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Treatment With Donor Sperm

Donor sperm is used in different type of fertility treatments. The type of fertility treatment you will receive depends on your personal circumstances and medical history.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) With Donor Sperm

Before undergoing IUI, it is essential that the fallopian tubes are healthy and open (patent). This is checked in one of two ways:

  • Hysterosalpingo-contrast sonography (HyCoSy): a vaginal ultrasound to check the fallopian tubes for blockages or a hysterosalpingogram, which is an x-ray of the fallopian tubes.
  • Laparoscopy: an operation performed under general anaesthetic where a camera (laparoscope) is inserted through a small incision near your belly button giving a view of your ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes. A coloured dye will be injected through your cervix into your uterus and fallopian tubes.

What happens to the female?

Unstimulated cycle

If you are having a round of IUI without fertility drugs then you will be inseminated close to when you are due to ovulate. Depending on your clinic, ovulation will be identified by a blood test or urine test.

Stimulated cycle

Your clinic will provide you with medication to help you produce egg follicles. The clinic will monitor your response to the fertility drugs by transvaginal ultrasounds. When your egg follicles are mature you will be asked to inject yourself with a trigger shot to release the eggs.

Before insemination – What happens with the donor sperm?

The donor sperm is removed from the clinic’s frozen storage and thawed. It is then clinically washed and the faster moving sperm will be separated from the slower moving sperm. The faster sperm will be placed into a catheter, which will be inserted into the uterus.

The insemination

The insemination itself is usually a painless procedure and takes just a few minutes.

Your clinic will tell you when your insemination will take place, which is usually around 36 hours after you have ovulated.

Like when you have a smear test, a speculum will be inserted into your vagina to keep the vaginal walls apart. A small flexible tube (catheter) containing all the fast moving sperm will then be inserted through your cervix and into your uterus.

You may experience some slight period-like cramping afterwards.

You will find out whether you are pregnant about two weeks after insemination either by doing a home pregnancy test (urine) or having a blood test at your clinic.

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