THERAPEUTIC DONOR INSEMINATION


Therapeutic donor insemination (TDI) is an IUI treatment service provided by our Virginia fertility clinic. Sperm samples are obtained from one of several sperm banks. We recommend the California Cryobank CCB (800-231-3373) - you will be given their brochure. You may also use Fairfax Cryobank (800-338-8407), Pacific Reproductive Services (888-469-5800), Seattle Sperm Bank (800-709-1223), Cryogenic Laboratories (651-489-8000), or Cryos International (212-430-5950). If you wish to use another sperm bank you must make special arrangements by calling our laboratory director: Dr. Thomas at
434-654-8530.

Sperm banks screen donors for genetic and infectious diseases - like hepatitis, gonorrhea and HIV. Donor sperm samples are frozen and donors are retested after six months to prevent disease transmission - see the sperm bank brochure for details.

One of the infections that all donors are tested for is cytomegalovirus (CMV). This information is displayed in the donor catalog from the CCB (it is on the Fairfax Cryobank Web site and available as a separate document from NECC). CMV is a common virus - similar to the virus that causes chickenpox.

Approximately 50% of adults in this country have been affected by this virus, usually it does not cause symptoms and the infection results in the presence of antibodies in the blood. If you do not have immunity to CMV, using a sperm sample from a donor who is CMV antibody positive (either IgG or IgM antibodies) creates a small but real risk of CMV causing a dangerous infection in the newborn. The precise degree of risk is unknown-it is very low.

We require that you select only sperm samples that are CMV negative. If the only sperm sample that matches your specific ethnic or racial needs is CMV positive, let us doctor know and we will discuss the situation. For more information about CMV you may look on the Centers for Disease Control Website.

The state-of-the-art method for donor insemination is placement of the sperm sample into the uterus-called intrauterine insemination (IUI). Sperm samples must be processed in the laboratory before this treatment. That process is called "sperm washing". You will select either an IUI or ICI (intracervical) sperm sample. IUI designated samples have already been washed. ICI samples have not been washed and can be done here in our laboratory.

We encourage you to purchase IUI ready samples-it is easier for us and ends up costing you less in fees. When specimens are "washed" in our laboratory human serum albumin (HSA) is used as a source of protein for the process. The presence of protein improves the quality of the sperm sample. HSA is derived from the noncellular component of human blood that has been sterilized. There has never been a documented case of disease transmission related to the use of HSA.

Risks of TDI: there is a less than 1% risk of developing an infection in the uterus and fallopian tubes with any IUI procedure (this is unrelated to testing for the various infections noted above).

Scheduling TDI:

Insemination is performed just prior to ovulation. This is determined either by an ovulation predictor kit or by a hormone injection directed by your physician.

Ovulation predictor kits can be purchased from most pharmacies. Most of our patients like Clear Blue Digital. Follow the kit instructions and call in when the kit "changes". (If you do not see kit change by the expected midcycle time, call in and we will see you for a sonogram.) You will be given an appointment for insemination. The procedure takes 15 minutes and is painless. You may resume normal activity thereafter. Insemination may be done on the first day of kit change or the second-the first day is probably preferable.

Using two donor samples probably increases your chance for conception-you may do insemination on two consecutive days or use two samples for one insemination. Patients usually start out purchasing one sample and if conception does not occur promptly then consider buying two.

To schedule insemination call our office (434-654-8520) between 8am and 9am weekdays and between 7am and 8am on weekends (please do not call before 7am). We do these procedures 362 days a year-taking off Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. When you call on the weekend our answering service will respond and we will call you back.

On the day of insemination you will pick up the sample from our laboratory-just down the hall from our office. We request that you have a photo ID and know your donors number.

Important Points:

  • Order prewashed or IUI ready samples
  • Order only CMV negative samples
  • Have donor samples delivered to us on weekdays
  • Call between 8am and 9am weekdays, 7am to 8am weekends when your predictor kit changes to schedule insemination

Shipping Address for our Laboratory:

Martha Jefferson Reproductive Technology Laboratory
595 Martha Jefferson Drive, Suite 300
Charlottesville, VA 22911
434-654-8530