Gamete Donation

Definition - What does Gamete Donation mean?

Gamete donation is when egg cells or sperm (collectively know as "gametes") are given by a donor to a person who wishes to conceive. A gamete recipient may be unable to use their own egg or sperm to procreate. The process of gamete donation can help those who are unable to use their own sperm or eggs to increase their chances of conception by using gametes provided by another person. Gamete donation can include financial renumeration for the donor.

FertilitySmarts explains Gamete Donation

Gamete donation can be separated into egg donation and sperm donation. Egg donation can assist an egg recipient to conceive, usually through in vitro fertilization (IVF) where the eggs are fertilized in a laboratory.

Sperm donation can occur between a specific donor and recipient, or through a fertility clinic or sperm bank. Conception through sperm donation usually occurs via assisted reproductive technology (ART). Examples of this include artificial insemination, intracervical insemination, and intrauterine insemination. Less commonly, donor sperm may be used in IVF.

As well as offering those who are unable to use their own gametes an opportunity to reproduce, gamete donation can also be used by:

  • Persons who are at risk of transmitting serious genetic diseases to their children
  • Those without a sexual partner
  • Those who are in a same-sex relationship
  • Heterosexual couples who are experiencing infertility

Gamete donation allows a genetic link to be maintained through one of the intended parents. Egg donation allows the egg recipient to experience a biological connection to the child by going through pregnancy and childbirth.

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