You might need donor sperm to be part of your fertility treatment journey for a number of reasons. It could be due to male infertility, where the sperm quality isn’t high enough to fertilise the egg. Maybe you’re a same-sex couple who need donor sperm to start your family, or a single woman who wants to be a mum.

Whatever the reason you need it, there are different pathways to treatment, depending on who your donor sperm comes from.

Types of donor

There are different types of donor; UK and overseas altruistic donors, and known donors.

  • Altruistic donors are men who have donated their sperm in the hope of giving someone the opportunity to have a family. They will not know who they have donated to, or the details of any children born with the help of their donation. Once any children born reach 18 years of age, UK law allows them to access information that could lead them to find out the identity of the donor, if they wish.
  • Known donors are people who agree to donate sperm to an individual or couple they know. Because all parties involved know each other’s identities, and perhaps know each other quite well personally, it’s important to give this option careful thought, as there could be emotional implications for all parties. We always strongly recommend counselling for everyone involved.

All donors are fully screened before donating sperm. A donor can be chosen whose physical characteristics match those of the parent.

The Journey

As a couple or individual receiving donor sperm for IVF treatment, the fertility treatment journey follows the pattern outlined below. If you are having intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatment and not IVF, you can find out more here. The donor co-ordination process will happen before treatment starts at Wessex Fertility and our nursing staff will discuss the availability of donors so you can select a suitable donor. We do place additional emphasis on implications counselling for couples receiving donor sperm, particularly if a known donor is involved.

IUI

  • Referral
  • Pre-Treatment – preliminary tests and screening, initial consultation
  • Counselling – implications counselling, support counselling
  • Consents and Planning – consent forms, how to use treatment drugs, payment
  • Providing sperm (Donor coordination – Sperm collection or using frozen sperm)
  • Insemination
  • The Wait
  • Outcome

IVF

  • Referral
  • Pre-Treatment – preliminary tests and screening, initial consultation
  • Counselling – implications counselling, support counselling
  • Consents and Planning – consent forms, how to use treatment drugs, payment
  • Starting Treatment
  • Ovulation stimulation and monitoring – stimulating drugs, scans, blood tests
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