Donor Sperm

Donor sperm can be used for Artificial Insemination or In Vitro Fertilization and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection. Prior to considering donor sperm IVF or IUI in Hawaii, you should contact our office for advice. The Fertility Institute of Hawaii stores sperm onsite as the Hawaii Sperm Bank.  We typically use sperm banks from the mainland for patients wanting to use donor sperm for intrauterine insemination or IVF in Hawaii.

The first step is to contact the Fertility Institute of Hawaii prior to considering donor sperm IVF in Hawaii.

All potential donor sperm patients and partners are thoroughly evaluated before receiving donor insemination. The female donor sperm recipient should generally be of normal fertility potential. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has implemented new mandatory regulations for patients utilizing donor sperm. The purpose of this regulation is to increase safety by minimizing any risk of transmission and spread of communicable diseases, as well as providing high quality care to the recipients of donated tissue.

Ordering Your Specimen

  • Purchase specimen from your selected sperm bank
  • Complete the Donated Sperm Acquisition form provided by the sperm bank and bring or fax to us (808.262.3744)

Samples are ordered from the sperm bank by the patient.  In order to save on shipping costs, some patients may order 3 or 4 samples so that they have enough for more than one cycle at a time. Usually one sample is sufficient for one insemination. Occasionally, your provider may recommend using two samples per insemination. For patients who are actively cycling with our office and attempting pregnancy, we will provide storage without additional charge.

Semen obtained from reputable sperm banks has undergone rigorous screening for sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and a health risk questionnaire is completed by the donor and reviewed by trained personnel. The semen is frozen and quarantined for six months and the donor is then re-tested for STDs. If he is not infected, the semen samples are made available for artificial insemination (AI).

Types of Donor sperm samples

Donor semen samples used for insemination must be processed, or “washed”, in order to separate the seminal plasma from the sperm. Washed (or IUI) samples are processed by the sperm bank and contain no semen. Unwashed samples, also called Intracervical Insemination (ICI) samples, contain semen and must be washed by our Laboratory on the day of your insemination in order for placement into the uterus. Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) samples are now being offered by some sperm banks. These samples have lower total motile sperm and may only be used with IVF (in vitro fertilization). We would always recommend washed (processed) samples for purchase and use.

Shipping Your Specimen

Please coordinate the shipping of the donor sperm specimens with our office and inform us of when your samples will be arriving. This is imperative so that someone will be available to receive your samples upon arrival.

Samples need to arrive between 8:00am and 4:00pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. There can be no weekend or holiday deliveries.

Consent Signing and Risks

Patients who use donor sperm samples for their infertility treatment must sign consents related to the storage and use of donor sperm.

The chance of obstetrical complications, spontaneous abortion (miscarriage), and having a child with physical or mental defects is the same with Therapeutic Donor Insemination (TDI) as with a pregnancy conceived after intercourse. Donors’ family histories have been reviewed by medical geneticists to eliminate those with a higher than average risk of passing known major genetic defects to their offspring. This screening, however, in no way entirely eliminates all risk to the offspring of genetic defect(s).

Although extensive precautions have been taken to minimize the chance of infection, there remains some risk, although very slight, of contracting an infection from TDI. Included are such sexually transmitted infections as hepatitis, herpes, Chlamydia, gonorrhea, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), and others. The use of frozen semen from an approved bank carries a theoretically minimal risk of transmitting infection since the frozen samples are held in quarantine while donors are re-tested for infection.


It may be important to have the recipient’s Cytomegalovirus (CMV) status determined prior to choosing the sperm donor in order to decrease the chances of an infant being affected by a primary CMV infection in the mother.

A female who has never been exposed to CMV does NOT have antibodies to CMV and should only use donor sperm from a donor who also has never contracted CMV. If the female has previously been infected by CMV and has the antibodies, she already has had the primary “infection” (you may have had no symptoms or indiscrete symptoms) from CMV. So any reactivation of the disease state has a very, very small chance of affecting the infant. She may, therefore, use donor sperm from a donor who has also previously been infected by the CMV virus.

Blood Type

The donor’s blood type may be medically important to consider if the recipient is Rh negative (Rh-), i.e. A negative, AB negative, etc. These women may develop antibodies to a fetus that is Rh positive as a result of the donor being Rh positive (Rh +). Antibodies develop as a result of inadequate administration of a drug called rhogam when an ectopic or miscarriage occurs. Such a situation is rare nowadays as the medical community is very aware of proper rhogam administration when the mother is blood type negative. Nevertheless, such a medical situation can be completely avoided if a donor is blood type negative when the mother is known to be Rh negative. It is important to remember and note that children do not necessarily inherit the same exact blood type as their biological parents anyway.

Treatment Plan

Intrauterine Insemination with donor sperm is often used in conjunction with ovulation induction cycles. The underlying principle is to bypass the major loss points for sperm in the female reproductive tract (the vagina and cervix), so that more sperm may be placed closer to the “destination”. This allows more sperm to be in the proximity of the eggs.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). In vitro fertilization with Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) can be used as a primary therapy for some patients (severe sperm problems, single females, lesbian patients, occluded or damaged fallopian tubes, diminished ovarian function, for example). During in vitro fertilization, the ovaries are stimulated to produce multiple follicles. The eggs from those follicles are retrieved during an ultrasound guided procedure and then combined in the embryology laboratory. Fertilization then occurs via Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) which is a procedure performed under the microscope where a small glass needle is used to inject a single sperm directly into the egg. ICSI is most commonly used when the man has a low sperm count or poor sperm quality.

Donor Sperm Banks

While we are unable to guarantee the quality of any sperm received from sperm banks, the list below represents some of the sperm banks with which we have worked successfully in the past.

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