Donor Insemination (DI)
DI is a term describing a process of placing frozen/thawed sperm from a donor into the woman’s uterus at the time of ovulation.
When to consider donor sperm
DI is an option for women who wish to become pregnant but are:
- Single or part of a same-gender couple
- Have a partner with male factor infertility that cannot be treated
- Have a partner who is a carrier of an undesirable hereditary disease
Where Does Donor Sperm Come From?
Donor sperm can be from a known donor or from an anonymous donor through a sperm bank. At Blossom, we work with a sperm bank.
Usually, women use anonymous donor sperm purchased from a sperm bank. Rigorous screening is performed on each donor before collecting and freezing the sperm according to Canadian Federal Regulations. The screening process includes:
- A thorough family history for several generations
- Complete medical and social history
- Blood typing
- Screening for genetic disorders and transmissible diseases such as HIV.
Potential donors are not accepted if abnormalities are detected in any of the screening tests. Each frozen specimen is “quarantined” and only released for use if the donor remains free of HIV and other infectious illnesses six months later.
How Do You Chose a Donor?
The sperm banks provide information on the sperm donor’s race, height, weight, personal history, academic performance, and many other demographic details. You may also see photos of the donor.
First, we do a thorough work-up to rule out any obvious fertility problems. Then you go through the intrauterine insemination process IUI (link) using donor sperm.
How Successful is DI?
For women under 40 years, about 12%-15% become pregnant from each cycle of DI.
Approximately 50%-60% are pregnant after 6 months of inseminations. However, some women require several more months of DI to conceive.
If you have not become pregnant after the first six cycles, we may suggest that you have additional infertility investigations. Then we may prescribe injectable fertility medications in order to stimulate your ovaries to produce more than one egg at a time.
Is DI Safe?
DI is a very safe procedure, especially when no medications are used. Once you become pregnant, your pregnancy is exactly the same as one that occurs naturally in a woman of your age.
There is no increased risk of miscarriage or congenital abnormalities beyond what would be expected for women in your age group.
What are the Legal Implications of DI?
A child born through DI is the legal child of the mother and her spouse (if applicable).
DI is a highly confidential process. You do not need to disclose your participation in DI to anyone. It is up to you whether you discuss DI with your family, your friends, or the children which may result. Your counselor will discuss this and other concerns with you before treatment starts.
What About Future Pregnancies?
Many DI participants choose to use the same donor for a second, or even third, pregnancy.
If you are considering this option, you may purchase extra samples which we will keep frozen until they are ready to be used. We do not limit the number of pregnancies that you may attempt with DI. However, there are strict limits on the number of family units initiated by each donor.
What is the Cost?
There is a fee for each frozen specimen (straw) purchased, and the subsequent preparation of the specimen for insemination. Please see our current price list for more details.