Donor sperm insemination is a very common fertility treatment, popular with single women, same-sex couples and heterosexual couples who want a baby.

It works by putting donor sperm close to the egg in the hope that it fertilises and you become pregnant. Although it seems simple, there’s actually much more to it than just a quick insemination procedure at the fertility clinic. Here’s how donor sperm insemination – or donor sperm IUI - works:

Preparing donor sperm for insemination

You’ve chosen your Semovo sperm donor, but his sperm can’t just be used straight away. After thawing, it has to be carefully prepared for insemination. It’s specially ‘washed’ in the clinic laboratory in a special solution that gives sperm all the nutrients it needs to be healthy and viable for fertilisation.

Natural or stimulated cycle?

Did you know donor sperm insemination can be carried out in two ways? Natural cycle IUI aims to fertilise the egg you naturally ovulate each month. If you have irregular ovulation, a tailored dose of fertility drugs can be in conjunction with donor sperm IUI to ensure you have a mature egg to fertilise.

Donor sperm insemination timing

Insemination is carefully and accurately timed for when you’re ovulating in a natural cycle, usually identified through ovulation prediction kits that measure the amount of LH – luteinising hormone - in your urine. LH rises just before ovulation happens.

If you’re having a stimulated cycle using fertility drugs, ovulation is usually pinpointed using scans.

The donor sperm insemination procedure

Insemination is a short and painless procedure. Donor sperm is inserted close to your uterus in the clinic by a trained consultant. You’ll be able to go home afterwards. You can carry on with your normal routine, there’s nothing you need to do - or not do - but many women like to take it easy in the days after insemination. Your clinic will give you full follow-up and pregnancy test instructions.


As you’re using donor sperm to conceive, you’ll be offered counselling by your fertility clinic. Implications counselling is offered to all patients using donor sperm, so you understand all the different aspects of using donor sperm – such as your rights and legal parenthood, your donor’s rights and what they can know, and the rights of any child you have.

All donor-conceived people have the right to apply to find out who their donor is when they turn 18, if they wish to.

Taking a pregnancy test after donor sperm insemination

You’ll be able to take a pregnancy test around two weeks after your insemination procedure. If it’s positive, you have the option to reserve further sperm samples from your chosen Semovo donor for future use, in case you decide to add to your family in future and would like to use the same donor.

If your test is negative, you’ll typically have a follow-up with your fertility consultant where your treatment path and outcome is reviewed. Remember it may take a course of inseminations to achieve pregnancy, just as it can take a few attempts to conceive naturally.

Start your family with a Semovo sperm donor

Take the safe option to pregnancy with a Semovo sperm donor. We have donor sperm from health-screened, HFEA-registered and identifiable UK-based sperm donors ready to send to your fertility clinic for your treatment.

All you need to do is tell us who your ideal sperm donor is and we’ll provide you with matches from our donor database and detailed donor profiles to help you choose.  Get started here.