New York Post



Be aware of your options if you’re looking for donor sperm

CONSIDERIN­G the sperm donor route? You’re not alone. “With increased access to and acceptance of single parenthood, LGBTQ family-building and the need to correct for genetic and male factor causes of infertilit­y, the demand for donor sperm is higher now than ever,” said Dr. Tia Jackson-Bey, a reproducti­ve endocrinol­ogist with RMA of NY.

Dr. Mary Ramie Hinckley, IVF medical director at the Reproducti­ve Science Center of the San Francisco Bay Area, agreed. “Whether it’s meeting at Starbucks to pass off a sample or using a regulated sperm bank, people are finding ways to embark upon the journey of creating a family.”

Ahead, things to keep in mind if you’re considerin­g this route.

Donor sperm is safe

“Each donor is screened for infectious diseases, mental health disorders, and family medical history that would be important for the recipient and future children to know,” said Jackson-Bey.

Ramie Hinckley stresses the “regulation­s put in place and the screening and quarantine to protect you” on all sperm donations.

Most donors are also screened for recessive diseases, said Ramie Hinckley. “A mutation is not a bad thing, so long as the egg producer does not carry the same mutation.”

Your donor may be found later

Basic informatio­n about an anonymous donor may be obtained, including height, weight, ethnicity, childhood photos, interests and hobbies, but due to commercial DNA testing from sites like 23andMe and, a sperm donor staying unknown is no longer a given. So, for many, opting for a donor that’s open to being identified is the best choice.

“Choosing a sperm donor that’s willing to be found at the child’s 18th year of age is an important considerat­ion,” said Ramie Hinckley.

It can cost a pretty penny

Donor sperm has a wide range of costs, from $500 to $1,500 per vial. Your highest chance of success are within six cycles of inseminati­on, and each requires one vial. With IVF, one or two vials are needed per cycle.

If you have fertility insurance, check your benefit details carefully. Jackson-Bey cautions that there still may be an out-ofpocket cost that isn’t covered.

There are some shortages

“There is a dearth of donor sperm in specific racial and ethnic groups,” said Jackson-Bey. “This affects their ability to build families with children that resemble the parents.”

We might be a ways away from a cultural shift, unfortunat­ely. “In BIPOC communitie­s, donating sperm is a foreign concept due to the cultural importance of having genetic offspring,” said Anna Flores Locke, a fertility expert and mental health counselor with Charlandra Counseling Services, in Woodcliff Lake, NJ.

Some food for thought: “The goal is to become parents. The resulting pregnancy will give you your child that you will rear within your family and culture,” said Flores Locke.

Select your donor wisely

“The one thing I like to remind patients about is that their child will ask why they chose that specific sperm donor,” said Ramie Hinckley. “So make a good choice for a good reason.”

 ?? ?? Regulated sperm banks use rigorous donor screening processes.
Regulated sperm banks use rigorous donor screening processes.

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