Donor insemination is an assisted reproductive treatment available for couples who cannot use sperm from a male partner or for women who lack male partners, such as same-sex female couples or single women.

This treatment is very effective, with a success rate of 80% when used with IUI (Intrauterine insemination). It can also be used with intravaginal insemination or as a part of the IVF cycle.

Related Post: – What is IUI Treatment, and How Does it Works?

Who uses Donor Insemination to get Pregnant?

The following are the reasons for using donor insemination: –


Male Partner with Severe Male Infertility

Couples facing severe male infertility like azoospermia or a meagre sperm count. These couples can also opt for another option before considering donor sperm, such as IVF with ICSI and TESA or TESE.

TESE stands for Testicular Sperm Extraction, which involves testicular biopsy, and TESA stands for testicular sperm aspiration, which consists in aspirating sperm cells from the testicles.

  • In IVF with ICSI, sperm cells are mature in a lab until they are ready to inseminate an egg and are injected directly into an oocyte.
  • However, this is unsuitable for all couples and is prohibitively expensive than IVF with ICSI and TESE/TESA. Donor insemination is also not cheap but is significantly less costly than those.
  • Another reason for opting for donor insemination is that IVF-ICSI, TESE, and TESA have an increased risk of passing on male infertility to a male child.

Male Partner Suffering from Untreatable STD

Donor insemination can be a good option for couples where the male is suffering from a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) IVF also reduces the risk of passing the disease to the female partner, but not every couple wants to opt for it.

If a male partner is HIV positive and the female is HIV negative, there is a chance of having a genetic baby together without passing on HIV to the female partner. But it would help if you spoke to your doctor because this involves the process of sperm washing and the use of anti-viral drugs.

Genetic or Hereditary Disease in Male Partner

Some couples can prefer IVF with PGD, which is used to detect genetic diseases. However, some couples prefer sperm donors.

In rare cases, couples with Rh incompatible may consider donor sperm. This can be resolved using a treatment, but in case the female partner cannot have the Rhogam injection because of allergy, a sperm donor may be the other option.

Single Women

Women who are single and want to have a baby can opt for donor sperm or A female couple with same sex etc., can consider donor sperm.

What is the Process of Donor Insemination?

The process of donor insemination involves collecting sperm from a donor. It is an intrauterine insemination technique that is used in this process.

A fine tube is used to place the donor sperm into the uterus cavity. The procedure is effortless and painless and does not require any hospital stay or anesthesia.

It is performed during the middle of the women’s menstrual cycle every month. Women may be asked for a blood test, hormone test, or ultrasound scan to know the most appropriate time for donor insemination.

This treatment is suggested only for a woman who has a regular monthly cycle and monthly ovulation. But for women with irregular menstrual periods, ovulation may not be predictable. So, for those women, drug treatment is advised to stimulate the ovaries to produce one or more eggs.

Ultrasound scans are also required in women receiving stimulatory drugs to monitor the development of ovarian follicles. Several scans need to depend on the women’s response to various medications.

Process Before the Donor Insemination Process?

Following is the process before donor insemination. However, it may differ depending on your situation.

Finding a Fertility Clinic

Find the fertility clinic first to oversee your donor insemination process. Some clinics offer guidance and support during donor insemination. Always look for a clinic with a reasonable success rate and a good attitude. Because if you are a single woman or a lesbian and want to have a baby need an environment that welcomes and accepts your lifestyle.

Fertility Testing

Fertility testing is essential before you opt for donor insemination because you can be clear about whether opting for donor insemination will result in the success of having a baby or whether you are just wasting money.

Fertility testing can help you become aware of your fertility problems, and the doctor can suggest a solution. The fertility test can involve the following tests: –

  • Transmitted infection testing
  • Hormonal blood work
  • Basic gynecological screenings like a pap smear and sexual A specialized X-ray, known as an HSG
  • A Pelvic ultrasound, specifically an antral follicle count, especially if you are age 35 or older

Psychological Counselling

Psychological counselling is critical before proceeding with the donor insemination process. You may or may not be recommended by your doctor for psychological counselling, but you should seek it yourself. It can help you know donor insemination’s detailed psychological risks and benefits. It can also help you understand the benefits and risks of using sperm from the known and unknown and may clear many other doubts.

Legal Counselling

Legal counselling is also vital before starting the procedure. It can help you know the legal risks involved in situations like using sperm from a known donor or in the case of a lesbian couple who wants to know the legal adoption procedure.

Where to Get a Sperm Donor?

 The type of donor one chooses a highly personal and will depend on many factors. Regardless of the kind of donor chosen, various considerations and requirements apply.

You can find a sperm donor from a fertility clinic, sperm bank, or your connections. Using sperm from a fertility clinic or a sperm bank is also an anonymous donor arrangement. You need to sign at least one contract between the donor-conceived child and the sperm donor.

And in the case of using sperm from a known donor, it is essential to sign a contract before insemination; the female patient and donor must create a valid and notarized legal agreement or contract to outline parenting rights and responsibilities.

There are cases where known sperm donors later decided to sue and try to get parental rights, and there have been cases of women using a known sperm donor to have a child and later attempting to sue the donor for child support payments.

Success Rate of Donor Insemination in achieving a Pregnancy?

The success rate of donor insemination in achieving pregnancy can be 60 to 80%. Still, it depends on many factors, such as

  • The age of the woman being inseminated
  • The lifestyle of the female partner
  • The type of insemination procedure
  • Any underlying female fertility problems
  • Health of the male donor

Cost of Donor Insemination?

Donor insemination is notably less costly than using donor eggs. The cost can range anywhere from $700 to $4,000, depending on whether the male partner’s sperm is used or if anonymous donor sperm is utilized.

Risks Associated with Donor Insemination?

The risk associated with donor insemination is the same as the risk involved in intrauterine insemination. These may include uterine cramping, infection, miscarriage, and ectopic pregnancy.


Fertility issues affect couples both emotionally and mentally. Especially for a male partner, it is tough to accept or even address from a psychological perspective.

They suffer from depression, anxiety, and sorrow. For such couples, donor insemination can be the best option. But before going for any treatment, it is best to get fertility specialist advice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Donor insemination is a very safe procedure, mainly when no medications are used. And is the same as natural pregnancy.

Yes, it is a personal choice whether one wants to have donor insemination from a known or unknown donor. They only need to follow the specific procedure required for the treatment.

Yes, sperm donor agreement is required for donor insemination. It is necessary to identify the intended parents as legal parents of the child and make it clear that the donor has no legal rights or responsibilities over the child.

Donor insemination is the term used for getting pregnant from a sperm donor.

Before ovulation is the best time for insemination for women.

Donor insemination is a straightforward process. It takes only about 10 minutes. But if you have a stimulated cycle, you must take fertility drugs before ovulation.