Gamete donation treatments

Donated gametes are used for a number of reasons. For example, they are needed when the couple hoping to conceive cannot produce their own gametes or the child would be at high risk of being struck by a hereditary disease.

The medical and health-related details of the donors are determined before the donation. All donors are also screened for hereditary diseases. This is to ensure that they do not carry genetic disorders, which would preclude them from donating gametes.

Infections are ruled out by means of blood and urine samples, in addition to which a blood sample is taken for chromosome analysis. Before gamete donation treatments, the donor and recipient are provided with psychological counselling, which covers the legal, ethical and psychological issues related to donation. The aim is to provide the recipient with gametes from a donor who resembles her in terms of height, eye and hair colour and ethnic origin.

Finnish Act on Assisted Fertility Treatments

In Finland, the donation of gametes is governed by the Act on Assisted Fertility Treatments, which came into force in 2007. It states that all donors must be registered, which means that anonymous donation is not possible in Finland.

Donation is a voluntary act, which means that donors can withdraw their consent to the treatments at any time, if they so desire. Donors can also set limitations for the use of their gametes with regard to female couples or single women, for example.

Pursuant to the Act on Assisted Fertility Treatments, children born as a result of gamete donation treatments have the right to learn the identity of the donor upon attaining the age of 18. Parents are encouraged to speak to their children openly about their origin.

Treatment process with donated oocytes

Once the donor’s gametes are available, they will be fertilised with the couple’s own sperm cells. Usually, one of the developed embryos is transferred into the uterus. Any leftover embryos can be frozen. Before the embryo transfer, the endometrium of the recipient’s uterus is prepared with oestrogen and progesterone medication.

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Treatment with donated sperm cells

If the woman’s reproductive system functions normally, the first treatment option is usually insemination, which involves injecting sperm cells into her uterus close to ovulation.

The second option is in vitro fertilisation (IVF) if the insemination treatment is unsuccessful or IVF is otherwise needed. Our clinic has its own sperm bank, which means that we also have sperm from Finnish donors.

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