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Sunday, 12 October 2014

Intrauterine Insemination with Donor Sperm

Intrauterine Insemination or simply IUI has already been described in an earlier post. There are many situations where IUI with donated sperms may be indicated. The reason may be a complete lack of sperms in the husband's semen. Sometimes the semen quality is poor and pregnancy may only be possible with advanced technique of ICSI. This may be unacceptable due to cost implications or due to personal beliefs. Occasionally, donor sperm may also be required to prevent a serious genetic disorder from being transmitted to the offspring. Last but certainly not the least are the single women who do not want to lose out on the chance of having a baby simply because they have not met Mr. Right yet!

The procedure of IUI remains the same except that the sperms belong to a donor. The donor is selected after a rigorous screening process and continue to be tested for any transmissible infections while they are in the process of donation. The semen is processed and motile sperms are frozen. After a period of at least 6 months quarantine, they are released for use. The non-identifying characteristics of the donor are made available to the recipient for selection. This generally includes height, weight, build, complexion, colour of eyes and colour of hair and Blood group. 

In India, as per ICMR guidelines, the donation is anonymous. However the details of the donor may be revealed on request to the offspring born once he/she is 18 years of age. Experts recommend disclosure to the children about the donor although the onus is on the parents. 

In the Indian context, my experience is that the parents rarely even acknowledge to the family and have no intention of disclosing to the children. Before accepting this treatment modality, the most important concern is for confidentiality. The other concern is that the baby may not resemble them and so their secret may get out this way. Reassurance goes a long way in allaying both fears. 

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