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Using an Anonymous Sperm Donor
Lesbian women need the assistance of a sperm donor to conceive. Once you’ve decided to use an anonymous sperm donor for insemination, there are some things you’ll need to consider. One of the advantages of using an anonymous sperm donor is that the process is less complicated than using a known sperm donor. This is because the sperm bank generally has already dealt with medical and legal aspects of the donor before you become involved.
Choosing a Sperm Bank
The first step, then, is choosing a sperm bank. Because frozen sperm can be shipped, you are not confined to sperm banks in your immediate area. Most sperm banks will provide detailed information to you about their costs, procedures and donors. You should make sure that whatever donor bank you use screens its donors using guidelines that meet or exceed those of the American Association of Tissue Banks and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Some banks may require interviews or deposits before you may begin working with them. It is also important to remember that if you are looking for a minority donor, you may have less choice about which bank to use because there are fewer minority donors.
Choosing a Sperm Donor
Once you have decided on which sperm bank to work with, you will pay a small amount for basic information on donors and then a more significant amount for lengthier information for donors you are more interested in. You should think about what physical characteristics, education levels, ethnic background or other traits are important to you.
Acquiring the Sperm
When you find a donor you think is right for you, you will pay the bank for the sperm directly. The bank will usually require you to read some information and sign a consent form. Sperm for different procedures (artificial insemination and IVF) is prepared differently, and you should talk to your physician about what preparation you should order. The bank will then ship the vials to the physician who will do the insemination. Many sperm banks require that your physician have an account with them and will only release the sperm to physician or elsewhere only with the physician’s consent. You may choose to purchase several vials to ensure for the possibility of multiple cycles or so that you can have future pregnancies with the same donor.
Once you or your physician has received the sperm, you are ready to proceed with either the insemination or IVF. If you have found the right donor but are not quite ready to undergo insemination or IVF, many sperm banks and some physicians are able to provide storage until you are ready, usually for a fee.