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Reproductive Technology

Donor Insemination And Egg Donation

Donor insemination is used when sperm are incapable of fertilizing the egg. Usually this occurs if the male produces very little or no sperm. Sometimes, donor sperm is used when the male partner is the carrier of a genetic disorder that could be transmitted to the baby. Sperm donors should be between ages eighteen and fifty-five, and all should be screened for genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, and for various types of chromosomal abnormalities and infectious disease, including hepatitis, syphilis, cytomegalovirus, and HIV. As with the use of intrauterine insemination, the female partner undergoes ovarian stimulation to maximize the number of follicles released during ovulation. Pregnancy rates resulting from the use of donor insemination are between 32 percent and 50 percent after ten inseminations.

As with donor insemination, egg donation is used when the woman cannot ovulate or is the carrier of a genetic disease. Egg donors must be younger than thirty-five years and must be screened for the same set of conditions as sperm donors. Donors are treated with drugs to stimulate ovulation, after which the eggs are fertilized with the sperm from the male partner and the embryos are transferred to the uterus of the female partner (other procedures can also be used). Growth and development of the embryos then follow the natural processes.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaGenetics in Medicine - Part 4Reproductive Technology - Pregnancy And Infertility, In Vitro Fertilization, The Risks Of Ivf, Embryo Transfer Techniques, Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer