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IVF using donor sperm

At TFP Fertility UK, we have over 35 years of combined expertise in fertility care, and we’ve proudly helped thousands of families on their pathway to parenthood.

We have a wealth of experience in caring for and supporting couples and individuals who wish to use donor eggs or sperm. We’re here to guide you throughout your journey, with a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Happy couple with their baby after using donor sperm

Fertility treatment using donor sperm

Donor sperm can be used in both intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedures.  

  • IUI using donor sperm involves carefully selecting and placing healthy sperm into the uterus at the point of ovulation to maximise the chance of fertilisation  

  • IVF using donor sperm involves retrieving eggs from the ovaries and fertilising them with the donor sperm in a lab. The resulting embryo is then transferred into the uterus  

You can use sperm from a known donor (for example, a friend or relative) or from a licensed sperm bank.  

As part of the process, you’ll be offered counselling from a specialist fertility counsellor. The counselling covers multiple topics, including: 

  • Telling your child about how they were conceived  

  • Dealing with your own feelings about using a donor

  • Understanding that your child can contact their donor when they reach 18 years of age and how you might feel if they choose to do so 

It’s important to fully understand what it means to use donor sperm as part of your treatment and the impact it may have on you and your family both now and in the future. 

Why would I use a sperm donor?

You may consider using donor sperm in fertility treatment if: 

  • You or your partner or co-parent have a low sperm count or low-quality sperm 

  • There is a high risk of you or your partner or co-parent passing on a genetic disorder to the baby  

  • You’re in a same-sex female relationship 

  • You’re a single female or person pursuing solo parenthood 

How does using donor sperm work?

If you’re using a known sperm donor, they will need to make an appointment with the clinic to make their donation.  

However, some patients suffer anxiety over producing a sample and this reaction is quite common. Donors can take a sample pot home to donate in a less clinical environment.

If you're using sperm donated to a licensed sperm bank, the sperm will likely have been frozen and stored and will need thawing before it can be used. 

If you choose a sperm donor who has donated to TFP Fertility, we can help you choose your ideal donor by providing as much information about them as possible. This includes their ethnicity, height, weight, eye and hair colour.

What is the treatment process using donor sperm?

Donor sperm for IVF

If you’re undergoing IVF and using donor sperm and your own eggs, the female partner will be given a course of hormonal medication is given to stimulate growth of multiple eggs. The mature eggs are then retrieved from the ovaries for use in treatment.  

If you’re using donor eggs, these will need to be retrieved or thawed before they can be used.  

The eggs are then fertilised in a lab using the donor sperm. The fertilised eggs develop into embryos which are cultured in a lab for 5-6 days until they reach the blastocyst stage. 

The healthiest embryo is selected for transfer into the recipient's uterus and any remaining healthy embryos can be frozen and stored for use in future treatment. 

Donor sperm for IUI

If you’re undergoing IUI treatment, the donated sperm will be placed directly into the uterus at the point of ovulation to maximise the chance of fertilisation. 

How much does treatment using donor sperm cost?

A typical IVF cycle using a single sample of donated sperm costs £7345.  

AS IUI is a less invasive procedure and requires less medication, a cycle using a single sample of donated sperm costs £2900.  

Visit your local TFP Fertility clinic page for more information on our pricing, treatment packages and payment options available.   

Can TFP Fertility UK help me find a sperm donor?

At TFP Fertility, we have our own sperm bank that you can select a donor from or we can help you choose a sperm donor from other reputable sources.

You can be assured that all our donors are fit and healthy having met strict qualifying criteria to donate. Our donors are also required to share their full medical history and those of their immediate biological family.   

We carry out several tests to screen for any illnesses, infections or genetic conditions that could be passed to either the birth mother or the baby.   

Nurse

Contact us today

If you’d like to know more about using a sperm donor or would like to book an appointment, please contact us.

We’ll get back to you within 48 hours and provide you with all the information you need to get started.

Frequently asked questions

Here, we answer some of the most common questions asked in regards to using donor sperm.

Contact our team today for a confidential chat or to book an appointment with a fertility specialist.

What information can you provide about a donor?

When you’re looking for a suitable donor, we’ll provide you with as much information as we can about them without revealing their identity.

Typically, the information we’ll provide will include:


Physical characteristics

  • Height

  • Weight

  • Colour of eyes, hair and skin

Personal profile

  • Ethnic group

  • Religion

  • Occupation

  • Skills and interests

  • Reasons for donating

  • Carrier status for certain recessive conditions

  • If they have proven fertility

We also encourage donors to write a description of themselves and a goodwill message to any children created from their donation.

Can I find my own donor sperm to use?

Yes, you can find your own sperm donor to use for fertility treatment at TFP Fertility UK.   

We strongly recommend you only use sperm from licensed clinics in the UK or abroad.

Alternatively, you may wish to use sperm from someone you know, such as a family member or friend.

If you do wish to use a known donor, they’ll have to undergo some health tests at one of our clinics, attend counselling, and sign consent forms before becoming a donor. 

Sperm samples are quarantined for three months under HFEA regulations. They’ll then be re-screened and released for use in treatment.

We’ll discuss the full process with you during your consultation and give you plenty of time to ask questions.

Can I use sperm from someone I know?

We have helped many couples have a child using sperm from a known donor, such as a friend.

If you or your partner wish to have IUI or IVF using a known donor, the donor will need to visit one of our clinics to have their semen analysed.

Your donor will also have to have blood tests, attend counselling provided by TFP Fertility UK and sign consent forms.

After they’ve been approved as a sperm donor, they must come with you or your partner to the clinic on the day of egg collection.

While they’re at the clinic, they must produce a sample of sperm. This will then be quarantined for three months.

Once this period has passed, the sperm will be thawed on the day its required. It’ll then be used to fertilise the collected eggs.

How long will I have to wait before I can use donor sperm?

If you find a donor and you’re happy to move ahead, you can start treatment straight away.

How many donated sperm will I receive?

Our treatment packages for IUI, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and IVF with donor sperm include enough sperm for one treatment cycle.

If you use sperm from an external bank, we can store excess sperm for future treatment. An annual storage fee will apply.

Can I reserve sperm to have more children from the same donor?

Yes, if the sperm are available this is something we can discuss during your consultation.

We also include embryo freezing as part of all our fertility treatments, so any high-quality embryos remaining after an IVF cycle can be stored for future use.

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