For a woman who has tried all other methods to conceive and they have failed, artificial insemination may be the answer. In artificial insemination, healthy sperm cells are taken from a donor who can be the woman's husband, a member of the family, a friend or even from an anonymous donor. The process involves the injection of live and healthy sperm cells directly into the woman's cervix. It may take one procedure or several before a woman can conceive. Here are some tips on how to choose a donor for artificial insemination.
- Decide that this is what you really want. If your husband's sperm cells are weak and the doctor has told you that it will be impossible for you to conceive through traditional means and/or using your husband's sperm cells, you have the option to choose an anonymous donor.
- Decide how the donor will play a role in your child's life. Will you want your child to know who the real father was or would you rather that he remains anonymous? There are some sperm banks that will allow a child that has been borne through artificial insemination to meet the donor when the child turns eighteen.
- Consult your husband on the characteristics that he wants the donor to have. Some couples choose donors who closely resemble their own characteristics. Your husband's choices should be combined with yours and then do a process of elimination.
- Consider the educational background, interests and hobbies of the donor. You should also check his overall look and appearance as well as his strengths and weaknesses as these traits can be passed on to the child. Look for someone with the same interests as you and your husband. If you and your husband are academics you would want your child to perform well in school, too.
- Although you will not know what genes can be passed by the donor to your child consider how he looks when you are narrowing your choices. Look at your family members and see what general characteristics are common such as the color of their eyes, the color of their hair and the texture of their hair - straight, curly or wavy. If you have decided that the donor should remain anonymous then you should choose a donor whose outward appearance closely matches your and your immediate family. Reputable sperm banks also include baby and adult photos of sperm donors and you have the option to look at them.
- Look at the medical history of the donor as well as his family. You need a healthy donor and someone who will not pass on diseases and other health problems that can affect your child later.
Opting to conceive through artificial insemination is a decision that will affect your life. Think about it carefully before you commit to it. Make a list of all the characteristics, physical and emotional traits, health status and intelligence that you wish for your child to have before you even start looking for a sperm donor. Review all the personal information that will be sent to you by the sperm bank and narrow your search to the most likely candidate. A good place to start would be the Sperm Bank Directory website.