PrivateBlogGetting pregnant using a sperm donor in the UK
Donor sperm

Getting pregnant using a sperm donor in the UK

Pregnant woman showing her donor-conceived child

For many people, parenthood is one of the biggest hopes and dreams to achieve during their life. At Cryos, we want to help as many people achieve their dream of having a child, no matter their sexual orientation or relationship status. Read on to learn more about getting pregnant with donor sperm in the United Kingdom.

The process of getting pregnant using a sperm donor in the UK

When you have decided to become pregnant with the help of a sperm donor, there are a few steps for you to go through before the fertility treatment can begin. In this section, we explain every step of the process and what to be aware of:

Step 1 – Doctor’s appointment

Before you start looking for a sperm bank or a fertility clinic, you need to undergo a number of medical tests to ensure that you are healthy and able to carry the child. In the UK, it is also recommended, that you undergo counselling to discuss the potential thoughts and wishes your child may have later in life when using a sperm donor to get pregnant.

Step 2 – Finding the right fertility clinic

If you are mentally and physically healthy, you can proceed by beginning your search for a fertility clinic. We recommend that you spend some time researching different options since the fertility clinic will be an important part of your journey towards parenthood. Here are some factors you can take into consideration when choosing a fertility clinic:

  • Location
  • UK licenses and government approval
  • Success rate

If you want to read more about how to find the right fertility clinic for you, follow the link to our blog post 10 things to consider before choosing a fertility clinic.

Single Mother by Choice having an ultrasound done

Step 3 – Which type of fertility treatment to choose

In cooperation with your fertility clinic, you need to find the right type of fertility treatment for you. Two of the most popular treatment methods in the UK are IUI and IVF. The main difference between IUI and IVF is the treatment process:

  • In IUI treatment, fertility doctors use a small plastic needle to insert the donor sperm into the uterus at the time of ovulation. The treatment is nearly pain-free and completed in approximately 20 minutes. 
  • IVF treatment, on the other hand, is more complicated, since the woman’s eggs must be retrieved for fertilization. The egg is fertilized in a petri dish, where it hopefully develops into an embryo. If the development is successful, the embryo is transferred to the uterus.

The difference in method makes the cost of IVF treatment significantly higher than the cost of IUI treatment. Therefore, it is normal for single women and lesbian couples to start their fertility treatment with IUI when using a sperm donor to get pregnant. IVF treatment with donor sperm is recommended if the woman has experienced problems with fertility.

Step 4 – Finding the right sperm bank

Once you know how to proceed with your treatment, you need to find a sperm bank. Before choosing a sperm bank, we recommend you do your research and focus on banks with the following qualifications:

  • High-quality donor sperm
  • Many sperm donors available
  • Customer Care Consultant with knowledge about regulations in the UK
  • Different types of donor profiles
  • Thorough screening process

Other factors that might influence your choice of a sperm bank. Some fertility clinics cooperate with sperm banks, thereby offering a discount code on donor sperm. It is always a good idea to talk to your clinic and ask them if they have any recommendations regarding the choice of a sperm bank. 

Happy donor-conceived child with her head on her mothers belly

Finding the right sperm donor

Once you have found the right sperm bank, the exciting search for a sperm donor can begin. The process of finding a sperm donor in the UK is not that different compared to other countries. The main difference is in terms of legislation since only ID Release Donors are allowed in the UK. In our free Sperm Donor Search, you can see the donors available and filter them based on your preferences.

All the sperm donors available in our Donor Search have been screened thoroughly, both mentally and physically, to minimize the risk of a child or woman will inherit any disease from the donor. The donors have also spoken to a phycologist about the responsibility and meaning of being a sperm donor.

Sperm donor choices

We recommend, that you start by defining the most important criteria the donor must fulfil. One important factor to many of our customers is the donor’s physical appearance since many future parents want a child with a similar physical appearance as themselves or their partner.

There are two different types of Sperm Donor Profiles: Basic and Extended. Both profiles contain information about the donor’s physical appearance. Extended Profiles even contain childhood pictures of the donor and in some cases, it is possible to purchase access to see pictures of the sperm donors as adults.

Legal aspects of fertility treatment with donor sperm in the UK

It is important to understand that the process of using a sperm donor is highly regulated in the UK, and there are strict rules in place to protect both the donor and the recipient. This means that it is only possible to use sperm from an ID Release sperm donor (non-anonymous). It narrows your choice of donor, but do not worry, there are plenty of donors available, both Basic and Extended. If you want a donor with a Non-ID Release Profile, you need to change your treatment country (fertility tourism).

If you want to read more about the legal aspects of fertility treatment with donor sperm in the UK, follow the link to HFEA’s page on rules regarding donor information.

The economic aspect of fertility treatment with donor sperm

It is impossible to put a price tag on parenthood, but it is important to consider the financial aspect of fertility treatment with donor sperm before the process begins. Fertility treatment with donor sperm is often a costly affair and may require careful financial planning. Below we mention some of the aspects you can consider along the process to limit the cost of fertility treatment with donor sperm:

  • The cost of fertility treatments: When choosing a fertility clinic, you could focus on the cost of each fertility treatment or the availability of package deals. Some clinics also collaborate with a sperm bank, thus offering you a discount on their sperm donors.
  • Choosing a donor: Another way to focus on minimizing the cost of fertility treatment with donor sperm is in your choice of Donor Profile. Because the Extended Profile contains more information about the donor, the cost is higher. Therefore, if you want to limit the cost of purchasing donor sperm, you should choose a donor with a Basic Profile. 
  • Financial compensation: When having fertility treatment in the UK, it is possible to receive financial compensation. You are not guaranteed to receive compensation, as it is decided locally by Integrated Care Boards (ICBs). If you want to learn more about financial compensation, follow the link to HFEA’s page on Costs and funding.

If you want to read more about the prices of donor sperm at Cryos, you can follow the link to our prices and payment page.