Midwest Fertility Specialists provides a variety of donor services to help our patients build families, including sperm donor services. Therapeutic donor insemination (TDI), or artificial insemination with donor sperm, is an alternative for couples dealing with male infertility. It is a very commonly performed procedure, with 15-20,000 children born annually as a result.
All sperm donations utilized in our center are obtained from one of several large and reputable sperm banks. Donors are typically young professionals (e.g. medical or law students, professors, etc.) who undergo an extensive screening process, including a questionnaire, genetic screening and exam. Any potential donor with a significant family medical history, questionable social history or abnormal chromosomes are excluded.
All sperm samples are frozen and quarantined for six months prior to release for use for TDI. This allows effective screening for HIV, herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis, chlamydia and other potentially transmittable diseases.
A list of donor sperm labs can be provided by your physician. Each couple may choose the donor that best matches their physical (height, weight, blood type, hair color, eye color, etc.) and social (religion, level of education, ethnicity, etc.) characteristics.
THERAPEUTIC DONOR INSEMINATION PROCESS
After you choose a specimen donor, the following steps are required:
1. Infectious disease testing is required by the state of Indiana for the female and must be completed prior to the planned insemination cycle.
2. Be sure that by the first or second day of your cycle, you have ordered – or have available in the lab – the necessary sperm samples. Your physician will tell you how many samples you will need per month.
3. Call and notify your physician’s office on the first or second day of your period. Any fertility medication use will be determined by your physician. The timing of your insemination, whether it is based on the use of an ovulation predictor or ultrasound, will be determined and the insemination will be scheduled. One or two inseminations are performed per month, including weekends if necessary.
4. The insemination itself is a simple, non-invasive office procedure, usually performed by a nurse. A speculum is used, as it would be for a routine gynecologic exam. The sperm sample, which has been washed and processed, is drawn into a small syringe and deposited into the uterus through a small plastic catheter. You will be required to remain lying down on the exam table for 10 minutes before getting dressed and resuming normal activity.
When considering the use of donor sperm, you will likely have many questions. Below are several frequently asked questions about donor sperm and TDI.
How effective is TDI?
If the female’s fertility is normal, approximately 15 to 20 percent of couples will conceive per month. If unsuccessful after three attempts, further evaluation and treatment may be warranted.
If a couple does conceive, they may want to consider ordering additional samples from the same donor for later use in attempts to establish subsequent pregnancies.
What are the risks of TDI?
There is no increased risk of congenital anomaly among children conceived through TDI – the rates are consistent with the general population at approximately 3 to 4 percent. The risk of a miscarriage is also consistent at approximately 15 to 20 percent.
You may experience some cramping during or following the insemination, but this is typically minimal. Although all reasonable precautions and preventive measures are followed, there is no guarantee that infection will not occur. You should notify your physician if you experience abdominal pain or fever after your insemination.
What about donor confidentiality?
Your chosen sperm donor will remain anonymous to you, and you will remain anonymous to the donor. Proper consent forms must be signed, but once you become pregnant, that child is legally your heir in all rights and respects. No adoption is necessary.
Whether or not you disclose the information that conception occurred as a result of TDI is strictly up to you. If you decide not to tell your child about conception through a sperm donor, it is recommended that you do not tell anyone else.
What does TDI generally cost?
Cost for TDI will vary based upon the sperm bank selected and the number of inseminations per cycle. For cost information, please contact us.