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.

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

  • UK 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.
  • Overseas donors have also donated sperm in the hope of giving others the opportunity to start a family. The difference here is that the neither the donor or child are able to trace each other. As above, they have to comply with the UK law regarding access of information, however you may be able to get more information about these donors, for example photos of them as children or hear a recording of their voice.
  • 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 require 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 – you can find the full patient journey here. 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 Simply 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.

 

IUI

Referral

Pre-Treatment – preliminary tests and screening, initial consultation

Counselling – implications counselling, support counselling

Pre Treatment Appointment – consent forms, how to use treatment drugs, payment

Providing sperm (Donor coordination – Sperm collection or using frozen sperm)

Insemination

The Wait

Outcome

IUI treatment

 

IVF

Referral

Pre-Treatment – preliminary tests and screening, initial consultation

Counselling – implications counselling, support counselling

Pre Treatment Appointment – consent forms, how to use treatment drugs, payment

Starting Treatment

Ovulation stimulation and monitoring – stimulating drugs, scans, blood tests

IVF patient journey