Sperm from the husband or partner can be used, which is called homologous insemination. Using donated sperm, which is called heterologous or donor insemination, is common when partner sperm is not available, for example in same-sex female couples, single women, or opposite-sex couples where the man produces no sperm.
Before an insemination can be performed, it is necessary to evaluate the prerequisites for treatment. In addition, in Sweden an assessment by a behavioral scientist is mandatory when planning for donor insemination.
The workup and evaluation can be done in Stockholm by us at Nordic IVF in Solna Strand or at Stockholm IVF in Hammarby Sjöstad, in Gothenburg at our affiliate Göteborgs Kvinnoklinik, and in Malmö at our affiliate Limhamns Kvinnoklinik.
How does the treatment work?
The doctor or midwife inserts a thin plastic catheter through the cervical canal, and prepared sperm are injected into the uterus. This is usually an easy procedure that causes no pain or discomfort. An insemination can be made during a natural ovulation if the woman has regular cycles and is performed on the day of ovulation or the next day. Inseminations are performed on weekdays at all our clinics. For inseminations during weekends and public holidays, contact your IVF or affiliate clinic for information.
Sometimes it is necessary to medicate with tablets or hormone injections to schedule the insemination for the optimal time in the menstrual cycle. A customized treatment plan is then decided jointly by the woman and the doctor.
What does the law say?
The Genetic Integrity Act determines what is permitted in connection with assisted reproduction. It is important to know about the law for those who are planning treatment with donated sperm. The doctor is obliged to consider the medical, psychological, and social conditions of the woman or couple and assess whether it is appropriate to perform an insemination and whether it can be assumed that the child will grow up under good conditions. In all donation treatments, by law, a psychosocial assessment by a behavioral scientist is mandatory. If, after the assessment, the woman or couple is denied treatment, an appeal can be made to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).
All children have a legal right to find out about their origin, and children conceived with the help of donated gametes have the right to find out about the donor’s identity. Information about the donor’s identity is stored for 70 years. The woman herself or the couple have, however, no such legal right.
It is also stated in the law, that the woman or couple themselves have no right to choose the characteristics of the donor. When planning for the treatment, the doctor chose the donor at an outpatient visit. As a rule, the donor and the non-recipient in a couple are matched in eye color, hair color, skin color, and body constitution. In this way, the child gets the basics to resemble both of its parents.
The parent who will not carry the child must also give written consent to the insemination. It may seem that the legislation makes the procedure too complicated, but it is important to understand that the formalities have the purpose of protecting and ensuring the rights of the child-to-be.
Children conceived after gamete donation have a legal right to find out about the donor, though it is the parents’ responsibility to tell the child about its genesis. The child can then decide whether it wants the information or not.
We recommend talking to the child about its origins already at preschool age, which most children experience as no big deal but something they have always known about. The risk of waiting to tell is that the child could happen to hear about the donation in an unintended way, which could affect trust in the parents.
Please read more at www.kunskapsguiden.se, where there is information about the importance of telling early, and good advice on how to proceed.
In many countries there are recommendations or laws restricting the number of offspring from a single donor. In Sweden, there is no limit of the number of children, but the number of families is limited. A donor is not allowed to have offspring in more than six families. This is regulated by a system of “family/pregnancy slots”, which is a link between a certain donor and a certain family. After donation and a successful pregnancy, that particular donor is allowed to have offspring in a maximum of five more families. The number of children in the individual family is, however, not restricted.
The system of pregnancy slots is not a guarantee that the particular donor’s sperm are reserved for the future, but only that the donor is allowed to donate to the family again. If you want to know more about the reservation of sperm for possible sibling treatment, you are welcome to ask the responsible doctor or to contact our IVF clinics or affiliates.
If you want a sibling for your child and there are no more sperm available from “your” donor and a new donor is chosen, a new pregnancy slot procedure is needed.