Male Infertility & Sperm Donation

When male sperm analysis yields very poor results, multiple tests and treatments are considered. Unfortunately, in some cases, even with attempts to aspirate sperm directly from the testicles, treatment is not always successful.

The least expensive home test for sperm concentration is the PreConceive Male Fertility Sperm Test. A higher-rated (but more expensive) test is the Micra Sperm Test, which tests both the sperm count and motility. Both are performed in the privacy of your own home.

If you are going through male infertility, some of the terms you may encounter are:

oligospermia or oligozoospermia- low sperm count. Very few sperm are found in the ejaculate.

no motile sperm, no motility - none of the sperm are moving or asthenozoospermia - poor motility and/or forward progression.

teratozoospermia - low percentage of morphologically normal sperm.

necrozoospermia - no live sperm in semen.

azoospermia, asospermia, or aspermia - no sperm at all is found in the semen.

TESE - testicular sperm extraction or MESA - microsurgical epidydmal sperm aspiration. Processes used to retrieve viable sperm from men with sperm duct blockage or the absence of sperm in the semen.

ICSI - Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection, a single sperm cell is injected into each egg. This procedure is performed as part of IVF - in vitro fertilization when a small number of sperm is available. It enables fertilization of an egg even if only a single viable sperm cell is available.

If treatment has not been successful, you may decide to use donor sperm. Fortunately, sperm donation is a relatively simple procedure (physically, not necessarily emotionally) and in most places, there are ample sperm donors.

Men are allowed to donate sperm after intense questioning and testing. Their medical history is of great importance, as is their genetic history.

Lesbian couples and single women who choose to become parents also frequently opt to use sperm donation.

When the sperm donation is intented for a couple, the donor is usually matched according to physical properties of the husband (e.g., blood type, hair color, eye color, height).

This site presents stories both of recipients of sperm donation and of a women born of sperm donation.

Natalie's Story
Tanya's Story
Allison's Story
(conceived using donor sperm)
Carrie's Story
Mandy's Story
Cynthia's Story
Suzanna's Story (conceived using donor sperm)
Paige's Story
Celia's Story
Jim's Story
Liane's story (donor conceived)


Normal Values for Semen Analysis:


Volume: >2.0ml

Concentration: >20 million/ml

Total Cells: >40 million

Motility: ~50%

Normal Forms: >14%

Jen's Story, Lynn's Story, Tina's Story, June's Story, Joan's Story, Rikki's story (Male factor infertility)
Anna's Story (going for AID - artificial insemination with donor sperm)
Ruby's Story, Heather's Story (going for AID - artificial insemination with sperm from a known donor)
Betty-Ann's Story (going for AID - artificial insemination with donor sperm - as a single woman)
Marina's Story - successful sperm donation.
Brandy's Story - (donor conceived)

Joseph's story - contemplating donating sperm for his sister and her (lesbian) partner. Fascinating discussion in the comments section as well - last updated March 2009.

If you are a sperm donor or have gone through artificial insemination and would like to tell your story, we would be happy to hear from you!

Feel free to read some thoughts that readers of this site have shared.

Also see our questions and answers page about sperm donation.

Male Infertility News

Pre-ICSI Treatment for men
Sparing men from infertility after chemotherapy

Recommended Reading:

DI (Donor Insemination) Dad's blog - A blog by a father to two children born by donor insemination.

Information on the HFEA (UK) website) - Information for donors

Information on the HFEA (UK) website - Information for donor-conceived people and their parents

ABC News article about male infertility

For purchase from Amazon (in order of popularity, based on visitors to FertilityStories)

PreConceive: A Male Fertility Sperm Test (previously known as FertilMARQ)

Helping the Stork : The Choices and Challenges of Donor Insemination

Mommies, Daddies, Donors and Surrogates: Answering Tough Questions and Building Strong Families

Overcoming Male Infertility

FertilAid for Men: Male Fertility Supplement

Resources for Dads

DI Dads - a Yahoo! group - This group is for men who:

  • are dads to children who were conceived by donor insemination
  • are men thinking about using DI (donor insemination) to create their families and who want to speak to other men to learn more about DI

It is not intended for the donors, but rather for the men who are actually raising or have raised children conceived by donor insemination.

The group is moderated by Eric Schwartzman, a DI dad himself.