Ins and outs of infertility issues

l HOW sperm cryopreservation works.

Liquid nitrogen is the refrigerant and storage medium. A sperm cryobank is a facility that collects, freezes and stores the sperms.

Once thawed, sperms are introduced into the female by artificial insemination, or are used to inseminate eggs during in vitro fertilisation or intra cytoplasmic sperm injection.

l Difference between a gynaecologist and a fertility specialist

A gynaecologist is specialised in the female reproductive system. A fertility specialist is a gynaecologist who treats women and men who have difficulty conceiving. The Health Professions Council of South Africa has certified a sub-specialty in infertility.

l Ethical aspects of donor sperm

In South Africa the law prohibits disclosure of donor and recipient identities or payment of the donor. The donor is free from any responsibility to the biological offspring produced by his sperm.

l Parenting

Any woman who gives birth to a baby is the legal parent. In the case of sperm donation, her partner is also the legal parent if he has given written consent to treatment and they are being treated together as a couple. The child's birth certificate will state they are the legal parents.