Using donor sperm
IVFAustralia is an experienced fertility clinic providing a comprehensive and supportive donor program to assist anyone needing a sperm donor to help them have a baby.
You can use sperm donated by someone you know, or select one of our de-identified donors that we have recruited locally and from overseas.
Treatment options with donor sperm
IUI or Artificial insemination involves inserting prepared semen through the neck of the womb (the cervix) and into the uterus, close to the time of ovulation. Sometimes, fertility drugs may be used to stimulate the ovaries and encourage the release of eggs.
IVF is a procedure where higher doses of fertility drugs are used to encourage a larger number of eggs (usually 5 – 15) to grow. These eggs are then collected from the ovaries and joined with the donated sperm, using intracyto plasmic sperm injection (ICSI), in the laboratory where they are allowed to develop in a protected environment for a few days before being transferred back into the woman’s uterus.
IVF is a more complex and expensive form of treatment but carries a significantly higher pregnancy rate than artificial insemination. Your fertility specialist will discuss these options with you and help you decide which treatment is right for you.
Using a known sperm donor
You may choose to use a known sperm donor, who could be a friend or family member.
We cannot accept sperm donors who are under the age of 18, are a close relative of the recipient being treated or are from a younger generation of the recipient(s).
We also do not encourage known donors who are over the age of 50 years of age, have a past or current history of significant mental health problems or have a medical condition themselves or in their family that may be passed onto future children.
However, you may have a strong or very sound reason for choosing a particular known donor and we will discuss the implications of that donor on an individual basis.
Using a de-identified clinic recruited sperm donor
De-identified sperm donation is where the identity of the donor is not known to the recipient(s) at the time of treatment, although identifying information will be made available for later access by the donor conceived child once they reach 18 years of age.
De-identified donors are recruited locally or from overseas by IVFAustralia.
The donated sperm is available for treatment to any IVFAustralia patient and can be used to create up to five families.
Demand for donor sperm usually exceeds supply, and for this reason, we have established a waitlist to ensure fair and non-discriminatory access of recipients to treatment with de-identified sperm donors.
Once you reach the top of the waitlist you will be given access to a database of all the donors currently available to choose from. Here you will be able to view in-depth questionnaires completed by the donor about themselves and their families, including physical attributes and a detailed family medical history.
Although donors are allowed to place conditions on the use of their gametes as to the preference (sexual orientation, race, relationship status, religion) of the recipients of their donation, this does not reflect IVFAustralia or Virtus Healths' preference or values.
All donors are provided with counselling during their donation journey.
Preparation of sperm donors
All our donors, whether they are recruited locally or overseas, undergo rigorous preparation to donate sperm, including:
Thorough screening of medical history, including family and genetic history; tests for HIV, Hepatitis B & C, HTLV I & II, Syphilis, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Chromosomes, Blood Group, Rhesus antibodies and full blood count.
We carry out extensive testing of our donors for “faulty” genes. All human beings, including sperm donors, have some copies of “faulty” genes, but as we carry two copies of every gene, most of these only matter if the woman providing the egg also has the same “faulty” gene. If your chosen donor is carrying any “faulty” genes, we would then offer you the same testing to ensure that you do not carry the same genes.
To provide you with safety against infection, all donated sperm is quarantined for 3 to 6 months, and donors are re-screened for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, HTLV I & II and syphilis prior to release for treatment.
Donors and their partners spend time with our counsellors to consider the legal and psychological implications of donation. All donors consent to have their identifying information entered to the NSW Health Central Register, so children born from donation can access it once they turn 18. Counselling is a critical part of enabling donors to understand and be comfortable with the long-term implications of their decision.
All donors are only able to help create five families worldwide. As the donor will also want to have a family of his own, we will only allow four women access to a donor.
Find out more about the process of donating sperm...
FAQs - Sperm Donations
Can donor sperm help me conceive?
Sperm donation can help you have a baby if:
- The male partner in the relationship has no sperm of his own. Remember that with modern ICSI technologies, most cases of male factor infertility can be treated WITHOUT using donated sperm.
- The male partner in the relationship carries a serious genetic or infectious disease.
- You are in a same-sex relationship.
- You are single.
For health reasons, treatment with donor sperm is not provided to women past of the age of natural menopause (51 completed years). Women over 45 can access our donor sperm program if they are also using donor eggs.
How much does it cost to use a sperm donor?
In addition to any treatment cycle fees, you should expect to cover the following additional fees:
To be added to the waitlist of the sperm donor program there is a fee of $300.
If using a known sperm donor:
- The preparation costs for a known sperm donor can vary as this includes counselling for the donor, sperm testing, some genetic testing, freezing of three collections and storage of the donation for the first six months. Please contact the donor team to discuss these options.
- Other costs include the sperm donor’s out-of-pocket expenses for medical consultations, and any tests requested by the specialist that are not preparation costs as above.
If using a clinic recruited donor, patients can expect:
- Australian Donor access fee $1,200
- American and European Sperm Bank Donors access fee - please speak to the donor team
Please note that there is no Medicare rebate for fertility treatment unless there is a medical cause for infertility.
What are the NSW sperm donor laws?
IVFAustralia follows the national Australian Health Ethics Committee guidelines when providing any fertility treatment. In Australia, it is illegal to buy or sell any human tissue, including sperm, eggs and embryos.
Under current NSW law, a child born from donated sperm is deemed to be the child of the birth mother. The relationship of the donor to the child is normally only that of a sperm donor. However, women who are planning to use a donor who is known to them should be very clear with the donor about his expectations for a future relationship with the child and are advised to have a clear legal agreement in place for the future.
In 2010 the NSW Health Department established a Central Register for clinic-recruited donors and donor-conceived offspring. The NSW Health Central Register contains information about donors and children born as a result of ART treatment using donated gametes and surrogacy.
Once a child conceived using donated sperm turns 18, they will be able to access certain information on the Register if they wish.
IVFAustralia has extensive experience in helping create families through our donor program and we regard the interests of your future child as paramount.
It is up to the parents of the child to explain, when they feel it’s appropriate, the way in which the child was conceived. Our experience shows that the more openly available this information is, the more successful the outcome for everyone.
Can I use my international sperm donor in Australia?
IVFAustralia does not arrange direct imports, but if your donor is for a family extension, we can assist if we have an arrangement with the bank. This can organised as long as the donor fits all of NSW legislation requirements. Please contact us directly to find out whether or not your donor qualifies as we can assess on a case by case basis.
We have arrangements with The World Egg and Sperm Bank through our clinic in ACT and Fairfax, Seattle Sperm Bank and European Sperm Bank in NSW/ACT.
Are sperm donors considered fathers?
The sperm donor of a child conceived from donated sperm is not legally considered the father. Donor conceived children are legally deemed to be the children of the birth mother. Individuals who are considering becoming a sperm donor don’t need to be concerned with having any legal responsibilities of a father once they donate.
Using a Sperm Donor, Counselling and What to Expect
Find out more about using donor sperm
To find out more about using donor sperm to have a baby please book an appointment with a fertility specialist on 1800 111 483 or fill in the form below.
If you are looking to become a sperm donor, visit our sperm donation page here...