The reasons why couples experience difficulties in conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy vary greatly. There are situations where men are unable, for various reasons, to father a child with their own sperm. These couples therefore need to have a plan "B": Sperm Donation. During their IVF therapy, couples may benefit from this option, which means that donated sperm from a third person (donor) is used to establish a pregnancy in the female recipient.
1. In what situations could sperm donation be helpful?
The use of donor sperm in fertility treatment could prove useful in couples faced with one of the following challenges:
- if the male partner does not produce any spermatozoa and surgical sperm retrieval techniques have failed to provide the desired outcome (in some cases, due to unknown reasons, testicular function can be impaired to such an extent that, even after the surgical removal of testicular tissue, it is impossible to find any spermatozoa as a result of absent sperm production)
- after surgical removal of both testes
- after chemotherapy or radiotherapy in patients diagnosed with malignant diseases
- lesbian couples who wish to conceive a child
- single women who wish to conceive a child
All details on medical indication, legal framework, individual treatment steps and potential risks will be discussed during a personal conversation with the attending doctor at the IVF center.
2. Lesbian couples
In some European countries, the law on MAR allows women in same-sex relationships to have access to medically assisted reproduction techniques. This means that same-sex female couples who wish to have a baby can use in vitro fertilization with donor sperm, provided they are cohabiting or living in a registered partnership.
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