Wednesday, October 1, 2008
So, we all know I'm a bit of a nerd (yes, in general but, especially when it comes to topics of reproductive health). When a friend of mine decided to become an egg donor, I was there every step of the way with too many way questions. Being an egg donor is a pretty big commitment and is fairly involved and uncomfortable.
In a more recent conversation, I learned that two friends of mine will be on the opposite end of this "third party reproduction"- they're getting sperm! Of course, again, I was terribly curious about the whole process. They're using a lesbian-owned sperm bank called Pacific Reproductive Services.
It really does sort of work like a catalog, one may order a specimen of either fresh sperm or frozen sperm. Part of the preparation of the sperm involve "washing" them in order to remove their prostaglandin. From the research that I've encountered it is potentially dangerous to introduce prostaglandin directly into the uterus and would cause cramping. The other fact about prostaglandin is that it can ripen a cirvix durning pregnancy. I suppose in natural conception this would help to make the cirvix a bit softer as the sperm swim though.
Another interesting fact that i learned is that fresh sperm have a shelf life of 48- 72 hours while frozen sperm can be stored for as long as 50 years but are only potent for 24 hours.
Here is an article on a few different methods of artificial insemination.
Here is a great "This American Life" on relationships with sperm donors: Chapter One: better Left to the Imagination.
Posted by Kate Zondervan at 9:08 AM