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Donor insemination (DI) - get started

Doctor holding a folderIf you are having problems getting pregnant, your first call should be to your GP. They will look at your medical history, give you a physical examination and recommend some tests and/or lifestyle changes.

Your GP can also refer you to see a specialist at your local hospital or fertility clinic.

If you’re in a hurry for treatment, donor insemination (DI) may be unsuitable for you because donor sperm is in short supply in many centres since removal of anonymity for donors. This can lead to delay while you are on a waiting list for treatment.


What to expect at the fertility clinic

When at the fertility clinic, your full fertility history will be taken and an examination carried out.

It may be that there are simple treatments that can be offered before DI needs to be considered.

If DI is indicated, your specialist will be able to refer you on to an appropriate Assisted Conception Unit. For more information, see:

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Other options available

If you have a male partner with a very low sperm count, you may want to discuss with your clinician the benefits of intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), compared with donor insemination.

ICSI has the advantage that when this method is successful, the child is genetically related to both parents.

Even if the sperm count is zero, it may in certain circumstances be possible to surgically retrieve sperm from the testicles and use those sperm for ICSI. 

However, donor insemination is both less expensive and less invasive than ICSI.

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Page last updated: 14 April 2009

Lifestyle & health

Fertility patient doing yogaImprove your chances of conception.

Factors besides your age - such as consumption of alcohol and caffeine, and whether or not you smoke - can affect your chances of becoming pregnant.

Improve your chances - lifestyle & health