When is Artificial Insemination by Donor (A.I.D.) advocated
Donor insemination is advocated for a couple that has the problem of azoospermia or severe oligospermia. Sometimes, if the husband is known to be the carrier of a hereditary disease, the couple may have no option but to go in for A.I.D. if they do not want to take the risk of having affected children. If a woman has lost many pregnancies from severe Rhesus disease, A.I.D. using a Rhesus negative donor may be considered.
Is this method of conception popular
Donor insemination results in the birth of thousands of babies every year. It is a widely acceptable and legal method of having a baby but there are potential emotional, ethical and even religious problems. For many men, unfortunately, infertility implies failure as a man and they may find it very difficult to accept the concept of A.I.D. Very careful counseling is always carried out by the clinics concerned. It is imperative that the couple's relationship is a stable one and that both can cope with the knowledge (a certainty in azoospermia) that the husband has not fathered the baby himself. The informed consent of both husband and wife is essential.
What is the criteria for A.I.D.
The donors themselves are carefully screened regarding their general health and fertility, and are usually taken from a reasonably intelligent group of society. All donor specimens are carefully screened for sexually transmitted diseases prior to being used for insemination. Donors are also automatically screened for the AIDS virus. Blood group compatibility with the woman is also checked.
Donors are matched generally with the husband for race, height, hair and eye coloring. Sperm do not have a religion. The semen samples used may either be fresh or frozen stored samples sourced from a sperm bank. While frozen sperm are slightly less motile, it has many practical advantages from the clinics' point of view. The identity of both the donor and the couple will be kept confidential.
When and how is A.I.D. carried out
Many clinics ask their patients to maintain a B.B.T. Chart. If the cycle is erratic, the specialist may recommend the use of clomiphene in order to make ovulation a regular and predictable event. A.I.D. is carried out only during the fertile phase of the cycle ideally as close to the time of ovulation as possible. Clinics carry out insemination 1-3 times per cycle. The semen sample is painlessly introduced into the entrance of the cervical canal. It is advisable for the patient to rest on her back for some 20 minutes afterwards.
How successful is A.I.D.
If there is no other problem causing infertility, the pregnancy rate using frozen stored samples is 50%. As in the normal fertile population, 80% of the pregnancies will occur within a year of commencing treatment. There is no increase in the miscarriage or abnormality rates.
What will my friends and family think of A.I.D.
Opting for A.I.D. is a highly personal and private issue. It is not necessary that this treatment be the subject of public debate by your friends and relatives. For some the whole subject may be unpalatable and it could put quite a strain on family relationships. Your husband is probably highly sensitive about this topic and may not wish all and sundry to know that he is sub-fertile or sterile. It should only be discussed with your medical advisors who are guaranteed to keep your consultations confidential. Make sure that there is no mention of A.I.D. on your maternity notes. As far as everyone is concerned your husband is the father of the baby. It is generally advised not to tell the child that conception was by A.I.D. It can be very difficult for a child to come to terms with this information.