Use of Donor sperm has been common for decades and is a well
established part of the fertility toolbox. Men from all intellectual,
cultural, social, educational and religious backgrounds have and
continue to donate sperm. Sperm donors all work with sperm banks,
unless you are doing a known donation (ie. The donor is a friend or
family member). These sperm banks put the sperm and the donor
through extensive testing for sexually transmitted infections, genetics
and health and psychological histories. We work with numerous
agencies (hyperlink to listing) to provide you with the widest selection
of candidates possible.
Why is it done?
Patients may opt to use donor sperm for a variety of reasons. Some
of these reasons may include:
1. Poor sperm quality
2. High sperm DNA fragmentation
3. Genetic defect(s) in the individual
4. Previous failures with autologous sperm
5. Same sex females
6. Single females
Step 1. Decide if you are using a known donor or if you would like an
anonymous sample from a sperm bank. If you’re using a known
donor, we need to do extensive screening and testing of that person
before they can be involved including history and physical, sperm
assessment, potentially sperm DNA fragmentation testing, genetic
screening and testing and extensive sexually transmitted disease
screening and testing.
More commonly, with anonymous sperm donations, typically we refer
you to one of our preferred partners for selection of a sperm donor
sample. This process involves your web-based selection of a donor
that meets your specific criteria including, but not limited to simple
characteristics such as hair colour, eye colour, race, height, weight.
You may opt for either a known donor where you get to know them or
an anonymous donation where there is no contact between you and
the donor at any point in the process. The costs associated with
selection and acquisition of a donor are strictly between you and
whatever agency you choose.
Step 2. Review your donor with our team. We need to make sure
that there are no concerns with the donor you are selecting including
the risk of viral transmission from something like CMV virus
(Cyotmegalovirus) which can impact the pregnancy if the female is
negative prior to the insemination.
Step 3. Purchase the sperm and have it shipped to VRC, Windsor,
Sarnia, or at our partner clinic in Toronto, the Create Fertility center.
We have temperature controlled, alarm monitored tanks to preserve
any number of sperm samples.
Step 4. Select which method you would like to use for your
insemination including either using your natural egg production,
stimulation of your ovaries with oral medications such as letrozole or
clomiphene, or injectable medications for controlled ovarian
Step 6. Show up for your insemination! The sperm samples are
thawed, prepared if necessary and then transferred into your uterus
in a painless, gentle process that take approximately 2 minutes in
total. For patient comfort and satisfaction we ask you to stay lying
down for approximately 15-20 minutes, but studies have never shown
a benefit and if you feel comfortable getting up right away, you are
free to leave at your leisure. Pregnancy tests are arranged for two
There are no risks from donor sperm as long as the sexually
transmitted disease screen is negative, which is checked and double
checked before transfer. Sperm banks universally quarantine
samples for 6 months and retest the donors to exclude any possibility
they were infected at the time of the donation.
Outcomes are generally good! Depending on which mode of ovarian
stimulation you chose, you can expect anything from a modest to a
relatively high rate of success. If you’re using injectables there are
risks of multiple, whereas these are much lower with natural cycles
and oral medications.
If you’d like to learn more, don’t hesitate to contact us for a detailed
discussion of your options.