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Donor Insemination (TDI)

Donor insemination (therapeutic donor insemination, TDI) involves the injection sperm from a donor into a woman order to help achieve a pregnancy. Many couples require the use of donor sperm in order to conceive such as:

  • men with very low sperm counts or motility who cannot or chose not to use IVF and ICSI.
  • single women
  • same sex couples

The most difficult part of TDI is choosing a donor. While it is possible to use a known donor, most patients will chose an anonymous donor from an online catalog at a handful of commercial sperm banks. The donor sperm is screened, collected and quarantined at the sperm bank, and shipped to the fertility clinic/doctor's office. The use of donor sperm is tightly regulated by the FDA, so use of a sperm bank will make the process much easier for everyone involved. 

While at our center we do only intrauterine inseminations (IUI) because the pregnancy rates are higher, some centers will do intracervical and cervical cap inseminations. IUI is usually painless, but may cause some cramping or bleeding. While the use of fertility drugs, will raise the risk of multiple births, the insemination itself does not.

Donor Insemination Instructions for Princeton IVF Patients

Therapeutic donor insemination is procedure in which frozen donor sperm is inserted into your uterus, cervix or vagina.   Since the pregnancy rates are higher, we only do intrauterine insemination (IUI).  In this case, washed donor sperm is injected directly in to your uterus.  

  • It is essential to make arrangements in advance to select and ship the semen sample to us. We will store the sperm sample on site for you.
  • If your insurance requires precertification and/or referrals, please arrange this as far in advance as possible.  Samantha can help you with this.
  • While we will work with any FDA licensed and accredited sperm bank, we prefer to work with California Cryobank and Fairfax Cryobank. Their websites are Cryobank.com and Fairfaxcryrobank.com.
  • Once you indicate to the sperm bank that you are our patient, they will send us a form to complete and return to them. All samples for IUI should be shipped to us. If you are using donor sperm for IVF, it will need to be shipped directly to the Toll Center in Abington.
  • You should review the donor lists on the website and choose 3-4 donors in your order of preference.
  • You and any male partner must have a full screen for sexually transmitted diseases including HIV before we can begin.
  • The doctor/midwife should have discussed with you what to look for with donors (e.g. blood type) at the time of your consultation.
  • When selecting a donor, we strongly prefer specimens that say IUI rather than ICI, unless you are doing IVF.   IUI specimens are processed and ready for insemination. ICI samples are unwashed and will require additional processing and charges from us. IVF samples from the cryobank contain fewer sperm and are not suitable for insemination.
  • If you are doing a natural cycle, Femara or Clomid, we will ask you to come in on day 12 or 13 of your cycle for ultrasound and bloodwork.  You may need to come in 1 or 2 additional times.  When your eggs are mature, we will have you do an injection of Ovidrel, a medication that will force your eggs to release, and schedule the insemination.
  • Please be sure to have the Ovidrel on had before your first ultrasound.
  • The insemination itself only takes several minutes, and you will remain on the table for 15 minutes after the procedure.  A soft plastic catheter is inserted into the uterus and the washed sperm are injected. There are no restrictions on you after you leave.
  • You may experience some cramping during and shortly after the IUI, but this should improve quickly.  If the pain worsens later in the day, it could be a sign of infection and you should notify the doctor ASAP.  
  • If you are on Clomid, please come in for a progesterone blood test in 1 week.  If you are on injectables, set up an ultrasound with the doctor in 1 week.