A Known Quantity
If you've been considering treatment with intrauterine insemination (IUI) you have some tough decisions to make. Use your own partner's sperm? Use a stranger's sperm? Or would it be best to use a known sperm donor?
With no outside factors, using your partner's sperm would seem the best sperm option for IUI so as to result in a biological baby that has both of you in his/her DNA. But this option does not always afford you the optimal chances for conception.
If you need or decide to choose a sperm donor, using a certified clinic makes this choice a healthy and safe way to become pregnant. Some couples would rather not know the identity of the sperm donor. But in other cases, when a couple can't make use of the male partner's sperm, they may prefer to use someone they know as a sperm donor for conceiving their child. A known sperm donor may be a family member or a close friend.
A great many couples with fertility problems, 1 in 8 couples, will decide to try sperm donation and insemination. Some of the reasons for using a sperm donor include male factor infertility and as a means of avoiding a genetic disease in the resulting offspring.
While most couples attempting IUI will choose an anonymous donor, known sperm donors are sought by single women, same-sexed couples, and those who are nervous about using a donor with whom they're not acquainted. If the male half of the couple has a brother or best friend, these may be deemed as suitable candidates. In general, the known donor is someone you know well. You know his personality, his family, his medical and psychological background, and you have regular contact with him.
The advantages of a known sperm donor is that you know you're borrowing the DNA for your child from someone you know and care about, someone you know is healthy in both body and mind. In addition, choosing a known sperm donor may move things along faster. It can take forever to prepare sperm from an anonymous donor for IUI. The sperm has to be tested, frozen, and then placed in quarantine for half a year. That's a long time to wait. On the other hand, the known donor's sperm need not be frozen or quarantined, so you gain about half a year in terms of having your IUI cycle.
An anonymous donor almost never wants contact with a child resulting from IUI with his sperm. But a known sperm donor may end up having a close, warm relationship with the IUI child.
Another benefit of using a known donor is that this is a much less expensive choice than using anonymous donor sperm. Known donors don't expect payment for their sperm. Your end of the deal is paying for testing and IUI. Known donor sperm samples need not be stored and this is an important cost factor. Sperm storage may run $300 per year.