Donor insemination is a resource available to potential parents who cannot use sperm from a male partner. It is a highly effective fertility treatment, with success rates of up to 80% when used in conjunction with intrauterine insemination (IUI).
While the decision to use donor sperm can be challenging, the procedure is fairly simple and minimally invasive.
The donor sample is treated to maximize the number of high motility sperm in a process known as “sperm washing.” Patients who elect to undergo the procedure with the support of fertility medication will be administered human chorionic gonadotropin hCG to initiate ovulation and a follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to maximize mature egg production. Once ovulation has begun, the sperm is introduced into the uterus through a very narrow and long catheter. The procedure itself takes only a few minutes.
When is Donor Insemination Used?
Potential parents might elect to undergo donor insemination for numerous reasons which may or may not be related to fertility. These include:
- Being in a female same-sex partnership
- Being single
- Having a genetic disorder that could be passed down to the child
However, male factor infertility is an extremely common condition that may cause couples to consider the benefits of donor sperm.
What are the Benefits of Donor Insemination?
The main advantage of donor insemination for many women is the ability to conceive with no male partner; single women and same-sex couples can experience pregnancy and build families on their terms.
It’s also beneficial for men who have serious concerns about passing down a genetic abnormality that could lead to severe or dangerous disorders in their offspring.
In couples where male factor infertility is the issue, many men come to embrace the idea of donor insemination after enduring failed attempts at pregnancy and ineffective fertility treatments.
Is Donor Insemination Right for Me?
For some potential parents, donor insemination is a very easy decision. For others, there might be hurdles that could be very difficult to surmount.
Fertility issues are among the most challenging for couples to navigate. Infertility is a difficult condition for many male partners to accept or even address from a psychological perspective. According to numerous studies on the emotional toll infertility takes on men, men diagnosed with male factor infertility reported feelings of acute grief, loss, anxiety, and depression when treatments proved unsuccessful. The idea of using donor sperm to initiate a pregnancy can cause conflicting emotions in the male partner. The social and cultural expectations of reproductive manhood can be demanding.
At PRC, we understand the psychological complexities surrounding donor insemination. Not only are there practical concerns with finding the right donor, but there are also emotional issues to negotiate, from coping with one day disclosing the information to the child to the legal issues that might arise.
We offer our patients access to reproductive counselors who can help them recognize the mental, spiritual, and psychological implications of proceeding with a pregnancy where one partner is not the biological parent. We are proud to provide support from the moment of your first consultation to the day of your successful birth.