IVF with donor sperm or donor sperm insemination: Which is best?

3rd June 2016 in IVF

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices, prices or regulations.

If you need donor sperm to have a baby, you may be recommended to have either IVF with donor sperm, or donor sperm insemination.

But what are the differences? And which gives you the highest chance of a baby? Here we explain what each entails, and the benefits of each, so you can learn more about these very different types of treatment with donor sperm:

IUI with donor sperm (donor sperm insemination)

What it involves:Donor sperm insemination is usually carried out as a natural cycle, where insemination is timed for when you naturally ovulate.

We are able to pinpoint when ovulation happens, you then come into the clinic for insemination with donor sperm in our clinic theatre. You’ll be able to take a pregnancy test approximately two weeks later.

Why you may have this treatment:Many patients who need to use donor sperm – such as single women and same-sex couples – like to opt for donor sperm insemination, as it is a more natural approach with no use of fertility drugs, and is quicker treatment procedure than an IVF cycle.

We offer an exclusive Donor Sperm IUI package at Manchester Fertility, which gives you up to three cycles of donor sperm insemination at a fixed discounted rate, including your choice of sperm donor.

IVF with donor sperm

What it involves:IVF with donor sperm follows the same protocol as standard IVF. It involves the use of fertility drugs to stimulate your ovaries to produce mature eggs, which are fertilised following retrieval in our laboratory with sperm from the sperm donor you have chosen from our donor recruitment programme.

The best resulting embryo with the highest potential for pregnancy is selected for transfer, if you have more than one good embryo you can decide to freeze the remainder to use in future treatment cycles. This gives you the opportunity to grow your family in future, using the same sperm donor. We have excellent success rates for women undergoing Frozen Embryo Transfer, in 2015 49% of women under 35 achieved pregnancy, thanks to our techniques including ‘fast-freezing’ vitrification of embryos.

Why you may have this treatment:You may be recommended to have IVF with donor sperm if you’re an older woman using donor sperm. Having IVF involves us testing your ovarian reserve (the number of eggs you have remaining) and gives us valuable information about the likely quality of resulting embryos.

Donor sperm IVF and Insemination success rates

IVF with donor sperm typically has a higher success rate, but when comparing one cycle of IVF with a course of donor sperm inseminations the results are often not dissimilar.

When planning treatment with donor sperm, an individualised approach is vital. IVF with donor sperm may be the best option for some women, whilst for others it may be donor sperm insemination.

Your Manchester Fertility consultant will take into account factors such as your medical history, age and response to any previous cycles of treatment you may have had before, when recommending which treatment option is right for you that gives you the highest chance of success.

All treatment decisions will be made in consultation with you, so you’re fully aware of what treatment involves and your likely outcome, along with transparent costs.

We have an extensive selection of UK-based sperm donors for you to choose from, all with detailed profiles, and you’ll be supported every step of the way by our dedicated Donation Team.

If you’d like to get started, speak to our Donation Team directly on 0161 300 2737 or make an appointment.


Last updated: 16th April 2021