Currently, sperm donation is appropriate when the male partner has severe abnormalities in his semen and/or reproductive system, which may be present at birth (congenital) or develop later (acquired) and in other situations.
Azoospermia (absence of sperm) can be due to a blockage (obstructive azoospermia), such as congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (CBAVD) or previous vasectomy. Alternatively, azoospermia can be due to testicular failure (nonobstructive azoospermia) resulting from exposure to toxins like pesticides, radiation treatment, or chemotherapy.
Severe oligozoospermia (decreased sperm count) or other significant sperm or seminal fluid abnormalities also are indications for sperm donation.
Ejaculatory dysfunction, such as inability to achieve or maintain an erection or to ejaculate, is a scenario where sperm donation can be helpful.
Sperm donation in place of an affected male’s sperm can help bypass significant genetic defects that can be passed to children.
When there is no male partner, such as with single women who wish to become parents or lesbian couples who desire a pregnancy, but who lack a male partner, sperm donation is needed for pregnancy.