Donor Sperm Insemination

People choose to use donor sperm for a variety of reasons. In some couples, the male partner is sterile and therefore unable to provide a sperm sample for use in intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). Single women and lesbian couples who want children can take advantage of donor sperm to help them achieve the family they desire and in other instances, couples may seek a sperm donor to avoid passing on a genetic disease or disorder that is carried by the male.

Choosing a Donor

Couples and individuals wishing to use a sperm donor can purchase sperm from an anonymous donor in a sperm bank or can either ask a friend or relative to donate. Regardless of which method you decide upon, we will have you meet with our psychologist to discuss any questions or concerns you have regarding the process. Raising a child conceived through the use of donor gametes (eggs or sperm) has some unique challenges and it is important patients have a chance to consider these unique features and deal with any concerns or questions prior to proceeding with any fertility treatment.

Sperm Donor Screening

Known donors are screened and tested in our clinic at the time of their donation for numerous infectious and genetic diseases including HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Per FDA regulations the donor is required to be screened and tested within 7 days of the scheduled date for IVF or IUI. To improve convenience for the patient and the donor, screening and sample collection can occur ahead of time followed by cryopreservation.

If you wish to use an anonymous donor, then you must purchase the sperm from one of the FDA approved sperm banks. The sperm will be sent to our clinic already tested for infectious and genetic diseases listed above. The sperm is usually already prepared for insemination.

The Insemination Process

A  donor’s sperm can be used with IVF or IUI. If you are using a sperm donor with your IVF procedure, you will still receive fertility medications to prepare your eggs for retrieval. Once retrieved, your eggs will be combined with the donor sperm and any resulting embryos will then be transferred back to your uterus for implantation. For women undergoing IUI, the sperm is inserted directly into her uterus around the time of ovulation to enhance fertilization of the egg.

Success with a Sperm Donor

There are a variety of factors that can contribute to a woman’s chances of conceiving through the use of a sperm donor. Her age, past history of pregnancy, method of insemination and number of inseminations per cycle can significantly impact the likelihood of pregnancy. Women under the age of 35 with no history of fertility problems have the best chance of becoming pregnant with donor sperm. Because it is possible to do one to two inseminations per cycle, women who fail to conceive after several cycles may be evaluated for fertility problems.