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Donation and Reception of Semen



1) Azoospermia.
In some couples who consult about conjugal infertility there is a male factor involved. This means that there is an alteration in the semen analysis, such as a decrease in motility and concentration, or an alteration of the spermatozoa morphology. Nowadays, all these problems have a solution, as the more sophisticated infertility treatment use just a few spermatozoa. This is the case of the ICSI (injection of one spermatozoon into an oocyte), which is a technique of assisted reproduction which requires a single spermatozoon per each egg (oocyte) retrieved after ovarian stimulation. Even in the absence of spermatozoa in the semen sample, these can be obtained in a 50% of the cases by means of an epididymal puncture or a testicular biopsy. These procedures allow to perform the ICSI and thus the possibility of a biological child. But the person may have physical problems, such as infections, traumatisms, genetic problems, etc. that prevent us from finding spermatozoa, both in the ejaculate and in the testicular biopsy, thus making any treatment impossible. At this point, many couples who are dealing with these problems turn to the use of donated sperm.

2) ICSI Fertilization Failures.
Many couples who have undergone one or several ICSI procedures present fertilization failures (derived from a male factor), which means that either embryos cannot be formed at all or the ones formed are defective. In this case they can turn to semen donation.

3) Hereditary diseases.
Some diseases which are transmitted by males to their offspring can make couples turn to sperm donation.

4) Single women.

5) Lesbians.



When a reproduction specialist has to perform this kind of treatment, he can do it either with a spontaneous cycle or with a stimulated cycle in order to offer more eggs (e.g. 2 or 3) and thus increase the chances of pregnancy. In both cases ovulation should be monitored via transvaginal ultrasound so as to evaluate the growth of the ovarian follicle/s (which enclose the eggs). When considered convenient, a sample with characteristics which are similar to the recipient couple is required to the bank. The sample is then thawed and deposited in the upper part of the vagina (vaginal or cervical insemination), or inside the uterus (intrauterine insemination). The donorís identity will remain anonymous.

Sperm Bank:

There are a few sperm bank in Buenos Aires which can offer sperm to these couples (centers or institutes storing semen samples to be used in these insemination treatments are known as banks). Sperm banks operate as follows: semen donors are young and healthy people with no history of genetic or infectious disorders. They are generally university students, whose fertility has often been proved. Samples are frozen and classified according to the physical characteristics of the donors.

Pregnancy Rate:

These insemination procedures with donor semen have a pregnancy rate of 15% per attempt. If the procedure is performed 6 times the success rate rises to 70%.
The use of a donated male ''gamete'' (spermatozoon) is complex from a psychological point of view, due to the initial impact that this situation causes in the couple (especially the man). The success of the treatment requires psychological assistance.