Many times when a couple wants to have children they are unable to conceive by natural methods. So they may seek to have a child through IVF (in vitro fertilization) or an egg donor. If the infertility issue is on the male partner’s side they may use specialized methods to obtain sperm from the male partner to use to fertilize the female partners egg through IVF.
If the male partner cannot provide the needed sperm they may opt to use donor sperm from another male. However in instances where the infertility issues are on the female partner’s side they may have to use a donor egg from another female.
In either instance where they may need to utilize donor sperm or eggs, an egg bank is where these donated sperm and eggs are held. These sperm and eggs are cryogenically stored in a facility that can send the sperm or eggs anywhere in the world.
Another type of egg bank is when a woman has her own eggs stored so that she may use them later. She can use them herself or if she has reached menopause and wants to have a child she can use a surrogate mother to carry the child from her own egg.
Who can use an egg and sperm bank?
Well, it used to be that some countries only allowed couples to be eligible for artificial insemination, reports the New York Times. But now with a heightened demand coming from single parent families, new regulations for reproductive facilities have been opened outlining just what a “family” entails.
Are these banks safe and reliable?
You may want to do some research if you plan on using an egg or sperm bank, as a handful of facilities have been in the news recently concerning negligence and alleged deception. Technically there are not a lot of regulations in a standardization of practice, allowing each bank to outline and govern their own process, records and verification of these records. Lawsuits have included things like a “neurosurgeon with an IQ certified as genius that was to be the sperm donor turning out to be a schizophrenic felon” from a Georgia facility, to a lesbian couple having found out the father of their child is a felon with mental disabilities, not what they had chosen as the fathers profile of record, in a New York Times story.