Using donor sperm and IVF to create rainbow babiesOver the past decade the number of same sex couples accessing donor sperm and assisted reproductive technology to help them start a family has doubled.

IVF Australia Fertility Specialist Dr Louise Fay discusses the clinic’s donor program and the options available to help you conceive.

Fertility clinic VS home insemination

When making your decision about whether to use home insemination or involve a fertility clinic you should consider the following:A fertility clinic can protect you from the risk of infection from a donation as all sperm donors (known or de-identified) are thoroughly screened and quarantined before being released for treatment.

The recipients, the donors and their partners all undergo compulsory counselling about the long term implications of sperm donation which allows you to be certain about the access to information and any future contact your child will have and that everyone involved will have considered their special role in this altruistic donation, because at the heart of our program there is a focus on your child’s future health and wellbeing.

How to choose a donor?

You might have a close friend or family member who is prepared to be a donor; alternatively you might prefer to use a de-identified donor. In this situation while the donor is unknown to you at the time of treatment, the donor’s information is recorded on a central register that your child can access when they turn 18. At IVF Australia you can have treatment with known or de-identified donors that we recruit from both Australia and the US.

The cost of using overseas sperm is slightly higher due to the cost of transporting the sperm. The current waitlists are 2-3 months for donor sperm to be used for IVF and 6months for donor sperm to be used for IUI.

At IVF Australia we are actively recruiting Australian sperm donors so if you know any healthy, intelligent and generous gay men; encourage them to donate and help create more rainbow families. Find out more about donating sperm.

What are the treatment options?

Donor sperm can be used for either Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) where the donated sperm is placed into the uterus via a small tube prior to ovulation or In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF) where fertility medication is used to prompt a larger number of eggs to grow that are then removed and combined with the donated sperm in the laboratory.

Your fertility specialist will discuss your medical history, the quality of the donated sperm and likely success rates to help you decide which form of treatment is most suitable for you.

Other things to consider

You might want to consider storing some donor sperm if case you decide you want a related sibling. You might also want to consider using the egg of one partner to inseminate and transfer into the uterus of the other partner.

There are many different ways in which the program can work to help same sex couples have their families and we are here to assist and guide you through the process.

What’s the first step?

Ask your GP for a referral to an IVFAustralia fertility specialist to discuss your medical history and the options available to help you conceive.

Find out more about IVF Australia’s donor program.

Success story

After 10 years together working and travelling, Tracey & Bronwyn decided it was time to start their family. After accessing IVF Australia’s donor program for treatment with donor sperm and IVF they welcomed baby Jackson into the world. Listen to their story