Understanding Sperm Donor Insemination

Donor insemination is a necessary process for all prospective mothers hoping to conceive a child with donor sperm. After sperm donors have been screened and the sperm has been deemed safe to use it can be artificially inseminated.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) uses donor sperm and it can also be used for in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

When to consider Donor Insemination

You may consider donor insemination in a number of circumstances including:

  • Where the male partner cannot produce sperm
  • Where the male partner’s sperm is of poor quality of low count
  • When the male partner is at high risk of passing on a genetic, inherited condition
  • You are part of a same-sex couple
  • You are a single woman ready to have a child

All individuals considering donor insemination are recommended counselling sessions to help them understand and prepare for the process.


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The Donor Insemination Process

There are seven usual steps to the donor insemination process:

Step One

The first stage of the process is for a tubal patency test to be carried out.

Step Two

The prospective mother should then be tested for blood group, HIV, syphilis, gonorrhoea and hepatitis B & C. You should also be screened for Rubella immunity and a full blood count will be carried out. Finally a hormone profile will be produced and assessed to check for any hormone imbalances.

Step Three

At this stage a donor will be selected. This is only the case if you have opted for an anonymous donation and many fertility clinics will have their own sperm bank to offer you a selection of different donor options. There is no obligation to accept any donation and you may need to accept a wait if there is a shortage of donations at any given time.

Step Four

This is where you sign the official documents. Both you and your partner, if you have one, will have to sign the content form which agrees to the insemination with donor sperm and also content to the disclosure of information.

Step Five

Some clinics will now offer fertility drugs to boost egg production and prime your body for pregnancy.

Step Six

Your clinic should perform a complete blood and urine analysis to find out when your body is most fertile. Some clinics will also carry out an ultrasound scan to ensure that no more than two eggs are ready to ovulate to limit the chance of multiple pregnancy.

Step Seven

The donated sperm will now be inserted into the womb using the IUI process. It’s a painless procedure for the majority of women although some have reported temporary, menstrual-like cramps.

Step Eight

A week after the donor insemination a blood sample is sometimes taken to measure progesterone levels and confirm ovulation has occurred.

From this point the only thing to do is wait and hope that the insemination has been successful and a foetus has been conceived.

Artificial insemination success rates are an important thing to know for those who are considering conceiving in this way. Those who wish to start their own family, and want to use artificial insemination to do so, should consider everything they can before spending time and/or money trying. Here are the facts you need to know about artificial insemination success rates and some tips on how to improve your chances.

Artificial Insemination Success Rates

Artificial insemination success rates can vary greatly depending on the woman who wishes to carry the baby. Factors such as the age and fitness of the mother, the quality of the sperm and the egg, and the clinic being used can all play a big part in how successful this process is. It is thought that the average success rate of artificial insemination is around 15% – around half the rate of sexual intercourse which is 30% on average. As mentioned, there are many factors involved which can increase or decrease this percentage. There are also ways of improving chances, read on to learn more.

How to improve artificial insemination success rates

If you want to improve the success rate of artificial insemination and the chances of having a family, then these hints and tips should definitely help out:
• Improve fitness levels
• Eat and drink healthily, including cutting out alcohol and smoking
• Good quality sperm that is fresh (instead of frozen or thawed)
• Ensuring that you are ovulating when artificial insemination takes place
• Hormones that can help stimulate the follicles and release eggs can be used
• Attempting artificial insemination several times throughout ovulation
• Taking care of oneself after the procedure, including not drinking, smoking or becoming stressed

These are just some tips to improve the success rate of artificial insemination, although they may not work for everybody. It is vital that you seek the professional opinion of your clinic, doctor or nurse to find out what can help your chances of conceiving. They may also be able to administer hormones if you are worried about ovulation or follicles in the womb.

Overall, reducing stress and feeling relaxed about your decision is a key part in conceiving a child; whether through artificial insemination or something else altogether. Make sure that you and your partner are happy with the decisions you make together and the rest should just follow.

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