Donor Sperm Insemination

If you need a sperm donor, donor sperm insemination is the simplest way to try for a baby.

Donor sperm insemination is a popular treatment for single women and same-sex couples. It need not involve fertility drugs unless you have irregular ovulation and is a faster treatment process than IVF with donor sperm.

Donor sperm insemination may be suitable for you if:

  • You are a single woman or same-sex couple

  • You are a couple with male factor fertility issues and need to use donor sperm

  • You have no female fertility issues that would prevent conception through insemination, such as tubal disease. Otherwise, IVF or ICSI with donor sperm may be your best option.

Who Are Our Sperm Donors?

Our sperm donors are healthy young men from the UK aged up to 41 who are fertility and health tested to the strictest regulations, for your best chance of pregnancy.

They donate to us through our own licensed Semovo sperm bank and are HFEA-registered and fully identifiable to your child in future.

Our donor sperm bank

Donor Sperm Insemination: How it works

Initial consultation

To make sure that insemination is the best option for you, we assess your medical history, perform an ultrasound scan of your pelvic organs and a hormone test. We may also advise further tests to examine your fallopian tubes. If your tubes are not normal you may be better off considering IVF with donor sperm. We will explain how treatment works, the chance of it working and talk you through the consent forms that need to be completed before treatment can start.


Using donor sperm has special implications for you, your partner if you have one and your future child. Our counsellors will explain these to you before treatment begins, so you are prepared for the future and can legally consent to having a family this way. We do recommend being open with your child in future about how they came to be born, in a way that is appropriate for their age. Our counsellors will be able to direct you to resources to support you in this.

Choosing your sperm donor

We have an extensive choice of sperm donors who have been screened and tested in accordance with national regulations. Our dedicated Donation Team will help you find your ideal sperm donor from our UK sperm donor bank, using detailed donor profiles.

Insemination natural cycle

If you ovulate regularly, we are likely to recommend treatment in a natural cycle. Many women can monitor their ovulation conveniently at home using urine ovulation tests - we will guide you on how to use these. In some cases, the urine test is not suitable, and we advise ultrasound scans and blood tests to monitor ovulation. We usually perform the insemination the day after you get a positive result on the ovulation test.

Insemination stimulated cycle

If your ovulation is irregular, we will discuss medication to help you ovulate. If you are prescribed this, we monitor you by ultrasound scans and blood tests. This is so that we can tell when you are about to release an egg ready to fertilise, so that we can ensure insemination is performed at exactly the right time.

Insemination procedure

Sperm from your chosen donor is carefully washed and prepared and gently inserted into the uterus using a fine catheter. Our fertility nurses will be by your side to help take care of you before and after. After short rest you are able to leave the clinic and carry on with your normal activities.

Pregnancy test

Two weeks after insemination, you will do a urine pregnancy test at home. If this is positive, we arrange an early pregnancy scan at around seven weeks after your last menstrual period. If the pregnancy is seen to be developing normally on this scan, we discharge you and ask you to see your GP to arrange antenatal care. You have the option to reserve more sperm from your donor to grow your family in the future by have sibling children. Sometimes, the initial pregnancy scan may not be conclusive and we will advise further scans and blood tests depending on what is appropriate. If the scan diagnoses a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy, further care needs to be in a hospital early pregnancy unit. You may choose to attend your local hospital for this, or we can speak to your GP to arrange the most suitable option for you.

Pregnancy scan

If the pregnancy is seen to be developing normally on this scan, we discharge you and ask you to see your GP to arrange antenatal care. You have the option to reserve more sperm from your donor to grow your family in the future. 

Scan results

Sometimes, the initial pregnancy scan may not be conclusive and we will advise further scans and blood tests depending on what is appropriate. 

Learning Centre

Visit our Learning Centre to explore our patient guides, blogs and resources all about treatment with donor sperm.

Learning Centre

Donor sperm insemination FAQs

How long should we be trying for a baby before we get fertility help?

Some couples get pregnant quickly and easily, others can take a lot longer. There is no set point to seek fertility help, although generally many people turn to their GP if they have not conceived after a year of trying for a baby. 

What can be done to help improve a low or poor sperm count, or improve poor sperm quality?

There are no effective, simple measures to instantly improve sperm quality. However, adopting a healthy lifestyle is beneficial so men should not smoke or drink excessive amounts of alcohol. It’s a myth that wearing loose underwear can help improve sperm quality or count.

How do we find the best fertility clinic for us?

Firstly visit the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s website (HFEA) for a list of registered clinics local to you. Then ring up the fertility clinic and ask for brochures or information, or visit the clinic’s website. Don’t be afraid to go and tour the clinic. At Manchester Fertility you can book in for an informal, free 'one-to-one' appointment so that you can come and visit us, our friendly team will be on hand to answer any questions you might have.

When do I start to pay for fertility treatment? Do you offer free fertility consultations?

Fertility treatment costs start at the point of an initial consultation with one of our fertility consultants. As we are a private clinic we do not offer free fertility consultations. View our prices page for more information about our fees and charges. 

How much does IVF or fertility treatment cost?

