Sperm donation recipients

Whether you’re exploring the option of sperm donation, amid the process, or already embarking on your journey to parenthood, our platform is here to provide guidance, resources, and a compassionate space to share experiences. Delving into the complexities and joys of family building through sperm donation, we aim to empower individuals and couples with the knowledge and support needed for their unique paths to parenthood. Join us as we navigate this remarkable journey together.

In fertility treatment, using donated sperm is often in the following cases:

  • A heterosexual couple where it is unlikely or impossible for them to achieve a pregnancy using the male partner’s sperm.
  • In a heterosexual couple, it is likely or possible that an inherited condition may be passed on to any resulting offspring by the male partner.
  • A same-sex female couple is hoping to achieve a pregnancy.
  • A single woman is hoping to achieve a pregnancy.


sperm and egg

Donors may either have a personal connection with the recipient or remain anonymous. Utilizing the donated sperm can be done in two primary procedures: Donated intrauterine insemination (DIUI) or in vitro fertilization (DIVF).

In a DIUI procedure, a sperm sample is delicately transferred to the uterus during the optimal phase of the menstrual cycle via a thin tube called a catheter.

For DIVF, we administer medication to stimulate the woman’s ovaries to produce a surplus of eggs. They then retrieve these eggs through a medical procedure conducted under sedation. Following retrieval, we combine the eggs with donated sperm in a laboratory setting, and then we monitor the resulting embryos for fertilization. Once embryos form, a predetermined number can be transferred into the uterus, while freezing surplus embryos for future use is possible. In some instances, donors’ sperm may be best suited for use in intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles, where the sperm is directly into the egg in the lab.

Our regulatory body, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), maintains a comprehensive register of information regarding donors and recipients of sperm, eggs, or embryos for reproductive treatment. This informational blog aims to help patients undergoing treatment involving donated sperm understand the process and its ramifications. We will provide details regarding other facets of treatment separately.

What happens next?

  1. Once they tell you that donated sperm is your only or best chance of becoming pregnant, then offering you the opportunity to talk to the Centre’s independent counselor. If you decide to continue with treatment using donor sperm, the department’s donor sperm coordinator will contact you. You will need to have some additional blood tests organized to check if you have ever been exposed to Cytomegalovirus (also called CMV) and your blood group (if required).
  2. Blood group – This blood test is optional; you can decide if you want to source a donor with a specific blood type that may match you or your partner (if applicable). It is not an essential test, and sourcing a donor with a particular blood group may reduce the number of donors available to you. You should be aware that we may attempt to match the Rhesus factor (usually shown as a –ve or +ve after your blood group) in some circumstances to avoid possible problems in pregnancy.

Understanding Who May Benefit from Sperm Donation?

  • Sperm donations become essential for males with zero sperm count or poor sperm morphology, hindering their ability to produce viable sperm.
  • Males who have suffered from diseases like Mumps or other illnesses since a young age involving high temperatures may encounter fertility issues.
  • Additionally, males born with undescended testicles require corrective surgery. During pregnancy, if the testicles develop in the abdomen and fail to descend into the scrotum, part of the fetal structure may remain attached to the abdomen, causing an upward pull on the testicle. Surgical intervention is then necessary to relocate the testicle.
  • For cancer patients who have undergone chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or testicular surgery, sperm donation may be their sole recourse. Furthermore, the use of anabolic medications like steroids can contribute to sperm deterioration due to their impact on testicular tissue vulnerability.
  • Patients experiencing poor sperm quality or azoospermia have the opportunity to conceive their child through the utilization of donated sperm. However, it’s crucial to explore alternative fertility treatments aimed at improving sperm quality before determining sperm donation as the sole option.

Demystifying the Process of Sperm Donation

When couples opt for conception through sperm donation, we initially furnish them with comprehensive information regarding the donor’s sperm, including details of blood tests and associated treatment risks. Before commencing treatment, couples must sign a contract affirming their consent and satisfaction with the provided information. Initially, we provide couples with in-depth details on sperm donations and the characteristics of the donor sperm, such as screening results and sperm quality. Once these documents are signed, the couple prepares for treatment.

Utilizing Sperm Donations in IVF or IUI Procedures In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) represents the more intricate option of the two. We oversee hormone stimulation in the female to enhance egg production, and upon egg maturation, we retrieve them. Subsequently, we perform Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) using the donor sperm to prepare the embryos for transfer.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) with donated sperm entails a laboratory procedure to separate motile sperm from less mobile ones. Following this, we administer the sperm into the female’s uterus once ovulation commences. IUI boasts a success rate of 20%.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Recipients are required to sign consent forms acknowledging their understanding of the sperm donation process, including the legal and ethical implications. These documents may outline parental rights, confidentiality, and future contact between the donor and any resulting offspring.

During treatment, recipients undergo regular monitoring, such as ultrasound scans and hormone level assessments, to enhance the likelihood of success. Following treatment, recipients may necessitate follow-up appointments to evaluate pregnancy outcomes and offer ongoing assistance. Emotional support is crucial as sperm donation recipients may encounter a spectrum of feelings, including anticipation, optimism, and apprehension. Many fertility clinics provide counseling services and support groups to aid recipients in navigating the emotional complexities of assisted reproduction. Success rates of sperm donation treatments vary depending on factors such as the recipient’s age, reproductive health, and donor sperm quality. We recommend that recipients discuss their unique prognosis with their healthcare provider for personalized guidance.

Sperm Donation