Some people are unable to conceive naturally and need a little help to become parents. A way to overcome infertility or for singles and lesbians to have a child is by using a sperm donor. Below, we take you through some of the basics of donor sperm.
What is donor sperm?
Donor sperm is sperm that was donated by a man with the intention to help others make their dream of having a child come true. The sperm donations are collected in our sperm bank, and then processed in the lab to ensure a high-quality product ready for use in fertility treatment. The donor sperm is kept frozen and safely stored in a nitrogen tank at -196 °C, until it is purchased by someone who needs it for a treatment.
When using donor sperm from a sperm bank, you will not know the identity of the donor, and the donor will not know or be a part of your child’s life. It is, however, possible for your child to learn the identity of the donor after turning 18. If you want your child to have that opportunity, and as long as it is allowed in your treatment country, you can choose a sperm donor with ID Release. You choose a donor based on a donor profile which includes basic information about the donor’s physical appearance, as well as more detailed information if you choose an Extended Sperm Donor Profile.
Why use donor sperm to get pregnant?
The demand for donor sperm for fertility treatment is generally high, and due to new family structures, there has been a significant development in this area in recent years. The three main groups of people who benefit from sperm donations at Cryos are single women, lesbian couples and heterosexual couples experiencing infertility.
Some single women prefer to have and raise a child on their own. Others have searched for a partner without luck and at some point, choose to become a single mother. For these Single Mothers by Choice, donor sperm is a great opportunity, as this allows them to conceive and carry a child on their own.
Learn more and find resources for Single Mothers by Choice
Read the personal story of Tanja, a solo mother of twin girls
For lesbian couples, donor sperm is often the preferred option. They know early on that they will need sperm from someone else to have the children they dream of, and by choosing donor sperm there are no other parents to share their child with.
For heterosexual couples who experience infertility related to the man’s sperm, using donor sperm to get pregnant is a good opportunity to overcome this infertility. These couples have very likely been trying to conceive naturally for a year or more before finding out about the infertility, and perhaps they have even tried fertility treatment with the man’s own sperm without luck. Accepting the need of using donor sperm can be challenging for some people, but by doing so, these couples can achieve pregnancy and have their dream of a child come true.
How do you get pregnant with donor sperm?
When you have decided to use donor sperm to get pregnant, the process can be divided into these four steps:
1. Find out where to have your treatment
The first step when using a sperm donor is to find out which type of fertility treatment to have - and where. At Cryos we can help you find a fertility clinic where you can receive treatment with donor sperm from one of our donors. As a sperm bank, we collect sperm donations but do not perform treatments ourselves. Instead, we have a wide network of high-quality clinics around the world that do, and we will be happy to point you in their direction. There are different types of fertility treatment with donor sperm, and your fertility clinic will help you decide which one is right for you.
Read our blog on how to find the right fertility clinic or book a free call and let us help you get started.
2. Find a donor
When you have found your fertility clinic and know which type of fertility treatment to have, you can start your sperm donor search. At Cryos you have free access to all donor profiles, and you can choose between ID Release and Non-ID Release Sperm Donors with a Basic or an Extended Profile.
3. Order donor sperm for your treatment
When you have found the perfect donor, you can buy donor sperm for your treatment. Some clinics will do this for you, while others recommend that you place your order directly with us. If your fertility treatment has not yet been scheduled, you can also choose to reserve donor sperm for later use. We will then safely deliver your donor sperm to the clinic when you need it.
Visit how to order donor sperm to learn the steps of ordering donor sperm.
4. Have your treatment at your chosen fertility clinic
When it is time for your treatment, your fertility doctor will thaw the frozen donor sperm and use it to hopefully make you pregnant. Exactly how the donor sperm is used depends on the type of treatment. If the treatment is a success, the result will be visible in a pregnancy or blood test after about two weeks. Your doctor will instruct you in when and how to check if you have become pregnant. When getting pregnant with donor sperm, it is important that you register your pregnancy with Cryos, so we can ensure that the national limit of pregnancies by a donor is not exceeded.
At Cryos we are here for you every step of the way - from finding the right donor and clinic to advice on how to talk to your child about donor conception. Contact us or book a free call to get personal guidance.
Donor sperm success rates
Your chances of getting pregnant with donor sperm depends on factors such as:
- Which fertility treatment you are having
- Your age
- Your lifestyle
It is possible to get pregnant in the first attempt, but most women try more than once before achieving pregnancy with donor sperm. We recommend that you ask your fertility clinic or healthcare professional about their donor sperm success rates.
