What is Donor Insemination?
Donor Insemination (DI) is a fertility procedure in which frozen donor sperm is thawed and inserted into a woman’s uterus, by Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI), directly around the time of ovulation, in order to achieve a pregnancy.
What is involved in Donor Insemination?
Donor Insemination (DI) involves the insertion of semen, obtained from a donor, into the uterus of a woman in order to achieve pregnancy. The donor semen is stored in liquid nitrogen and is thawed on the day of the procedure. The insemination is usually carried out by your treating clinician or a fertility nurse and lasts for approximately 15 minutes. Most women describe it to be simple and painless, similar to a pap smear. Normal daily activities can be resumed after the procedure. Once pregnancy occurs, it is no different from a pregnancy conceived naturally. There is no increase in the complications of pregnancy or delivery because of the insemination procedure.
What you need to be aware of when undergoing Donor Insemination (DI)
As per any medical procedure, there are some potential risks that come with the treatment.
Whilst these risks are minimal, it is important for you to be aware of them and to keep an eye out for any unusual symptoms following the treatment. Remember you are not alone through this process, and if you have any concerns at all please contact your fertility nurse.
- Infection: this may be more common in women with a history of pelvic infection.
- Overstimulation: some women may experience an excessive response from their ovaries to the fertility medication.
- Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. It occurs in a minority group of women who over-respond. Symptoms include severe discomfort, nausea, vomiting, abdominal distension, and dehydration. It is important that the clinic is notified immediately if any of these symptoms occur during your treatment, as hospitalisation may be required.
- Multiple pregnancy: this has been shown to occur in up to 10 percent of women. If there are too many follicles seen on ultrasound prior to the IUI procedure, the risk of multiple pregnancy may be too high and the procedure may be cancelled.
- Failed procedure: in a small number of cases, it is not possible to place the catheter into position through the cervix and the sperm cannot be inserted into the uterine cavity.