Artificial insemination with donor sperm - donor IUI
Page author Richard Sherbahn MD
Who should be treated with donor insemination?
Donor insemination (or donor IUI for "intrauterine insemination") can be used as an effective treatment for male factor infertility or for single women who desire children.
ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) can result in pregnancy in very severe male factor infertility so that many cases that would have required donor sperm in the past can now have pregnancies with the male partner's sperm.
How is donor insemination performed?
- Sperm donors are thoroughly screened by the sperm bank for infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis, gonorrhea, etc.
- The sperm is frozen and kept for 6 months and the donor is then tested again for HIV to make sure that he did not have a recent HIV infection when he produced the semen
- A donor is selected based on desired attributes such as ethnic background, eye color, hair color, height, weight, blood type, etc..
- The frozen donor semen is purchased from a sperm bank and shipped in a specialized container to the fertility center.
- Various methods can be used to determine when the woman is ovulating.
- On the day of ovulation, the washed semen specimen consisting of a purified fraction of motile sperm is placed high in the uterine cavity (intrauterine insemination) using a very thin and soft catheter introduced through the cervix. This procedure usually seems similar to a pap smear for the woman - there should be little or no discomfort.
IUI success rates using donor sperm
- Success rates for donor sperm insemination vary depending on the age of the woman and whether she has any factors present that reduce her fertility
- In general, monthly pregnancy success rates using frozen donor sperm are about 10%
- When used in women over about 35 the chance for success is lower
- Over age 40 success rates are much lower
- Over age 41 many women would need to use donor eggs in order to have a baby
Pregnancy success rates using fresh (not frozen) donor semen were quite a bit higher than with frozen semen. However, use of fresh donor semen was abandoned in this country many years ago after some reported cases of HIV transmission following donor insemination.
Call our office for current pricing for insemination with donor sperm.