Before you come to us for IVF with donated sperm, you need to go through an examination where a doctor investigates and assesses the conditions for treatment. A consultation with a behavioral scientist prior to donation treatment is likewise required.
The investigation is carried out with us at Nordic IVF in Solna Strand and Stockholm IVF in Hammarby Sjöstad, as well as in Gothenburg and Malmö with our affiliated partners – Göteborgs Kvinnoklinik and Limhamns Kvinnoklinik.
What does IVF with donor sperm mean?
IVF with donated sperm is a method for those who need IVF but have no sperm of their own. It can be same-sex female couples, single women, or opposite-sex couples where the man lacks sperm.
How does the treatment work?
Before starting a treatment, the fertility workup is complemented by a psychosocial consultation by a behavioral scientist. This is required for all patients undergoing treatment with donated gametes. During the consultation, one discusses the woman’s or couple’s life situation, views on parenthood, and the importance of telling the child about its origin.
When the investigation is complete, you will meet an IVF doctor who will plan the treatment. The follicles in the ovaries are stimulated to grow by hormones, and the process is monitored by ultrasound examinations. When a number of follicles have grown large enough, it is decided on which day the eggs should be taken out. The egg sacs are punctured with a needle, and the fluid containing the eggs is passed to a test tube. The eggs are fertilized with donated sperm on the same day and cultured for a few days. After 2, 3, or 5 days of development, an embryo transfer is performed by bringing the embryo into the uterus with the help of a thin tube. After about 3 weeks, the woman can take a pregnancy test to see if the treatment was successful.
What does the law say?
What is legal with regard to assisted reproduction is governed by the Genetic Integrity Act. Knowing the legislation is crucial for those who will receive treatment using donated sperm. The doctor is required to determine whether a treatment is appropriate, considering the patient’s or couple’s physiological, psychological, and social situations, and whether it can be anticipated that the unborn child would grow up in a healthy environment. A behavioral scientist must conduct a psychosocial evaluation as part of the donation processing procedure. If a patient or couple is refused treatment after the investigation, the decision can be appealed to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).
All children have a legal right to know about their origin, and a child created through donated gametes therefore has the right to learn about the identity of the donor. Information about the donor is stored for 70 years. The parents, however, have no right to know this information.
It is also stated in the law that the patient or couple may not choose the characteristics of the donor themselves. The doctor decides which donor will be considered when the treatment is arranged. As a rule, the donor’s eye color, hair color, skin color, and body constitution are matched with the prospective parent. The parent who will not carry the child must give written consent for the treatment. Sometimes it may seem that the legislation makes the procedure complicated, but it is important to understand that everything is done to uphold and safeguard the rights of the unborn child.
Because every child has a right to know where they came from, all egg and sperm donors who are approved in Sweden have open identification. This implies that the child may learn about the donor once it has grown older. Studies show that the sooner you explain to your child how it was conceived, the more likely it is that the knowledge will be received favorably by the child.
Many nations have guidelines or laws governing the maximum number of children a donor is permitted to generate. The number of families, not the number of children, is the limiting factor in Sweden. A donor is permitted to give rise to children in a maximum of six families. That is why there is a system of so-called family/pregnancy slot. A pregnancy slot is a connection between a certain donor and a certain family. If you hold a pregnancy slot for a certain donor, that specific donor may give rise to children in a maximum of five more families. However, the number of children from the same donor in an individual family is not limited.
A pregnancy slot allows for the possibility of having additional children in the family from that donor, but it does not ensure that the donor’s sperm will be saved for use in the future. Sperm must be set aside if you want to be certain that there will be enough for sibling treatments.
If you want a sibling and there is no more sperm from that donor, a new family right is required for the new donor. If you want to change the donor after not becoming pregnant, the family right is transferred to the new donor free of charge.