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Artificial insemination - donor sperm

The Private Healthcare UK guide to infertility treatment contains articles on infertility and IVF treatment which are aimed at improving your knowledge of treatments for infertility, their benefits and potential risks.


In this section

All donors are carefully selected according to the rules laid down by the British Andrology Society and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which licences and regulates all centres that practice donor insemination.


All donors must comply with the following criteria:

  • Have good sperm counts

  • Aged between 18 & 45 years

  • Be in good health

  • No personal or familial history of inherited disorders

  • No current infection of a sexually transmitted disease


All donors are interviewed and a detailed medical history obtained before they are taken onto the donation programme.  Donors are initially screened for sexually transmitted diseases and the common genetic disorders.  Furthermore, every donor is regularly screened, including tests at three months for chlamydia and bloods every six months.  Every sample produced must be quarantined for 6 months and the donor screened again before the original sample can be used.


You should be provided with a donor characteristic request form at your nurse consultation and a donor with your chosen ethnic origin can be selected.  Attempts will normally be made  to match physical characteristics where possible.  At the start of a treatment cycle you will normally be provided with two choices of donors from which you may indicate your first preference.  A donor choice is normally provided as back up in order to avoid disappointment. 


If your first preference of donor is unavailable at the time of transfer, the second choice will be used.  It is possible for donors to become unavailable for the following reasons: 

  • Donor decides to leave the programme

  • Donor fails screening

  • Donor’s sperm has achieved 5-6 ‘birth events’ (twins and triplets count as one) and the outcome of other treatments is awaited, so the donor is ‘on hold’

  • Donor has reached his ten live ‘birth events’ limit

  • CMV negative donors might not always be available (please check with staff before starting your treatment).  Acceptance of CMV sperm (by disclaimer) increases a patient’s choice.

  • A particular donor’s sperm is not effective on a number of cycles

  • Donor dies and posthumous consent is unavailable


The limit of live birth events may be exceeded only in exceptional cases when a recipient wishes to have a subsequent child from the same donor.


In this guide



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