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Considering Donor Sperm

What Are the Success Rates Using Donor Sperm?

A number of factors will come into play with the success rates for donor insemination, such as the age of the female recipient and whether there are any female fertility problems (like tubal disease, ovulatory dysfunction, or endometriosis). The highest success rates are reported in women who have no infertility problems, are younger than 35 years old, and whose partner has azoospermia (no sperm). If there is a fertility problem with the woman, such as ovulation problems or endometriosis, or if the woman is older than 35, then the success rates are lower.
 
In general, the monthly chance of pregnancy ranges from 8 percent to 15 percent. However, over many cycles, the success rates for pregnancy with donor insemination can be up to 60 percent to 80 percent. One study showed that the overall cumulative pregnancy rate was 86 percent in the IUI inseminations and 49.5 percent in pericervical inseminations. However, these rates may increase with two inseminations per cycle and correct timing of the insemination.
 
When conceiving with donor insemination, the risk for birth defects is no different than with natural conception and is in the range of 2 percent to 4 percent.
 
If a woman has not become pregnant after several cycles, her healthcare provider may recommend a closer evaluation. In some cases, this may mean having a hysterosalpingogram, a laparoscopy, and hysteroscopy to ensure that there are no adhesions or signs of endometriosis. The evaluation may also include an endometrial biopsy during the luteal (post-ovulatory) portion of the cycle, as well as blood tests to check progesterone levels. Your healthcare provider may also order hormonal tests and ultrasound monitoring of follicular development.
 
In cases where there may be a female fertility problem, ovulation-stimulating drugs such as clomiphene or injectable gonadotropins can be used. These medications can help to time ovulation and the insemination to increase the likelihood of a successful pregnancy.
 
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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