What is Donor IUI?

Donor sperm insemination uses frozen sperm from an anonymous or known donor to help a woman conceive a child.

Is donor insemination for me?

  1. Donor sperm IUI is a simple option for women without a male partner.
  2. Donor IUI may be considered by couples with male infertility who, do not wish to consider In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) for financial or ethical reasons.
  3. Donor IUI is a relatively low cost alternative treatment for couples with male infertility who have not been successful with insemination utilizing the male partner’s sperm.
  4. It is also indicated if the male partner has no sperm in the ejaculate (azoospermia) or if no sperm could be surgically retrieved from the testicles of the male partner for IVF/ICSI. This surgical procedure is known as Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE).
  5. Donor sperm can also be used for IVF if the female partner has conditions such as blocked tubes or endometriosis and simple donor insemination is unlikely to succeed.
  6. Donor IUI may be considered in cases where there is a high risk of transmitting an inherited disease from the male partner to his child.

What to expect with donor IUI?

  1. Hormone blood tests on day 3 of your menstrual cycle for FSH, estrogen, Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH), thyroid (TSH) and prolactin levels.
  2. Ultrasound to make sure that there are no problems with your uterus or ovary
  3. Screening tests for blood group, HIV, hepatitis B & C, syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea. You will also be tested to make sure that you are immune to Rubella (German measles), chicken pox and Cytomegalovirus (CMV).
  4. Tubal x-ray test (HSG) to ensure that your tubes are open.
  5. Donor sperm selection from a sperm bank. Our coordinator will provide you with information regarding costs and logistics.
  6. You and your significant other will need to sign a consent form agreeing to donor sperm insemination.
  7. If you have irregular cycles, you may be given fertility drugs to restore normal ovulation. Ultrasound is often performed to ensure proper egg development and determine the optimal time for insemination.

The intrauterine Insemination

Fig ex 1

Most sperm banks have convenient “IUI ready” sperm samples. The frozen donor sperm vial is thawed on the day of ovulation. The sperm sample is first evaluated for sperm concentration and motility. The sperm is then loaded into a soft catheter and brought into the treatment room. You will be shown the empty vial to verify that it is the correct donor selected by you. The consent form for the insemination will also list the donor sperm identification number. The catheter is inserted into the uterus and the sperm is slowly injected into the uterine cavity using a procedure known as intrauterine insemination or IUI. The procedure is painless and can be completed within 1 minute.

After the insemination

  1. A blood test for progesterone level is performed 1 week after the insemination to confirm that ovulation occurred normally.
  2. Blood pregnancy test is scheduled 14 days after insemination to find out if you are pregnant.
  3. If you are pregnant, several beta HCG blood tests will be performed to make sure the pregnancy is progressing normally.
  4. An ultrasound examination is performed 4-5 weeks after the insemination to evaluate the pregnancy.
  5. You will be referred to your obstetrician for your prenatal care.

Should I tell my child about the father’s origin?

Keep in mind that genetic paternity testing is readily available. In the not too distant future the test may be marketed as an over the counter test kit. What would happen if you decide not to disclose to your child its origin, only to be discovered later in life? Counseling and honest discussion with your physician is strongly advised before you undergo donor insemination.