Fertility treatments with donor sperm
There are different types of fertility treatment with donor sperm: IUI, ICI, IVF and ICSI.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI treatment) is a simple treatment type. The fertility doctor injects sperm directly into the uterus where a sperm cell and an egg hopefully will meet and implant.
Intra cervical Insemination (ICI treatment) is another form of insemination, in which the sperm is inserted with a syringe into the vagina, from where the sperm cells must swim into the uterus.
In vitro fertilization (IVF treatment) is a treatment method where a fertility doctor extracts eggs from the ovaries. The eggs are then fertilized with sperm cells in a laboratory before the fertility doctor places the embryo back in the uterus.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI treatment) is a variation of IVF. After extracting eggs from the ovaries, an embryologist places one single sperm cell into an egg with a small needle. When an embryo has formed, the fertility doctor places it back in the woman’s uterus.
Your fertility clinic can recommend the type of treatment that is best for you considering your situation depending on your fertility history, your age, etc.
Different types of donor sperm
The sperm donation is carried out at our facilities. When a sperm donor comes in to donate, the sperm sample is instantly taken to the laboratory, where it is analysed and prepared for use in fertility treatment. It is then put into so-called straws that are easy to freeze, store and thaw. All donor straws are clearly marked with the sperm donor name or number as well as the ejaculate number, and categorized according to the type and quality of the sperm.
At Cryos we offer two types of donor sperm: IUI and ICI. IUI donor sperm can be used for most fertility treatments, as this has been washed and prepared for use. ICI donor sperm is unprepared and contain all the natural fluids that are present in a normal ejaculate. This is ready to use for ICI treatment, but must be washed by your fertility clinic if used for other treatments such as IUI or IVF.
The donor sperm is furthermore divided according to the motility, which is an expression of the quality or concentration of sperm cells. The higher the sperm motility, the more active sperm cells.
Which type and motility to use depends on which treatment you are having, as well as your clinic’s preferences. You can learn more about the difference between IUI and ICI straws here. However, we recommend that you always talk to your clinic about which type of donor sperm to choose.
Can I use donor sperm for home insemination?
Some people prefer to use donor sperm in home insemination, which means the insemination is carried out privately at home. However, Cryos International is a sperm bank in Denmark operating under Danish law, which does not allow delivery of donor sperm to private addresses for home insemination. This means, that if you order donor sperm from our international sperm bank in Denmark, only shipping to approved tissue centres, fertility clinics, hospital departments and authorized healthcare professionals is allowed.
Is it safe to use donor sperm?
All sperm donors at Cryos have been thoroughly screened and tested before being accepted as donors. After they start giving sperm donations, we continue to test them for infectious diseases on a regular basis. We only accept healthy young men with a high sperm quality, and due to the extensive screening, only about 5-10% of all applicants are approved as sperm donors. In other words, we are very careful to ensure that using donor sperm from Cryos is perfectly safe.
How much does donor sperm cost?
The price of donor sperm depends on the type of donor and the profile type you choose. The more you want to know about the donor, the higher the cost. The costs of getting pregnant with donor sperm also include treatment expenses and costs of fertility medication such as hormones.
Learn more about Cryos Sperm Bank prices and payment options here.
“We welcomed into the world our wonderful baby daughter. She is healthy, beautiful and truly extraordinary, and she has filled our home with joy and love. We would like to say thank you to Cryos for making this dream of ours a reality and we wish to express our gratitude to the sperm donor for his invaluable contribution to the growth of our family. Cryos has been professional, helpful and very well-organised, and we would recommend them to anyone. We wish the best of luck to all the hopeful moms and dads out there and keep our fingers crossed that they too can soon fulfil their dream of parenthood.”AGNIESZKA & MAGDALENAPOLAND
Why choose a sperm donor from Cryos?
At Cryos, we would be honoured to help you on your way to parenthood. We have more than 30 years of experience with cryopreservation of sperm, and we have highly skilled employees working to ensure high-quality donor sperm - all the way from donation to delivery at your fertility clinic.
- Our dedicated Customer Care Team is ready to help and support you on your journey
- We collaborate with professional fertility clinics all over the world
- You can get free access to see all donor profiles with Cryos
- You have the option to see our sperm donor photos which show the donors as adults
- We have very high standards for sperm donor screening and testing of all donors, which gives you the best chances of having a healthy child. Only about 5-10% of all donor applicants get approved with Cryos