This treatment is offered to single women, or to couples where there is a serious sperm problem, or no sperm at all in the ejaculate.
Some couples prefer to use donor sperm in order to achieve a pregnancy, rather than have invasive procedures to collect sperm from men, for example after a previous vasectomy. The female partner is assessed initially, to make sure that the fallopian tubes are open and that she is ovulating regularly. Often, insemination procedures are performed with no extra drug stimulation.
The cycle is monitored using serial ultrasound scans, from around day 10 (of a normal 28 day cycle). When a mature follicle is noted, insemination is performed the day after an HCG injection to trigger ovulation, or on the day after a positive urine ovulation test.
Who should be treated with donor insemination ?
Donor insemination can be used as an effective treatment for male factor infertility or for single women who desire children.
A new procedure called ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) can result in pregnancy in very severe male factor infertility so that many cases that would have required donor sperm can now result in pregnancy with the husband's sperm.
How is donor insemination performed ?
All donors are thoroughly screened by the sperm bank for infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis, and gonorrhea. The sperm is frozen and kept for 6 months and the donor is then tested again for HIV to make sure that he did not have a recent HIV infection when he produced the semen specimen.
A donor is selected based on desired attributes such as ethnic background, eye color, hair color, height, weight, blood type, etc.. The frozen donor semen is purchased from a sperm bank and shipped in a specialized container to the fertility center.
Various methods can be used to determine when the woman is ovulating.
On the day of ovulation, the washed semen specimen consisting of a purified fraction of motile sperm is placed high in the uterine cavity (intrauterine insemination) using a very thin and soft catheter introduced through the cervix. This procedure usually seems similar to a pap smear for the woman - there should be little or no discomfort.
Success rates for donor insemination vary depending on the age of the woman and whether she has any factors present that reduce her fertility.
In general, reported monthly pregnancy rates using frozen donor sperm are about 10%. When used in women over about 35 the (average) chance for success is lower. Over age 40 success rates are much lower, and some women would need to use donor eggs to be able to get pregnant.
Pregnancy rates using fresh (not frozen) donor semen were quite a bit higher than with use of frozen semen. However, the use of fresh donor semen was abandoned in this country after reported cases of HIV transmission from donor to recipient woman.
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(Only for international patients seeking treatment in India)