same sex female couple with baby after sperm donation treatment

IVF using a Sperm Donor

With our own sperm bank, Manchester Fertility is a leading UK fertility clinic if you need to find a sperm donor. Explore your treatment options, costs and learn more about our sperm donors.

Using a sperm donor to have a baby

Treatment with donor sperm involves either donor sperm insemination – also known as IUI with donor sperm - or IVF with donor sperm. 

We typically suggest that those using donor sperm have ICSI as part of their treatment.

At Manchester Fertility, we can offer you access to traceable and health-screened UK sperm donors from our own sperm donor bank. During your treatment, you are supported by our caring and experienced team every step of the way, from choosing your sperm donor to pregnancy test.

When is treatment with donor sperm recommended?

You may wish to use a sperm donor to conceive if:

  • You are a same-sex female couple and want to have a family
  • You are a single woman and want to try for a baby
  • You cannot conceive because of male infertility
  • There is a high risk of passing on a genetic abnormality or condition on the male side

What is donor sperm insemination?

Donor sperm insemination, also known as Intrauterine Insemination or IUI, is a simple and quick way to try for a baby using donor sperm. Usually performed without the use of fertility medication, a typical cycle of treatment takes just four weeks. It involves placing donor sperm into your uterus around the same time that you naturally ovulate. You can take a pregnancy test two weeks later.

If IUI is not suitable for you, it is also possible to use donor sperm in treatments like In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF).

What is IVF with donor sperm?

If IVF with donor sperm is the best option for you, we use tailored doses of fertility drugs to stimulate your ovaries to produce mature eggs. The eggs are then fertilised with sperm from your chosen donor.

The best resulting embryo will be selected for transfer. If you have more than one good embryo you can freeze the remainder to use in future treatment cycles.

Partners/Reciprocal IVF with donor sperm for same-sex couples

We also offer a variation of IVF with donor sperm for same-sex couples. Partners or Reciprocal IVF – also known as ‘Shared Motherhood’ – allows both of you to be physically involved in the creation and birth of your baby.

It is the same process as IVF with donor sperm but uses the eggs of one of you to create the embryo, whilst the other partner has the embryo transfer, carries the baby and gives birth.

What is the process of using donor sperm?


Pre-treatment investigations

We perform pre-treatment tests to assess your fertility, health and lifestyle, including viral screening. These tests help us to determine which type of treatment is best for you, either IVF, or ICSI with donor sperm insemination.



Your fertility consultant will explain the treatment process and our patient advisors will provide you with a fully costed and transparently-priced treatment plan.


Counselling support

All patients using donor sperm are required to have counselling. Our experienced and friendly counsellors will talk you through all the implications of using a sperm donor to conceive so that you can make an informed decision and consent to treatment.


Choosing your sperm donor

Semovo will provide you with a choice of sperm donors that match your preferences from our own UK-wide sperm donor bank.



You will start your IVF/ICSI treatment with donor sperm from your chosen donor and will be booked for your treatment once your cycle has commenced.

How do I choose a sperm donor?


Sperm donor characteristics

When choosing a sperm donor many recipients think about characteristics they would like their child to have, such as skin, hair or eye colour, or height.  For some the donor’s culture, education or profession is important.  Others are more than happy to see the range of donor profiles we have at that particular time. 

As this is your chance at your dream, we will work with you to find a donor to suit you and secure your donor sperm for now and the future.


Sperm donor matching

You will have access to all of the donors that are currently available for your treatment type, so you can make your choices based on the characteristics that are important to you.  As well as their physical appearance, our donor profiles will contain lots of other personal information to help you choose, such as:

  • A pen picture written by the donor, describing themselves and their life in their own words
  • Career and educational background
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Their reasons and motivations for donating
  • A goodwill message to your child, which you can show your child in future

If you have a strong preference for a donor, it is best to express your interest straight away.  Also, if you have a desire for siblings we can also look into securing your donor stock for the future.


Sperm donor confirmation

Remember, our friendly team is here to answer any questions you may have so that you are confident in your donor choice. When you (or you and your partner) have a chosen donor (or perhaps donors) you can let our team know so we can secure your donor sperm for treatment.

Why choose us for treatment with donor sperm?

We are one of the UK’s most experienced clinics for treatment with donor sperm. Our national Semovo sperm bank is one of the largest in the UK, which means the widest choice of sperm donors are available to suit you.  All our donors live in the UK and our teams knows and personally manages each and every sperm donor from our network of UK sperm bank locations.

All our sperm donors:

  • Are men aged under 46 years old
  • Have high-quality sperm (confirmed by semen analysis)
  • Are health screened according to the UK’s strict regulation (including infectious diseases and common hereditary conditions)
  • Can be identifiable to your child at the age of 18, giving your child the opportunity to learn about their genetic origins and contact their donor in future, if they wish to
  • Are available for family-slot reservation for future siblings if sperm stock is available and your treatment is successful*

*Due to the demand of UK sperm donors, we recommend that you express your interest straight away if you have a strong preference for a donor. This way we can advise on availability for future siblings.

