When we were going through our fertility treatments, the doctor gave me a list of fertility options. I was fascinated with one of the options for couples in which the husband has a low sperm count. The doctor said he could supplement the husband’s sperm with donor sperm and use both in the intrauterine insemination (IUI) process. The couple could select a donor who closely resembled the husband, and nobody would ever know which sperm actually fertilized the egg.
I had never heard of doing such a process. I always saw insemination as an “either/or” scenario. I had never considered combining the sperm of two men to increase the odds of a conception.
Of course, while this method of increasing the options of conceiving might sound appealing to some women, many men will balk at the idea. I told my husband about the idea in passing, not in a “Do you want to try this?” way but in a “Isn’t this interesting?” way, and he about popped a vein in his head. I was surprised by how strongly he reacted to this option, especially since I was not even suggesting it for us.
I was always open to the idea of adoption and never considered being blood-related to be a big perk. (You would have to know my family to understand this!) So, if we had a baby who was only blood-related to one of us, I would have been totally okay with it. In fact, we ultimately adopted a child who does not carry either of our genes, and this lack of blood-relationship was clearly not some big issue for us.
Now that I am an adoptive mother, I do see some issues with conceiving a child in this manner. If you do not know whether the child was conceived by your spouse, then you cannot provide the pediatrician with an accurate family health history. However, if this information is provided by the sperm donor, then perhaps you can just give the doctor both family health histories.
The information about this method of conceiving was clear that the husband must sign his consent before this process could be used. I could see where the fertility clinic might need to cover its tail legally on this issue.
Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt