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Sex for Sperm: Why More Women Are Opting for “Natural Insemination” With Donors

Update Date: May 01, 2013 11:28 AM EDT
mother, baby
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An increasing number of women desperate to become mothers are trading sex for babies on sperm donation websites where male donors offer only "natural insemination".

Traditionally, sperm donor websites help connect single women, lesbian or infertile couples with male donors willing to give sperm samples through artificial insemination.  However, more and more women are now turning to online services like co-parents.net, co-parentmarch.com, spermdonorforum.com, and pollentree.com to set up a time to have sex with their donors because "natural insemination" is believed to be more than three times more effective than artificial insemination.

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However, because many male donors on these websites will only offer natural (NI) or partial insemination (PI) and not artificial insemination (AI), some critics believe that these men are simply targeting vulnerable women for free sex, according to the Daily Mail.

According to the UK newspaper, one potential donor on Tadpole Town writes: "I'm a donor, and I only help by NI or PI. Have had quite a few ladies try the guilt trip to try to get me to AI, not for me though."

Another donor writes: "NI is a preference of mine, however I'm open to other methods as I appreciate it's not to everyone's liking and not always possible."

Critics are also warning that having sex with complete strangers just for the sake of getting pregnant can increase a woman's risk of sexually transmitted diseases and other health and psychological problems. According to The Mirror, these donor websites are not regulated by health authorities because all communication is considered to be private between two consenting adults.

While regulated clinics, which generally charge between $1,500 and $5,000 for artificial insemination, screen all donors for STDs and hereditary condition, "free" sperm donation websites do not.  While clinics also protect the identity of donors, the conditions of donation via these donor websites are entirely up to the co-parents.

"When a woman's ­desperate for a baby and can't afford a ­clinic, she's vulnerable," said Zita West of Zita West Clinics, a site regulated by UK's Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, according to The Mirror.

"She may be panicking about her biological clock ticking and might then risk meeting one of these men," she said.  She warned that many of the women on these donor sites won't know anything about the donor including his genetic background or HIV status.

"These sites should be regulated," she added.

"The world is changing but one thing about human nature that hasn't changed is that we develop different feelings about relationships as time goes on," Psychologists Linda Blair said, according to The Mirror. "A woman must never rush into this. She may think nothing more about creating a child in this way but that's likely to change." 

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