is a personal decision.
4. When Choosing a Sperm Donor, Mark Your Favourite Donors to Ease the Selection Process
When choosing a sperm donor, you’ll search through the profiles and you can save your favourite donors using Cryos’ search tools. This way, you can narrow down to, say, five or ten favourite donors that match your criteria the best, to ease the selection process. This means you can think about it in your own time and come back to your preferred profiles, to make your final decision when you’re ready.
5. Save Sperm Straws for the Entire Treatment and Future Children
After choosing a sperm donor, you’ll order sperm from Cryos. At this point, you can choose to reserve sperm straws for your entire treatment, in case you need more than one treatment cycle to become pregnant. Reserving sperm straws means that we save straws from your preferred donor in our facilities.
If you do not need all the straws you have saved, you can get 75% of the straw price refunded. Ask your clinic how many straws they want for each cycle before purchasing them.
If you already know that it’s likely you’ll want your child to have a sibling, you can also reserve extra straws for future treatments. In our experience, many people prefer to use the same donor for their future children. This way, your children will have the same genetic heritage.
We hope that these tips will help you when choosing a sperm donor. However, we understand that using donor sperm for fertility treatment is a huge step and entails much consideration and often time. We have a team of dedicated customer service consultants who are ready to help you. You are welcome to contact Cryos by phone or e-mail if you have any questions.