Is it safe to use donor sperm?

Summary:  There are several reasons why doctors recommend using donor sperm. The inability to produce sperm or poor quality sperms is some of the situations when donor sperm is used. The donor is an anonymous person who has healthy sperms. A profile match is conducted before using donor sperm.


Some men have very poor quality sperm and pregnancy is near impossible with weak sperms. A few men suffer from problems which affect their reproductive organs, and hamper their ability to produce sperm. Hence, they have no sperm production. Usually this is due to physical damage to the pelvic region which one can expect in a physical accident. For men with poor quality sperm or no sperm production the only hope of having a child is through the use of donor sperm.

Some men have genetic problems and do not want these to be carried down through the next generation. To avoid hereditary issues doctors may recommend that the couple use donor sperm. These defects can be serious and may cause diseases. Sometimes genetic defects can lead to chromosomal abnormalities, which is an odd number of chromosomes in the embryo. This chromosomal problem leads to the formation of an embryo with an additional number of chromosomes or only male chromosomes. This defect does not allow the embryo to develop and grow normally. Doctors always suggest a donor sperm if this is the case.

In India the concept of having you own biological child is very strong. To some extent this means that adoption is not acceptable and the wife must become pregnant. With donor sperm it is a mixed kind of reaction. Sometimes couples do not reveal the fact that they used a donor sperm to their elders. In some cases this is to avoid hurting their feelings and in some cases it is to make sure that their child is equally eligible for the family inheritance.

Some couples are concerned regarding the safety of using a donor sperm. Some of their doubts are baseless while some are a matter of thought. The baseless concerns are those that assume that their child will grow up and disown them as parent or will turn against them. This is a rare occurrence and usually happens with biological children.

Some habits and interests are genetic though science has not proved it but talents do seem to be carried down through generations.  A child with a paternity of certain habit traits may become obvious and make others wonder if it really is their child.

Before a donor sperm is given to a couple there is a profile match, which also includes ensuring similar features and background. To a large extend parents need not be concerned as this profile matching ensures that the paternity is similar to that of the father. The probability of having a child that does not resemble either parent and look totally different is highly improbable

Genetic defects and chromosomal abnormalities of the donor sperm are checked and hence there is actually very little cause for concern with a donor sperm.

Some parents are concerned that their child may not love them or feel attached to them. But this is a fear that is just in the mind. Even adopted children love their adopted parents like their own.

What most people forget is that only the sperm belongs to another person. The mother is biologically the child’s own. The father may not be biological but is the caregiver and only legal father the will ever have.

Some FAQ’s

Where can we get donor sperm?

A fertility clinic will arrange the donor sperm.

What if the donor sperm has hereditary health problems like diabetes?

These issues are checked before accepting the sperm at the sperm bank. 

Can I get HIV through donor sperm?

It is highly unlikely as you have no physical contact with the donor.

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