Donor sperm is commonly used by single and gay/lesbian women to achieve a pregnancy. It is also used in the treatment of severe male factor infertility. Donor insemination can be used alone, or in combination with ovarian stimulation, depending on the particular fertility problem. In either case, insemination with donor sperm is timed to coincide with ovulation.
Intra-uterine Insemination (IUI)
Stages Of A Donor Insemination Cycle
STAGE 1 - Medical Consultation and follow-up
One of our fertility specialists will meet with you and your partner. The doctor will obtain a medical history, order tests including blood and ultrasound exams to evaluate the fertility potential of the recipient. The doctor will go over the process of donor insemination.
STAGE 2 - Consultation with Health Psychologist
We require all of our patients who are using donor gametes (eggs, sperm, embryos) to meet with our health psychologist – or one of your choosing who is experienced in assisted reproduction. The purpose of this visit is to make patients aware of issues related to donor insemination as they pertain to the couple, the child and family members.
STAGE 3 - Consent for Treatment
This visit is covered by OHIP. Here you will meet your physician to review risks associated with donor insemination and you will consent for treatment.
STAGE 4 - Order Donor Sperm
You should only order donor sperm after all of the above steps have been taken, but you can start the process of selecting a donor at any time. There are two main companies that distribute donor sperm in Ontario. Contact them directly and they will tell you more about the process of selecting and ordering donor sperm.
Outreach Health Services 1 (866) 785-4709
Can-AM Cryoservices 1 (888) 245-3471.
STAGE 5 - Start a treatment cycle
By this time, you will be quite familiar with the Ottawa Fertility Centre as it has been about 2 to 3 months since your initial appointment. Our nurses will guide you through the insemination cycle and will follow-up with you at the time of your pregnancy test results.
What are my chances of getting pregnant with an IUI procedure?
Pregnancy rates for IUI depend upon a number of factors including age of the woman and sperm quality of the male. When purchased from a reputable distributor, the quality of donor sperm should not be an issue for those women using donor insemination. In general, a healthy woman under the age of 35 can expect a pregnancy rate of about 19% per try. It is common for a woman to undertake multiple inseminations.
How much time do I need to plan?
It takes 4 to 6 weeks to see one of our specialists and an additional 6 weeks to obtain results for pre-treatment testing. Assuming everything is fine, you could start the process of an insemination cycle 3 to 4 months after your family doctor has referred you to one of our specialists.
What procedures are involved leading up to an insemination?
On your first visit, you will have blood tests to determine hormone levels, as well as standard infectious disease testing. Your fertility specialist will order an ultrasound exam to test for tubal patency (ensure tubes are open) and a baseline ultrasound exam of your uterus. These are standard tests for all fertility patients. All of this is covered by OHIP.
How much should I expect to pay?
All diagnostic tests and consultations leading up to insemination are covered by the provincial health insurance plan (OHIP). In addition, most of the fees for an insemination cycle are also covered by OHIP. In general, you can expect to pay about $850 per insemination using your partner’s sperm and about $350 per insemination if you are using pre-washed Donor Sperm (excluding purchase of sperm). There may be additional costs for medications, if they are required. The need for medications varies for each patient.