IVF costs vary depending on which clinic you choose. You will need to pay for the initial consultation, any pre-treatment tests or scans, and then for the actual treatment itself and any necessary medications. For more details, see our prices page. 

Does my BMI and weight affect IVF treatment?

To undergo IVF treatment it's not about your weight but your BMI. If you're struggling to do find work out your BMI, try this handy online BMI calculator

Generally to receive IVF treatment on the NHS your BMI needs to be over 19 and under 30. To request IVF treatment with Manchester Fertility your BMI needs to be over 19 and under 35.

How can I get an appointment with Manchester Fertility?

You do not need a referral for an appointment with us. You can self-refer.

What IVF success has Manchester Fertility had?

Manchester Fertility has been at the forefront of IVF technologies since we opened over 30 years ago. Back then, IVF was a fairly new development, but it is now used the world over. We now welcome hundreds of new patients each year and have seen over 5,000 babies born thanks to the skill and expertise of our team.

We are continuously looking at new ways to overcome fertility issues, through dedicated research, to make sure our patients always benefit from the latest fertility treatments available. 

I’m in a same-sex relationship and we would like to have a family. Can you help us?

Yes, we welcome many same-sex couples through our doors for pregnancy help, in fact we have a great reputation for it - whether you need surrogacy, a donor egg or donor insemination. For information about the fertility treatments we offer to help you, visit our donation section

I already have a child but I am having problems getting pregnant again. Is there something wrong with me?

Secondary infertility – the inability to have a second or third child despite have a successful pregnancy before – is not uncommon. But you may be worrying over nothing. Remember, infertility isn’t defined until you have been having regular, unprotected intercourse for up to two years without falling pregnant, so it could just be that this time it’s taking longer than before to conceive. Your age could also be a factor, remember that fertility starts to decline from age 30 onwards and even more so from age 35. But if you think you need fertility help, don’t hesitate seeing your GP or contact us,

Can I get IVF treatment on the NHS?

Local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) decide whether to fund IVF (in vitro fertilisation) treatment on the NHS. Guidance from National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that up to three IVF cycles should be available on the NHS if:

  • the woman is aged between 23 and 39 at the time of treatment, and
  • one or both of you has been diagnosed with a fertility problem (such as having no sperm or both fallopian tubes blocked), or
  • you have been infertile for more than three year

Women aged 40-42 who have not conceived after two years of regular, unprotected sex or after 12 cycles of artificial insemination should be offered one IVF cycle if the following criteria are met:

  • they have never previously had IVF treatment
  • there has no evidence fertility problems due to a low amount of eggs (low ovarian reserve)
  • there has been a discussion of the risks of IVF and pregnancy at this age

Implementation of this guidance by CCGs currently varies as it is only guidance and not mandatory and some CCGs apply additional criteria that affect access to NHS-funded IVF treatment. You can find out more on the NHS website

Do you offer fertility treatment via the NHS?

No, we do not offer fertility treatment on the NHS as we are a wholly private fertility clinic. However certain Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will consider allowing you to transfer the funding for your NHS IVF cycles to us. If you’re eligible for fertility treatment on the NHS, you may be able to Transferring your NHS funded IVF treatment unit but would firstly need to discuss this with your CCG.  More information can be found from Fertility Network UK.

Is there a waiting list for fertility treatment at Manchester Fertility?

No, there is no waiting list for fertility treatment with us. This includes IVF treatment, donor sperm, donor eggs, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), ovulation induction and intrauterine insemination. We also have our own successful egg-sharing programme.

I want to get pregnant but I’m over 40 years of age, can you help me conceive?

Yes, we do infertility procedures for women up to the age of fifty. However, you need to consider the fact that live birth rates for older women in their mid-40s, who wish to use their own eggs to conceive, is generally extremely low. Your options will include ovarian stimulation, and intrauterine insemination or IVF. Dependent upon your individual case, you may need to consider using donor eggs to get pregnant. For more details, call us on 0161 300 2730. You can also read our Guide for Older Women.

What hours are you open?

Being flexible with our opening times is vital for our patients at Manchester Fertility. We always aim to see you at times convenient to you. Our current opening times are shown on our contact page. You will always see the most appropriate staff member for your needs.

What is the EmbryoGlue Treatment you offer?

EmbryoGlue is not a treatment we charge extra for – we use it as a supplement to the culture media used in the development of your embryo in our laboratory. We started using it because studies have shown it helps improve the chances of pregnancy by encouraging your embryo to implant successfully. It is a culture medium that mimics the natural molecules and fluids you’d find in your own body if you were going through pregnancy naturally.

Your embryo is placed into the EmbryoGlue just prior to transfer – and the properties it contains helps the embryo ‘stick’ to your uterus. Once an embryo transfer is carried out, we can never guarantee it will successfully implant for pregnancy – but 13 separate studies have concluded that the use of EmbryoGlue, thanks to its high levels of hyaluronan, increases both clinical pregnancy rates and live births. And so we now use EmbryoGlue for all embryo transfers at no extra cost to you. For more information about EmbryoGlue, you can visit this link.

"Thank you to the whole team in helping us to achieve our dream."

Ioana and Larisa, Jul 2018

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