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Treatment using donated sperm

What is an IUI treatment using donated sperm?

Intra-uterine insemination using donated sperm, known as IUI-D for short, is the insertion (insemination) of processed donated sperm into the uterus (intra-uterine). IUI can increase your chances of conception if, in case of a heterosexual couple, the man is infertile or a carrier of a hereditary disease he doesn’t want to pass on to his child.

IUI increases your chances of conceiving by inserting the most viable sperm cells into the upper region of the uterus, at the right time in your menstrual cycle. This ensures that the sperm cells are released closer to the oocyte and that they won’t need to manage to get past the barrier that is the cervix. Fertilization will take place inside the woman’s body (usually inside the fallopian tube). After fertilization, the oocyte will lodge in the uterus and the pregnancy will start to develop naturally from there.

For single women and lesbian couples, IUI-D is a safe option to fulfill their desire to have children.

Who needs an IUI treatment using donated sperm?

We recommend undergoing an IUI treatment using donated sperm to:

  • Couples in which the man is infertile;
  • Couples where the man is a carrier of a (severe) hereditary issue;
  • Single women;
  • Lesbian couples.

IUI treatment using donated sperm

The MCK Fertility Center has an internal sperm bank. However, the demand for sperm is higher than the supply, causing waiting times of roughly a year.

Due to this, we limit single-mother applications by zip code. You can only use sperm from our sperm bank if you live in zip code area 2200-2899.

If you want to start a fertility treatment using donor sperm from our sperm bank, the first step is to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians or nurses for an intake. If so desired, you can also schedule an appointment with our fertility counselor to help guide you through the process.

If you’re eligible to use donated sperm, you’ll be added to our waiting list. You’ll be offered a donor when we have one available who suits your needs. If you accept this offer, there will be a starting consultation, during which your treating nurse or physician will explain the treatment to you in further detail.

IUI treatment using a personal donor

It’s possible to do an IUI treatment using a personal donor of your own choosing at the MCK Fertility Center.

The first step is an intake consultation with one of our physicians or nurses, and the woman or the couple intending to use the sperm. If the prospective parents are eligible for a treatment at our fertility center, we’ll schedule an intake with the donor they chose.

One of our physicians will discuss the donor’s medical history with him, as well as the reasons he decided to donate. In addition to that, both the donor and the prospective parent(s) will have a consultation with our fertility counselor.

Because of safety regulations, inseminations using donated sperm are done using frozen sperm. That way, we can prevent the transfer of infections. The donor will be screened for infectious diseases both before and after donating as dictated by current Dutch legislation. We always inspect the donated sperm to determine whether it is of high enough quality to be used in an IUI treatment. The sperm will only be used to do an insemination if the results of this screening are positive. 

You can read more about this in our information brochure on the storage of sperm for personal donors, and our information brochure on the course of action for personal donors. 

IUI treatment using sperm from a foreign sperm bank

The MCK Fertility Center often works with two foreign sperm banks (European Sperm Bank and Cryos).

The first step is an intake consultation with one of our physicians or nurses. If you’re eligible for treatment at the MCK Fertility Center, the MCK Fertility Center will provide further information on these sperm banks. The donors used at the MCK Fertility Center must be non-anonymous aka “open: donors. 

There is no waiting list to use donors from these sperm banks. 

It’s possible to enter the donated sperm into cryogenic storage at the MCK Fertility Center.

“Wet registratie donorgegevens kunstmatige bevruchting”

Since 2002, there’s been a law in the Netherlands called the ‘Wet Donorgegevens Kunstmatige Bevruchting’ (law on Donors’ Personal Details for Artificial Insemination). It states fertility centers must provide the names, dates of birth and addresses of both donors and donor sperm acceptors to the Stichting Registratie Donorgegevens (Donors’ Personal Details Registration Association). Donors need to be willing to reveal their identity if a child born from an insemination using that donor’s sperm reaches the age of 16 and wants to know. The child will need to submit that request to the Stichting.

If a child does so, the donor is allowed to present a reasoned objection, in which case a judge will decide. The law mentioned above also details that since June 2004, no sperm from anonymous donors can be frozen for use in insemination treatments. For current information, we refer you to the Stichting Registratie Donorgegevens’ website: www.donorgegevens.nl.

Emotional consequences

The emotional consequences of creating a family using donated sperm are unique to everyone, but in general, they’re specific to the patient group you’re a part of.

Cis-hetero couples often go through a grieving process when they find out they won’t be able to have a child genetically related to both parents. They’ve often examined multiple options (not having children, adopting a child, becoming foster parents or undergoing a fertility treatment using donated sperm). It’s important to leave the necessary space for this grieving process, and there may be a necessity for professional supervision and help during it.

These couples tend to struggle with being transparent regarding their choice to use donated sperm, toward their child as well as the people around them. We help guide these future parents, and inform them regarding the pros and cons of transparency before they start their treatment.

Lesbian couples have usually not experienced a traumatic experience such as that previous to choosing a treatment using donated sperm. They do, however, need to decide which parent will be pregnant (first). For lesbian couples, a desire to have children demands mutual trust and openness regarding the relationship. The “second mother” (the mother who won’t bear the child) may feel unsure regarding her parental role, due to the lack of a genetic and legislative bond with the child. Since 2014, however, the legislative position of the second partner has been more protected, in a law known as the ‘Wet juridisch ouderschap van de vrouwelijk partner’ (Law regarding legislative parental position of the female partner).

For most single women, becoming a single mother is not their first choice. In fact, it’s usually the opposite. Prior to deciding to undergo a fertility treatment using donated sperm, most single women seeking treatment have gone through a time during which they’ve had to face the inadvertent loss of the more traditional dream of having a family with a partner. It can be difficult to make the choice to do a treatment using donated sperm, instead. The path to becoming a single mother can be a lonely struggle at times. During the intake consultation, we’re interested in what made you choose to undergo a fertility treatment using donated sperm, and we’ll ask about your social network and support systems. If you feel the need for it, we do have a fertility counselor available. They’ll be able to guide you during a time where you’ll have to face some complicated choices which may decide the rest of your life.

At the start of a treatment, trying to conceive has to do with your mental as well as your physical wellbeing, and it’s important for you to pay attention to your mental health. It’s always possible to take a break in a series of IUI treatments if you need to. In addition to this, you’ll always be able to schedule an interim evaluation with your treating nurse or physician.

At the MCK Fertility Center, we feel it’s important to offer sufficient guidance when things may be difficult on an emotional level. You can simply schedule a (free) appointment with our specialized fertility counselor.

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