Donor Sperm

NOTE: The Fertility Center does not accept or screen sperm donors.

Donor Sperm Information
The following information outlines the steps for patients utilizing anonymous donor sperm for the goal of pregnancy.

Physician appointment
Existing patients need a consult with their Fertility Center physician to discuss donor sperm before proceeding. We request a copy of your current medical history (including a recent PAP) from your physician’s office prior to this appointment.

The next step is to schedule an appointment with our fertility counselor to discuss the emotional and psychological issues related to using a third party to achieve a pregnancy. There is no charge for this appointment. If the female recipient has a male or female partner, he/she is also required to be present for the appointment. This appointment is only available in our Grand Rapids, Michigan office.

Donor insemination, also called therapeutic donor insemination (TDI), is used by many individuals to achieve pregnancy. Each TDI cycle has about a 10-20% chance of pregnancy. The cumulative pregnancy success rate at 6 months is 60% and at 12 months 80%.

Nurse consultation
A nurse consultation is required to review the medical aspects of the program, required testing, donor selection, and consent for treatment and consent for storage. If you have a male or female partner, he/she is also required to attend the consult. This appointment is only available at our Grand Rapids, Michigan office.

Donor screening
The Fertility Center only orders donor sperm from sperm banks which are Food and Drug Administration (FDA) registered. Sperm banks screen and test donors for communicable diseases, including hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Eligible donors will provide a semen specimen which is frozen and quarantined for six months. After six months, the donor is re-screened and tested. If the donor still meets all requirements, specimens previously frozen for a minimum of six months are released for use. This reduces chance of communicable disease transmission.

Selecting a donor
We will provide you with a list of sperm banks with whom we participate- click here for the list- Donor Sperm Bank Information. A list of available donors can be found by accessing the sperm bank websites. Because donor lists can change daily, the internet provides the most current specimen inventory.

To aid in your selection, sperm banks provide “short” donor profiles which include at minimum: race, ethnic origin, hair color, eye color, height, and weight. For a fee, most banks offer a more extensive “long” profile of health/social background. While you are not required to purchase this information, it is highly recommended. If you become pregnant with donor sperm, this information will serve as part of your child’s medical/health background.

Sperm donors are usually anonymous; however, some banks have “open” donor options.  In these cases, a child resulting from donor sperm may have access to the donor at a later date if mutual consent is obtained by all parties. For more information, consult the sperm banks directly for their policies. If you would like to use someone you know as your donor, contact a sperm bank directly to ask about “directed donation.” The Fertility Center doesn’t screen donors, but most banks can provide this service for you.

Patient testing
Prior to ordering donor sperm, the patient and (if applicable) her partner must be tested for chlamydia, HBV, HCV, HIV, and syphilis. Additional testing may be required, depending upon your situation. Females should have a Pap smear or pelvic exam in the last year.

Specimen orders
You must notify our office when your menses begins and return a completed Donor Sperm Order Form no later than 4 days after your menses start. Click on the link, print the page, and fax it to us at 616-988-2008.

Fertility plans
Depending on the specific fertility plan provided by your Fertility Center physician, you may be on medications to assist with ovulation or you may be instructed to monitor for ovulation at home. You must notify our office when your menses begins so that we can instruct you on your next steps.

Ovulation Prediction Protocol
You will need to purchase an ovulation predictor kit (available at most drugstores). These kits detect luteinizing hormone (LH) in urine, which is produced in large quantities shortly before ovulation. Ovulation usually takes place within 24-36 hours after surge. Ovulation predictor kits include instructions telling you when to start testing, usually a couple of days prior to expected ovulation. Please contact our nurses if you do not understand the kit instructions. Because morning urine contains higher LH concentrations, we recommend testing first thing in the morning and continuing morning testing once daily until a positive LH surge result occurs.

Once the LH surge occurs, call our office as early as possible to schedule your TDI. Our Grand Rapids office opens at 8:00 am Monday through Friday, and has limited Saturday hours. If your surge occurs over the weekend or a holiday, call the office answering service and tell them to page a nurse or doctor.  

 Stimulated cycle
If your cycle is stimulated with medications, your TDI will be performed at the appropriate time frame based on your ultrasound results. You will use an injectable medication to create an LH surge and trigger ovulation. The nurse or doctor that performs your ultrasound will assist with scheduling your TDI.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
IUI is performed by inserting a small catheter through the cervix into the uterus, then depositing the specimen into the uterus. Following insemination, you will lie on the exam table for approximately 10 minutes with your hips tilted up. Most women tolerate IUIs well; others may experience cramping.

Pregnancy testing
Sixteen days after your LH surge (or injection), we recommend a pregnancy test. If you are pregnant, the test will be repeated in 2-4 days later to evaluate the pregnancy. An ultrasound will be scheduled at approximately 6 weeks gestation to check the implantation. Another ultrasound may be performed a couple of weeks later to look for a fetal heartbeat and to further monitoring. If all looks good, you are then referred to your PCP or OB/GYN for future prenatal care.

If your test is negative or you start your menses, you can choose to do another cycle. Please verify that you have another specimen available at our office or order a specimen by cycle day 4 of your menses.

If you have any questions about our program, please call a clinical nurse at (616) 988-2229, ext. 145.