Donor Sperm – a great option for those who need it!


As promised, each Thursday, we will now offer you a piece of educational, science, or research related information.  The purpose of our #ThursdayThoughts post is to share with you fact-based content that can enlighten and assist you on your fertility journey.  Enjoy our post! Helping to Create New Beginnings….

Donor Sperm- a great option for those who need it!

Donor sperm has become widely used for different reasons in the reproductive world. There are many different reasons someone may choose to use donor sperm. Some of the more common reasons are: same sex female couples, single patients, male patients with azoospermia (no sperm), males with history of cancer, and males with genetic issues they do not wish to pass on.

Donor sperm is available in two main forms, anonymous vs. known.  Anonymous sperm comes from a sperm bank and is frozen and available. Known sperm donors are usually someone that is a friend or family member that donates their sperm to the patient. There are benefits and challenges to using both anonymous and known donors. 

Anonymous donors are already ready- meaning that they have had screening done, the sperm is already available and there are no legal obligations to do prior to use. The screening for each sperm bank can vary but generally includes: genetic carrier screening, infectious disease screening and family medical history.  Each donor will also have CMV status available. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a member of the herpes virus family that is transmitted from person to person by exposure to body fluids (ex. saliva, urine, semen).  It is estimated that 50-85% of adults have been exposed to CMV at some point in their life and would test positive for CMV antibodies.  In most healthy adults, CMV infection results in a short flu-like illness, however, when a pregnant woman becomes infected for the first time, there is a small chance that the virus may affect the unborn child leading to neurologic abnormalities (eg, progressive hearing and/or visual loss, cognitive impairment).  To decrease this risk, CMV negative patients are advised to select a sperm donor who is CMV negative.  CMV positive patients can choose either CMV positive or negative sperm donor.

Known sperm donors have not had all of this testing done so it should be done prior to using any specimen. Known donors should undergo a semen analysis to make sure sperm count, motility (movement) and morphology (shape) are adequate for planned treatment. Then they will need to have FDA infectious disease screening as well has a full history and physical exam. There will also need to be legal agreements drawn up by a lawyer between the patient and the known donor.

Donor sperm is a great option for patients that need it.  More information on donor sperm can be found on our website at

For more information regarding treatment options that are available, please schedule an appointment with one of our providers at the Fertility Institute of Hawaii 808-545-2800 or visit our website at

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