Useful links

Here are some useful external websites for more information about using a sperm donor to conceive:

What does the package include?

Donor sperm insemination

Donor sperm insemination with Manchester Fertility includes:

  • Access to online consents platform
  • Access to patient support app
  • Electronic Witnessing
  • Donor Sperm
  • Sperm preparation
  • Insemination procedure in our theatre
  • HFEA Licence Fee
  • Pregnancy scan
  • Follow up consultation 

IVF/ICSI with donor sperm

IVF with donor sperm costs includes:

  • Access to online consents platform
  • Access to patient support app
  • Electronic Witnessing
  • Donor Sperm
  • Cycle planning
  • Prep appointment for injection teaching
  • Monitoring bloods tests during your cycle
  • Monitoring scans during your cycle
  • Sedation for egg collection
  • Ultrasound guided egg collection
  • Preparation of donor sperm for ICSI
  • Insemination of eggs with donor sperm
  • EmbryoGlue
  • Advanced Embryology: embryo culture up to blastocyst stage
  • Embryoscope to monitor embryo development - fertilisation to transfer
  • Embryo transfer/Embryo freeze(1)
  • HFEA Licence Fee
  • Embryo freezing and storage for 1 year
  • Pregnancy scan
  • Follow up consultation after a failed cycle

Using a sperm donor FAQs

Why should I have donor sperm treatment at a clinic?

UK fertility regulator the HFEA advises that it is always safer to have treatment with donor sperm at a licensed clinic. Using sperm from an unregulated source - such as private online sperm advertisements – for DIY home insemination carries significant risks including:

  • Risks to your health and that of your baby: A private sperm donor is unlikely to have had any medical checks, disease screening or a sperm analysis.
  • Potential parental rights: Your sperm donor could be the legal father of your child, giving him parental rights and all that this entails, depending on how insemination was carried out and whether you’re married or in a relationship at the time.
  • Pregnancy chances: Identifying the right time for insemination yourself can be very hit-and-miss, especially if you have irregular cycles. There is also the risk of infection from trying to perform home insemination yourself.

By having donor sperm treatment at a clinic, you can be sure that your sperm donor has been health screened and that his sperm is safe for your use. Treatment at a clinic is also optimised for your best chance of pregnancy, and your sperm donor is just that – he has no legal parental rights over your child. For more information, visit

If you are considering home insemination because of the cost of treatment at a clinic, take a look at our discounted IUI with donor sperm package. It gives you up to three cycles of insemination at a significant saving, compared to paying for treatment as you go along.

What are Manchester Fertility sperm donors screened for?

All our sperm donors have undergone rigorous health screening in accordance to strict HFEA regulations, which includes tests for:

  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Karyotype for chromosome abnormalities
  • Blood-related hereditary conditions such as Sickle Cell Anaemia and Tay Sachs
  • HIV 1 and 2
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HTLV I and II
  • Syphilis
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Chlamydia
  • Cytomegalovirus

Sperm donors are re-screened every six months and again before samples are released for use.

Where do Manchester Fertility’s sperm donors come from?

All our sperm donors are recruited through our own nationwide sperm donor programme, Semovo. Semovo has sperm banks across the country in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Glasgow and London, giving you the most extensive choice of sperm donors for your treatment, from right across the UK.

What if donor sperm insemination does not work for me?

Some women may need multiple cycles of donor sperm insemination to conceive. If donor sperm IUI is unsuccessful for you after a number of cycles, your treatment will be reviewed by your consultant with further investigations performed if necessary. You may be advised to move onto IVF/ICSI with donor sperm.

What if I have found my own sperm donor?

If you have a friend who is willing to donate his sperm to help you conceive, it’s called ‘known donation’ and it’s typically a longer process than using a sperm donor from our Semovo sperm bank.

Your sperm donor will be required to have health screening, a semen analysis and counselling too. Even though you know your sperm donor, it’s still important that his donation and your treatment happens through a licensed clinic.

The law is complex in this instance so it’s essential that everyone involved understands the legalities and implications. We advise that you and your potential donor come in and talk to us in the first instance – book a free 1-2-1 or call us on 0161 300 2730.

What can I find out about my sperm donor?

Although sperm donors and recipient patients are anonymous to each other, you will be given lots of detailed information about your donor.

Because we get to know our donors well, we can give you some personal insight as well as the information in your sperm donor’s profile, which includes:

  • Physical details: Such as height, weight, hair, eye colour, ethnicity
  • Hobbies & career: What your donor likes to do and the job he has
  • Pen picture: A personal ‘about me’ written by the donor. This is where your donor will go into detail about his outlook on life, personality, family background, current family life, the type of person he is and why he decided to donate sperm.
  • Goodwill message: Your sperm donor also writes a goodwill message to the child you may have, which you can show them someday.

If your treatment is successful you can also find out if your donor has helped anyone else to have a family and if your child has any donor siblings, via the HFEA.

Can I reserve sperm for sibling use?

Yes. If your treatment is successful, you can opt for family-slot reservation, subject to sperm availability. Sperm from your donor will be reserved for you to use in future, so that your children are related.

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