ProcreaWinnipeg, Manitoba

Therapeutic Donor Insemination (TDI)

Therapeutic donor insemination (TDI) involves placing sperm from a male other than the female's partner into the female's reproductive tract near the time of ovulation for the purpose of producing a pregnancy. This process is an easy and inexpensive way to achieve pregnancy in a fertile woman. It is one of the most effective methods for couples with severe male factor infertility to experience pregnancy and childbirth.

Patient Consultation

Patients considering TDI are given a consultation to discuss issues associated with donor insemination. A number of tests may be done to assess the fertility of the patient. Once a patient is admitted into the TDI program, a suitable donor is selected. It is recommended that donor characteristics closely resemble those of the patient's partner. Blood type, race and eye colour are the most important selection criteria; additional characteristics may also be considered.

Donor Semen

Donor semen is available from a variety of reputable sources. Donors are required to undergo a rigorous screening process involving physical examination, in-depth family history and tests for transmittable bacterial, viral and genetic abnormalities. Once accepted as donors, follow-up blood and fluid testing continues for at least six months after their last semen donation. Donor pregnancies are monitored to ensure that donors have adequate fertility and that a limited number of women are impregnated using the same donor.

The TDI Cycle

The woman's cycle is monitored using temperature charting and urinary tests to determine the time of ovulation. When these tests indicate that the time is optimal, insemination is performed. Insemination involves inserting a catheter through the cervix into the uterus and injecting the semen using a syringe. The procedure takes approximately 5 minutes.


TDI is commonly used when male partners exhibit low sperm counts or absence of sperm. It may also be indicated when either partner is a carrier of a known hereditary or genetic disorder such as Huntington's disease or hemophilia, and when there are abnormalities involving chromosomes.

Success Rate

The success rate of TDI depends on several factors. The female's age is important as fertility gradually declines with age. Irregular or absent ovulation and tubal disease decrease the success rate. Success is more likely if the woman has had a pregnancy. When inseminations are performed monthly, the success rate is about 15 percent per month, or 60 to 70 percent after six attempts.


« When inseminations are performed monthly, the success rate is about 15 percent per month, or 60 to 70 percent after six attempts. »