Reasons for Using Donor Insemination (DI)

Becoming pregnant isn’t always as easy as it may seem. Many couples and singles struggle with conception. This can sometimes be related to fertility issues. If you and your partner are having trouble getting pregnant, than you may already be seeking out fertility treatment from your reproductive endocrinologist.

You may want to consider using donor insemination in order to become pregnant. Used by thousands of infertile couples every year, donor insemination is often a wonderful route to giving birth to a beautiful child.

What is Donor Insemination (DI)?

Donor insemination uses screened, quarantined, and frozen sperm to help you to conceive a child. Donated by a man, often anonymous, this sperm is used with IUI or IVF in order to fertilize an egg and create a viable embryo.

Once you and your partner have chosen your sperm donor, the sperm sample is then rigorously tested for various genetic diseases, infections, or STDs. After being frozen and quarantined for six months, the donor sperm is inserted into your uterus using a catheter. Hopefully, this sperm will fertilize your egg, allowing you to become pregnant.

If you are using IVF to become pregnant, then the donor sperm will be combined with your retrieved eggs in the hopes of fertilization. Any resulting embryos will then be transferred back to you.

Who Uses Donor Insemination?

Donor insemination is becoming one of the more popular types of fertility treatments for infertile couples. It is available at most fertility clinics and is a straightforward and highly effective procedure. But who chooses donor insemination and why?

How Common Is Donor Insemination?

Donor insemination is actually much more common than most people realize. Used since the 1980s, donor insemination is climbing in popularity because of the high pregnancy rates associated with it.

In fact, 1 in 8 infertile couples turn to donor insemination in order to conceive. Approximately 30,000 to 50,000 children are conceived through donor insemination every year in the United States, and more than 70% of couples who undergo the treatment eventually carry a child to term.

Why Choose Donor Insemination?

You may be wondering why so many couples decide to use donor insemination in order to conceive. Well, different people turn to donor insemination for a variety of different reasons.

  • Single Women: Single women often turn to donor insemination when they wish to conceive. Some women may not have a partner with whom they wish to pursue pregnancy with, and donor sperm is a viable way for these women to have a baby.
  • Same-Sex Couples: Lesbian couples who wish to conceive often turn to donor insemination in order to get pregnant.
  • Men with No Sperm: Men who can’t produce any sperm (due to infection, vasectomy, or surgical trauma) may be unable to contribute a sample for the IUI process.
  • Men with Low Sperm Counts: Some men discover that they have a low sperm count, which could reduce their chances of pregnancy.
  • Men with Poor Sperm Motility: Some men have poor sperm motility. This means that their sperm aren’t strong enough to swim through the cervix and uterus in order to reach the egg for fertilization.
  • Genetic Defect or Infection: Some couples choose to pursue donor insemination if there is a chance that a man’s sperm could pass a genetic defect or infection on to their child.

Cost of Donor Insemination

Cost can also play a role in the decision to use donated sperm with IUI. Procedures to remove and isolate sperm samples can be very expensive and sometimes are not viable alternatives.

Donor insemination is much less expensive which often means that couples can pursue more treatment cycles; thus increasing the chances of pregnancy. A typical sample of donated sperm costs between $200 and $250 and one cycle of IUI costs between $500 and $600.

Benefits of Pursuing Donor Insemination

There are a number of benefits to pursuing donor insemination.

These include:

  • the opportunity to carry your own child
  • having a child that is genetically related to one partner
  • undergoing a minimally-invasive, pain-free procedure

Before Deciding on Donor Insemination

Before you decide on donor insemination, it is important to take the time to consider the procedure carefully. Donor insemination is not without its problems, and though a viable alternative for some, it may not be right for you.

Consider these things before deciding on donor insemination:

  • Why do you want to pursue donor insemination?
  • How does your partner feel about donor insemination?
  • What does your reproductive endocrinologist suggest?
  • Do you have any moral or ethical concerns about donor insemination?
  • What legal issues may be involved?
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