Therapeutic Donor Insemination – How it Works

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Therapeutic donor insemination (TDI) helps couples facing significant sperm abnormality to conceive through IUI procedures. In this process, screened sperm from an anonymous donor is used instead of the male partner’s sperm thus making it a treatment of choice for those suffering from severe, untreatable male factor infertility or for males carrying a hereditary disease that may be dangerous to pass on to offspring. However, success rates of TDI decrease with increasing female age.

Who can benefit from TDI?

This procedure is recommended for couples who are experiencing male fertility problems such as:

  • Azoospermia (absence of sperm)
  • Poor sperm count and motility
  • Failed ICSI
  • Residual effects from chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Single women who wish to become pregnant

The TDI Process

In Therapeutic Donor Insemination, donor sperm that are thoroughly screened and frozen are inserted through a small catheter (tube) into the uterus at the time of ovulation. After the insemination is complete, the woman has to remain lying down for ten minutes or so. In two weeks a pregnancy test is conducted. Once pregnancy occurs, it is no different than one that occurs naturally with the same rate of complications as natural pregnancies.

Sometimes, couples undergoing IVF treatment fertilize the eggs with the help of donor sperm. Most couples try to find a donor who has a similar cultural background and religion.

Donor sperm specimens are frozen and quarantined for six months to ensure that the donor still tests negative for infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis after initial testing. This is necessary to make the specimen as safe as medically possible. The female is required to have a pelvic exam and is tested for sexually transmitted diseases and other diseases before undergoing TDI.

Infertility counseling is important for couples or women who consider TDI as a conception option in order to understand fully the immediate and long term psychological, emotional and social implication of using donor sperm.

East Bay Fertility Center located in Dublin, California, offers TDI as an infertility treatment option, adhering to the guidelines of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) regarding the use of donor sperm. Before proceeding with TDI, a complete examination and basic lab tests are performed.  Thorough screening of donor sperm is carried out as well.

East Bay’s experienced medical staff is headed by Dr. Ellen U. Snowden, Medical Director and physician. Dr Snowden is Board Certified in Obstetric, Gynecology, and Reproductive Endocrinology with advanced Fellowship training in the treatment of infertility, recurrent miscarriages and hormonal disorders in women. Call 925.828.9235 for a free initial consultation.

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