Sperm Donation / Donor Sperm Program

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The use of donor sperm is a fertility option where sperm from an anonymous or known donor is used to facilitate pregnancy. It may used as part of intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). For patients seeking donor sperm, there are two main avenues:

  • Known Sperm Donor: This option involves selecting a sperm donor who is a friend, relative, or acquaintance chosen by the intended parent(s).
  • Sperm Bank: Sperm banks provide Canadian anonymous and known donor sperm options.


When to Consider Using Donor Sperm

There are several reasons couples or individuals may require a sperm donor. These include:

  • Individuals with low sperm count, poor sperm motility, or abnormal sperm morphology
  • Same-sex couples
  • Single patients
  • Individuals with genetic disorders
  • Individuals or couples with unexplained infertility
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The Surrogacy Process


Meet Your TRIO Physician

The first step is meeting with your TRIO physician to discuss your needs and options.


Meet Your TRIO Third-Party Coordinator

Following your discussion with your physician, you will be directed to your third-party coordinator. They will provide you with details regarding your options and guide you through the donor sperm process.


Begin the Screening Process

Once you have selected a potential sperm donor, your third-party coordinator will reach out to begin the screening process. All sperm donors are subject to a strict screening process set out by Health Canada. All sperm donors are required to complete mandatory genetic carrier screening. Whomever is providing eggs (either the patient or a pre-arranged egg donor) must also complete the mandatory carrier screening.


Meet with a Fertility Counsellor

For those seeking a sperm donor in Canada, the next important step is the mandatory counselling session. This is typically a 90-minute session, with the possibility a follow up. This serves as a foundation for understanding donor selection, legal considerations, and the emotional aspects of using donor sperm. You'll gain insights into your rights, responsibilities, and have a better understanding of what to expect.


Finalize the Legal Agreement

Once a donor has successfully undergone screening and is medically cleared to donate, the next step involves completing a legal agreement. Legal agreements are mandatory for all known sperm donations. However, if you are using donor sperm from a sperm bank, a legal agreement is not necessary.


Additional Screening & Appointments

All patients using a sperm donor are required to complete a counselling session specific to the use of third-party gametes (sperm). Your egg provider (intended parent or egg donor) and gestational carrier (intended parent or surrogate) are also required to complete genetic carrier screening to ensure that your sperm provider is a good match.


Sperm Collection

Known Sperm Donors: Sperm donors will provide their sample on-site at TRIO, or can collect their sample at an alternate location and return it to the clinic within a designated time period.

Sperm Bank: If using sperm from a bank, it will be vitrified (flash frozen) and sent directly to TRIO.

After the sperm is collected, it is treated and used to create an embryo for IVF (in vitro fertilisation), or inserted directly into the uterus for IUI (intrauterine insemination).

Note: The sperm sample is always washed again at TRIO, regardless of the treatment you are undergoing. You can purchase either washed or unwashed sperm from a sperm bank. We always re-wash the sample to remove the cryoprotectant, ensuring it is safe for use in the uterus.

For IVF (in vitro fertilization), the sample is washed, and a single sperm is injected into each egg. This process is called ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection).

For IUI (intrauterine insemination), the sperm is washed and then inserted into the uterus using a small catheter

Frequently Asked Questions

All sperm donors are subject to the strict screening and requirements set out by Health Canada. Sperm donors undergo a comprehensive health screen for infectious diseases, general health issues, sperm quality, and psychological issues or concerns.

If your sperm donor has a partner, they must also complete some of the required screening such as blood tests, urine tests and counselling.

If you are ordering sperm from a bank, then all the Health Canada screening requirements are completed by the bank.

Patient Stories

“Thank you to Dr. Casper and the wonderful nurses at TRIO for guiding us through this journey and helping to bring our dream come true. We are over the moon, welcome our sweet little boy!”
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Camilia, Patients