Artificial Insemination – Donor Sperm

Artificial insemination is one of the most popular methods to conceive in the UK, for those who are having difficulties conceiving and for those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. In fact, there are so many reasons why artificial insemination with a sperm donor is used for millions of American couples to start a family.

What is artificial insemination with a sperm donor?

For those who are not entirely sure what artificial insemination involves, it is quite simply the process of directly inserting sperm into a woman’s womb. Sperm is usually donated via a sperm bank, although in some countries and states it is suitable for a couple to find their own sperm donor. Depending on the clinic or hospital where artificial insemination takes place, there are several things the doctors may do in order to help the conception along, such as:

  • Stimulating ovaries with hormones to produce follicles.
  • Use certain hormones to trigger egg release.
  • Optimum sperm can be selected from the sample given.


Artificial insemination glass needle fertilizing a female egg


Is artificial insemination the right choice for me?

As mentioned, there may be many reasons that you are considering artificial insemination. It may be that you are finding it difficult to conceive, your doctor has suggested this be the next step or perhaps you are an LGBT couple who wish to start a family. To work out if artificial insemination with a sperm donor is the right choice it is advised that you have several consultations with a doctor, nurse or clinic professional before going ahead. Also, remember to talk this through as a couple each step of the way, to ensure you are both happy with it.

What if artificial insemination (donor sperm insemination) is not right for you?

Sometimes artificial insemination with a sperm donor is not the right step for everybody – and that’s okay! It may be that your state doesn’t allow you to pick your own sperm donor, the process is going to be far too expensive, or that you simply don’t like the idea of a clinical procedure to conceive. There are other options and it is worth looking at all of them before making a decision. Other options such as home insemination also have their pros and cons; so make sure you weigh everything up before making a final call.

We have many more hints and tips on the CoParents blog which can help you make an even more informed decision on the steps you want to take. Please do have a look through and gather the information you need to make that all important decision.

Artificial Insemination (Sperm Donor Insemination) is One of Many Choices

Artificial insemination, or AI, is a technique used to help people become pregnant. The technique was first pioneered in livestock production for cattle and other domestic animals. It has become a medically recognized standard for human use in assisted reproductive technology.

Sperm donor insemination is used when the male partner in a man/woman couple is not able to produce useable sperm. This can be because of injury or illness or just not being able to produce the right quality sperm to fertilize an egg. This process is of use to single women or lesbian women couples that would like to have a child but do not have access to sperm.

Not all AI is achieved using non-related donors. Sometimes there is a physical obstacle to a woman being able to use her own partner’s sperm. In this type of situation, AI is also used. Using the partner’s sperm, the woman may have to undergo other types of treatment such as IVF to achieve pregnancy.

A variety of techniques are used to accomplish this procedure depending on needs. Intrauterine insemination is one technique where sperm is placed directly into a woman’s uterus. This method works best with women under the age of 30. Intracervical insemination is considered the easiest of these methods. It uses a needle to place sperm at the cervix opening. This mimics the natural process and needs to be done within the window of opportunity for ovulation. Intrauterine tuboperitoneal insemination is a technique in which insemination fluid is placed in the fallopian tubes and uterus. The cervix is temporarily clamped shut to avoid the fluid from escaping. This technique is used when infertility cannot be explained or other conditions like mild or moderate endometriosis.

Sperm is collected from donors by way of masturbation or the use of an electrical stimulation device. The fluid is collected in a type of condom and may be frozen for storage or used immediately. The sperm may be “washed” which means it is stripped of some of its components. This is done in a lab and helps increase the chance of fertilization.

The success rates of this technique vary. Much will depend on the woman. Factors that affect this will be her age and egg quality. Unlike men who have no trouble fathering a child as senior citizens, women are on a much stricter timetable. The younger the woman, the better her chances are at becoming pregnant. Women tend to have more trouble becoming pregnant, as they get closer to 40. This is not a magic number for cut off by any means but just a general rule of thumb. Artificial insemination (sperm donor insemination) works for many of the older women who use it.

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