Many couples who experience infertility, especially when the problem is with male infertility, may choose the option of using a sperm donor. A couple can choose to use an anonymous donor, or provide their own donor. If the couple is choosing an anonymous donor, one of the most important questions is how to find a reputable sperm bank.
The first thing to look for in a sperm bank is its licensing. While not all states require sperm banks to be licensed, many states do. It is important to first familiarize yourself with your state’s regulations. Using a licensed sperm bank insures that the sperm bank is following the laws of your state, as well as FDA regulations.
It is especially important that a sperm bank follow FDA regulations for safety reasons. According to FDA regulations, sperm banks must screen out donors who have diseases such as HIV, hepatitis, STDs, and genetic diseases. In addition, sperm banks must hold all specimens for six full months, after which a second blood test will be run on the donor to guarantee that the specimens are disease free.
A couple may wish to consider the variety of services available from specific sperm banks. For example, some banks offer a matching process by which the staff attempts to match physical characteristics of the father with physical characteristics of the donor. OF course, not all bank provides this service, and many will charge for this service.
The best approach is to start by getting the literature or brochures from several sperm banks. By comparing this information side-by-side, you may be able to notice any number of differences between banks on matters such as policies, number of donors, testing, and the amount of donor information that the bank will release to you.
After you have chosen two or three sperm banks that meet your requirements, you should ask to begin looking at actual donor profiles. You may find soon that you prefer a specific bank because they include the information that interests you the most. Remember here that some banks reveal very little information to you, while others may release more. Some banks have both long and short donor profiles, and will charge you extra for the long profiles. Here, your budgeting process may also help you decide.