What is Donor Insemination?

Donor insemination or “artificial insemination”, is the process of conceiving a baby using donated sperm.

It is a simple, usually painless procedure where the frozen/thawed sperm is introduced into the uterus with a syringe at the time of ovulation. Donor Insemination is an option for woman who wish to become pregnant but cannot due to a number of reasons. These reasons can include women wishing to get pregnant but may be single, women part of a same-sex couple or a partner with untreatable male infertility.

Where does Donor insemination sperm come from?

The sperm is obtained from sperm banks. It has been frozen and rigorous screening has been performed on each donor, where all sperm is regulated to reduce the risk of disease or other problems. Clinics will match your donor as closely as possible to the couple and characteristics such as eye colour, hair and occupation can be chosen.

How does Donor insemination work? The following steps indicate how.

1. A preliminary evaluation of the patient with bloods test and ultrasound scan is necessary to ensure that the woman is suitable for treatment.

2. The selection of donor is carried out. Inheritance is very important in determining the kind of child you will have, as half the child’s genes will be coming from the biological father. Therefore significant thought should be given. Donors with negative behavioural characteristics are immediately excluded so there should not be any worry of choosing an unfit donor. Detailed information about the talents, interests, attributes and appearance is available, so this should be assessed by the couple.

3. Medication will be given to boost egg production.

4. Ultrasound scans (follicular tracking) are performed to determine when you are most fertile.

5.The sperm is then inserted into the womb. This is called Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). As mentioned previously, this is usually painless but may cause slight cramping afterwards.

If you are thinking that Donor Insemination is the path for you, go and speak to your GP to get more information. Talk to friends and family and most importantly talk to your partner to see if this is something that both you and your partner are happy to proceed with.


Author Rita Galimberti Femplus Clinic

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