Using Donor Sperm

In some cases, the oocytes will be fertilised with donor sperm. This may be done if the man does not produce usable sperm cells. Or it may be when a woman is treated without a male partner. 
It is possible to use different types of donor semen as described in more detail below.

Read more about ordering donor sperm here.

Legal and other aspects of using donor sperm

The legal implications of sperm donation depend on the type of sperm used. Please see below for a brief description of some of the legal aspects associated with different types of donor semen.

The Danish Health and Medicines Authority demands that the following information be given to all women/couples treated with semen from a sperm donor:

‘When donors are selected it is sought to limit the risk of inheritable diseases, malformations et cetera by only using donors who have declared that they are not aware of such inheritable risks in their kindred and who have been asked about such conditions by an experienced health professional. Despite these precautions, the risk of inheritable diseases is not excluded. If the child unexpectedly has a condition at birth or during the first years of life which you are informed could be inheritable it is therefore important that you inform the clinic or the health professional who has treated you so it can be decided whether the donor can still be used. The same applies if you find out that a contagious disease may have been transferred by donor semen or donor eggs. Even though the donor is tested and found not to have transmittable diseases such as HIV or hepatitis the risk is never zero’.

Donor testing

Please see the sperm banks’ websites for details about donor testing.

The sperm bank’s doctor examines donors. They have to be physically and mentally healthy, and there must not be inheritable diseases in their family. The donors must have a normal chromosome test. They are tested for serious infectious diseases (venereal diseases, hepatitis B and C and HIV). The sperm is only released for use after having been stored frozen for 6 months and after a repeated negative HIV test.

Selecting a sperm donor for treatment

As described below it is possible to choose between different types of sperm donors (‘Anonymous’, ‘Extended profile’, ‘Open’ and ‘Own’). Depending on the type of donor, you may base your selection on basic characteristics such as eye colour, hair colour, height, weight and skin colour or more detailed information, such as childhood photos, voice samples et cetera.

The sperm banks offer different donor types and thus various levels of information about the donor. We recommend that you select a donor from a sperm bank (for example www.cryos.dk or www.nordiccryobank.com). When you have found a suitable donor, you can have sperm ‘straws’ sent to our clinic. We can then store the straws at minus 196 °C until they are used for treatment.

Different sperm preparations and sperm qualities are available. For us the important issue is that we for one treatment cycle (insemination or IVF) have at least 5 million sperm cells of good quality. You can confirm with the sperm bank that the sperm straws fulfil this.

All sperm has to be ordered at a sperm bank. We do not have any frozen sperm at the clinic.

‘Anonymous’ sperm donor

For an anonymous donor the sperm bank may provide information about the donor’s eye colour, hair colour, height, weight and skin colour. You may select sperm donors from the sperm banks’ websites.

The donor will forever remain anonymous and his identity will never be revealed to you or the child. Neither will the donor ever have any information about the children resulting from the treatment with his sperm.

When donor insemination is used to treat a heterosexual couple the man must declare that he will be the father of the child/children, and assume all the responsibilities associated with fatherhood.

The ‘Anonymous’ donor has no legal obligations or rights in relation to the child.

‘Extended profile’ sperm donor

A sperm donor with an ‘Extended profile’ is a donor where there is more information available than the basic information that may be provided for an ‘Anonymous’ donor. ‘Extended profile’ donors are per definition non- anonymous. The ‘Extended profile’ may contain information about blood type or more detailed information such as family relations, interests, education, voice sample, baby photos et cetera.

When donor insemination is used to treat a heterosexual couple the man must declare that he will be the father of the child/children, and assume all the responsibilities associated with fatherhood.

The ‘Extended profile’ donor has no legal obligations or rights in relation to the child.

‘Open’ sperm donor

An ‘Open’ donor is a donor who delivers sperm to a sperm bank and the sperm bank provides the sperm to fertility clinics. The ‘Open’ donor has made an agreement with the sperm bank that children resulting from treatment with his sperm may contact their donor when they turn 18 years old, if they wish.

The specific terms are agreed between the donor and the sperm bank. Therefore, users of ‘Open’ profile donor semen must themselves obtain detailed information from the sperm bank about the agreement that has been made with the donor concerning later contact between children resulting from treatment with his sperm and him.

The ‘Open profile’ donor has no legal obligations or rights in relation to the child except for the ‘contact’ possibility.

‘Own’ sperm donor

An ‘Own’ sperm donor is a donor who the woman or couple knows and who has accepted to donate sperm for treatment of the woman even though the woman and the donor are not married or live as a couple.

An ‘Own’ donor must be tested for contagious diseases and deposit sperm in a sperm bank for later use in a fertility clinic. Presently, only European Spermbank offers this service in Denmark.

The donor must be examined medically to determine if he is suitable as sperm donor. This testing can be done at Trianglen. You may enquire with the secretaries about prices.

An ‘Own’ donor is legally the father of the child/children resulting from the treatment. The ‘Own’ donor has duty to support the child and the child will inherit the ‘Own’ donor. In Denmark, there is an exception from this when the woman being treated has a male or female partner who assumes fatherhood or co-motherhood for the child.  
 

Want to know more?

If you want to know more about using a sperm donor please call us or book a consultation.