This is the process of removing eggs from a donor then fertilizing them using the sperm of a male partner in the laboratory. The resulting embryo is transferred to the uterus of the female partner. It is important to note that the partner is never regarded as the biological mother of the child but only as birth mother in record. However, the male partner is the biological father to the child (Beer, 2009). The first egg donation resulting in pregnancy took place in 1983 in Harbor UCLA Medical Centre (Shome & Parlow, 2009).The sperm of the husband to the woman who needed a child were taken and placed in another woman.
After the fertilization, the egg was removed and placed into the uterus of the woman who was infertile. Those who need these eggs are in most cases women who are infertile but are in a position to carry a pregnancy up to the time of delivery. It is important for the donors to note that they can never become infertile after the process of egg donation and they can still be able to get a child of their own (Finch, 2009).The process of egg donation may not be a one day affair but may take a longer process than what some people may think. For those who need to donate, they may be required to get in touch with an egg donation centre. The woman would be required to undergo some medical check ups and counseling sessions (Finch, 2009). The check up includes the taking of blood samples, gynecological check, heart and pressure rates and an ovarian scan (ultrasound).
Then, one may be required to meet the recipient of her egg though this depends on the policies of different countries or the clinics.For preparation purposes, one is not required to be on birth control pills for about six months and during this time, her blood is tested for hormone levels to check whether she would be suitable for donation. The woman is then given a hormone injection to prepare her for the next menstrual cycle and to match it with the hormone levels of the other woman (Finch, 2009). The woman donating the egg is supposed to lie on the bed for scanning so that both the woman and the sonographer see the ovaries on the screen. This process is not painful though it may be uncomfortable, as the machine may be pressed hard on her.After the scan, one is injected with hormones and this is done so as to prompt the ovaries to produce more than one egg as it normally does (Finch, 2009). The injections are on the fatty part of the woman’s stomach and this is done using fine needles.
Several scans follow to verify whether the hormone dose needs to be altered. About thirty to thirty six hours before the egg is collected, another hormone injection is administered. The process of collecting the egg does not take a long time and it is accomplished using the syringe to extract the egg.The eggs are fertilized and the best one is implanted in to the recipient’s uterus and if it does not result in pregnancy, the next one is used. Unfortunately, sometimes the eggs do not result in pregnancy at all, but the donor can always get the information from the centre or clinic (Finch, 2009). There are however some aftermaths of this process of egg donation that may include scarring, bleeding, and infection. Sometimes so many eggs can mature in one cycle that they damage the ovaries resulting in abdominal pain.
This may even lead to death (Lopez, 2004).There is also a possibility that those women who undergo the process of donation may experience early menopause. There is also a connection between the fertility drugs administered to the donor and ovarian cancer (Lopez, 2004). There are various reasons why women donate their eggs. Some want to help infertile women have children for their partners, others do it because they do not need the children of their own but would like to have their genes in some other child, while others donate eggs so as to receive the compensation that one receives after the donation (Lopez, 2004). Sperm DonationSperm donation is the process where sperm is taken from a donor and is then implanted into a woman to fertilize her egg. This is especially common with women who may be unwilling to have sexual intercourse with a man or may be having problems with their sex organs.
Lesbians are known to utilize this method to get their own babies without having sexual intercourse with any man (Stanford, 2009). It may be interesting to realize that out of all the men who apply to donate their sperm, only five percent qualify to donate (Stanford, 2009). For a man to be able to donate the sperm, he must fulfill the following conditions.First, those men who may have a family history of diseases such as sickle cell anemia, hemophilia and cystic fibrosis cannot at all donate their sperm.
Secondly, men who are homosexual and/or have ever had sexual intercourse with other men are prohibited from donating sperm. Thirdly, for men who are HIV positive or have been to places with a high rate of HIV cases, having sex with men or women in the location cannot donate (Stanford, 2009). Finally, those men that use hard drugs or are addicted to any other type of drug will always be disqualified from donating their sperm.
In some other sperm banks, educational background, height, sexual orientation, and age are considered. For example for the California Cryobank, the men must have graduated with a ‘four year” degree, must also be trim, tall, heterosexual and should not be below nineteen years or above thirty four years of age (Stanford, 2009). The donor must undergo the process of screening, a procedure that includes filling of questionnaires, screening of the specimen and the blood, physical evaluation and genetic evaluation. One is first interviewed on their family background, why he has opted to donate his sperm and his sexual behavior.The family background given is quite thorough, sometimes even up to the third generation.
After that, the semen is taken and analyzed for the number of sperm cells present, tested for sperm cell motility and the morphology of the sperm (Stanford, 2009). The candidate will then be required to test for diseases such Hepatitis B and C, as well as HIV/AIDS among others. His blood group must then be identified and finally for cystic fibrosis, genetic testing must be done.
The entire process can take a minimum of six weeks and a maximum of eight weeks.The donors are usually motivated by the pay, which averages seventy US dollars for every sample of sperm taken. For this reason, there is a consensus that it is the money offered that motivates men to donate sperm and not the willingness to help (Stanford, 2009). The process of sperm donation is not as complicated as that of egg donation. The donor enters into a private room that has erotic materials, and then masturbates into a container that has been sterilized. The semen will then be mixed with cryopreservative which is a solution and then divided into aliquots (Stanford, 2009).The containers will then be sealed and liquid nitrogen used to freeze them at a temperature of -321 degree F. When needed, the sperm will be retrieved, thawed and then inseminated into the woman.
The opponents of sperm donation argue that it is not ethical as there is the possibility of a woman having her brother’s or father’s sperm inseminated into her and that is why most sperm banks allow only ten children to be produced by the sperm of one donor (Stanford, 2009). . References Anastasia M. A. (2002, February). Congressional Kidney caucus.
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