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Infertility and treatment, Donor sperm

How much sperm does it take to get pregnant? See Cryos' recommendations

How much donor sperm should you order

There are many factors to consider when using a sperm donor to fulfil your dream of a child. A question we often receive is how much sperm it takes to get pregnant. Here we share our recommendations regarding the amount of donor sperm to order for each type of fertility treatment.

In theory, it only takes on sperm cell to fertilize an egg and create a baby. But in fertility treatment with donor sperm, the answer to the question of how much sperm it takes to become pregnant is a bit different. When ordering donor sperm for fertility treatment, you receive the sperm in straws of 0.5 millilitre (some have 0.4 millilitre and comes with a discount), so the question we are going to answer is how many sperm straws you must order and not how much sperm it takes to become pregnant.

The amount of sperm it takes to become pregnant, depends on the type of fertility treatment and individual factors

When you ask us how much sperm it takes to get pregnant, there is no clear answer. It depends on individual factors, such as your age and your fertility. The number of straws you need for each fertility treatment to become pregnant depends on the type of treatment you are going to receive. Each fertility treatment is different and requires a different type or MOT of sperm straw.

The quality of each sperm straw is determined through their MOT (motility) level, which shows the number of active sperm cells per millilitre of sperm. It is possible to choose between MOT5, MOT10, MOT20, and MOT 30.

Besides MOT level, there are two different types of donor sperm: IUI and ICI sperm straws. The difference between IUI and ICI sperm is whether it has been washed or not. If a sperm straw has been washed, it means that the natural ejaculate fluid has been removed and a cryo-preservative has been added. IUI sperm has been washed and ICI has not, which means that they still contain the natural ejaculate fluid.

If you are interested in reading more about sperm motility and quality or the difference between IUI and ICI sperm straw, then follow the links to our pages on the subject.

How much sperm should I order for fertility treatment – Cryos recommends

  • IUI treatment: 1 x IUI straw MOT10 or higher
  • IVF treatment: 1 x IUI straw MOT5 or higher
  • ICSI treatment: 1 x IUI straw MOT5 or higher
  • ICI treatment: 2 x ICI or IUI straws MOT10
A fertility treatment with donor sperm in process

How many straws do you need for IVF?

In IVF treatment, the eggs are extracted from the ovaries and fertilized with the sperm cells in a laboratory. When purchasing donor sperm for IVF treatment we recommend using 1 x IUI straw MOT5. You can also use 1 x MOT10 straw or higher if your preferred donor only has those options available.

If your fertility clinic prefers to prepare the sperm at their premises, you can also choose ICI straws. If you order ICI straws, we recommend the following options per treatment: 2 x ICI straws with MOT10 or 1 x ICI straw with MOT20.

The amount of sperm straws needed to become pregnant with IVF or other types of fertility treatment differs very much from one person to another. It is possible to become pregnant with IVF treatment by only using 1 sperm straw, but in general we recommend you should expect 5-6 treatment cycles per pregnancy if you are treated at a fertility clinic.

How many straws do you need for ICSI?

ICSI treatment is a variation of IVF treatment where the eggs are extracted from the ovaries and a single sperm cell is inserted into each egg in a laboratory. ICSI is one of the most effective types of fertility treatment, which means that 1 x IUI straw MOT5 is sufficient.

When purchasing donor sperm for ICSI treatment, it is possible to use both IUI and ICI straws if your clinic can prepare the ICI sperm straws before treatment.

How many straws do you need for IUI?

In most cases, fertility treatment with donor sperm is intrauterine insemination – also called IUI. In IUI treatment a thin plastic tube is used to insert the donor sperm directly into the uterus.

For IUI we recommend ordering 1 x IUI straw MOT10 or higher. Like IVF treatment, some clinics have other preferences, and they might choose ICI straws. If your clinic prefers ICI straws, we recommend you choose either 4 straws with MOT5, 2 straws with MOT10, or 1 straw with MOT20.

How many straws do you need for ICI?

ICI treatment is the simplest type of artificial insemination with donor sperm, and it is also the type of fertility treatment used for home insemination. In ICI treatment, the donor sperm is placed in the vagina like normal intercourse and from there travels to the uterus to hopefully fertilize the egg.

For ICI treatment, we recommend you use 2 x IUI or ICI straws MOT10 or higher. Because the sperm is inserted in the vagina, we do not recommend you purchase MOT5 straws for ICI treatment.

A customer has ordered donor sperm and Cryos is packing the straws is a nitrogen tank

Remember to reserve straws for siblings

When you buy sperm for fertility treatment, we recommend that you reserve donor sperm from your chosen donor for your entire treatment. Most people will need more than one treatment before they become pregnant.

We also recommend reserving straws to use in the future if you wish to have genetic siblings for your child. Most people want to use the same donor for siblings, and by reserving donor sperm, you can make sure that your children are genetic related.

If you want to read more on reservation of donor sperm, then follow the link to our page on the subject.

Ask you fertility clinic

The main takeaway from this is that clinics may have different preferences and therefore, it is always a good idea to talk to your clinic before you order the donor sperm.

We hope that the article was helpful. If you have more questions before you order from our Sperm Donor Search, you are always welcome to contact Cryos’ Customer Care. We are ready to guide you. If you have not found the perfect fertility clinic for your treatment, we can recommend you to read this guide on how to find the right fertility clinic for you.