There are two different types of sperm donors single women can use. A directed donor is a man the woman chooses to donate sperm to achieve pregnancy. If there is no known donor, anonymous sperm donors from a sperm bank are a viable option.
Tests and Screenings
Sperm donated for insemination goes through a variety of tests to ensure its safety. Donors undergo strict health screening regulated by the FDA to ensure they have no major health risks prior to donation. These tests screen for sexually transmitted diseases, genetic defects and medical problems that may affect sperm they donate. Before the donor sperm is available, the donor must come back for testing in six months to rule out HIV or other viruses that have a dormant period. Additionally, sperm banks and doctors' offices run tests to detect HIV and hepatitis. Other tests detect high white blood cell counts to prevent sperm donations with a viral or bacterial infection. These tests provide the highest safeguard against problematic sperm donations.
Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI)
IUI is a medical procedure that entails placing sperm into the uterus around the time a woman ovulates. Since sperm have a limited life span, this placement close to the egg release ensures the best chance of fertilization and implantation of the egg.
When the sperm donor is direct, it is advisable to attain an attorney to write out a legally binding contract detailing the donor's responsibilities and rights. This prevents future legal problems for both parties, including custody disputes, child support payment obligations and other guardianship issues. With anonymous donors, no legal contract is necessary since they are not inseminating with the intent to become a parent.