Donor insemination has been around for decades. Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)has lowered the need for sperm donation. However, for men with a complete absence of sperm (a condition called “total azoospermia”), donor insemination is their only option to have a child. Men that have extremely poor semen parameters (high DNA fragmentation, abnormal morphology, or immature sperm) may also require sperm donation. It also offers an option for single or gay women who want to have a child.
Donor insemination is an extremely safe and simple procedure. Over the years, it has proven to be a very successful program and parent satisfaction is extremely high.
Similar to oocyte donation, couples/women who opt for donor insemination are required to have counselling prior to proceeding.
For the sperm donors themselves, requirements have changed since the late 1980’s. Now, all semen samples must be frozen and quarantined for a 6-month period prior to use. According to Canadian health regulations, men providing sperm for donation must be screened for Hepatitis B, C, HIV, HTLV, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and CMV virus. A semen sample can only be released if the donor is re-tested and infection-free after the 6-month quarantine period.