Treatment Options

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Donors and Freezing

Donor Sperm

When is it used?

Single women who wish to have a family but do not have a male partner, same sex female couples, or a couple who has male factor infertility (no sperm, abnormal sperm morphology or sperm that carries a genetic disease) often choose to use donor sperm to achieve a pregnancy.

What to Expect:

Sperm must first be purchased from an approved Health Canada distributor. This sperm has undergone extensive testing, has been frozen and quarantined and then retested to ensure that it does not carry any infectious diseases. A list of suppliers can be found in our resource section. Each supplier has a catalog on their website which provides information on the sperm donor such as the donors race, ethnic origin, hair colour, eye colour and whether the donor is open ID. An open ID donor is one who is willing to release identity information when requested by donor offspring.

On the day of the procedure, the frozen donor sperm will be thawed and washed.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) will be used to place the donor sperm in the uterine cavity. Timing of the IUI procedure is important. The sperm is placed into the uterus one to two days after ovulation occurs. Monitoring for ovulation is important. This can occur by using an in-home urine ovulation prediction kit. This kit detects when your body produces a surge, releasing luteinizing hormone known as LH. IUI with donor sperm is done 24-36 hours after the surge. It is important to call the nurses line when you detect your surge so that the IUI can be scheduled in the appropriate time frame


IUI has very few complications

  • Infection – There is a slight risk of developing an infection as the result of placing the catheter into the uterus.
  • Bleeding – Placing the catheter into the uterus can cause vaginal bleeding. Bleeding should not impact the chance of a pregnancy.
Success rates:

The highest success rates occur in women who have no known fertility issues and are under the age of 35. Lower success rates are reported for women who have fertility related issues (endometriosis, problems with ovulation, adhesions, etc.) or are over the age of 35. Studies suggest that success rates can vary from 60%to 80%, but this is after several cycles of donor insemination.

Sperm Cryopreservation

Sperm freezing is also known as sperm cryopreservation. It is a method used to preserve sperm cells. Frozen sperm can be stored indefinitely.

When is it used?

Many men choose to freeze their sperm for future use. There are several reasons why this may occur. We recommend sperm freezing under the following conditions Before a medical procedure such as a vasectomy, testicular surgery or radiation therapy/chemotherapy for cancer patients. If you may not be available, the day of treatment (your partner is under going IUI or IVF) As back up if you have difficulty producing a semen sample. If you have a low sperm count that is starting to deteriorate. If you are at risk of injury or death (such as a member of the armed forces being deployed) Before a sex change operation.

What to Expect:

Before sperm can be frozen, you will need to be screened for sexually transmitted diseases including HIV and Hepatitis B and C. The procedure must be booked and paid for in advance. You must abstain from ejaculating (intercourse or masturbation) 72 hours prior to having your sperm frozen. On the day of the procedure you will be asked to masturbate into a sterile container which will be provided to you. We prefer this take place in one of the special rooms designed for this purpose at Oasis. Once the sample is produced, the sperm is frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen.


There are no known patient complications resulting from sperm freezing, however, not all sperm may survive the freezing process.

Success Rates:

Pregnancy success rates using frozen sperm may be slightly lower than when using fresh sperm. One ejaculate sample usually can only be used for one cycle of IUI or IVF As with all fertility treatment, pregnancy success depends on a woman’s age.


Donor Eggs


Egg Freezing

It is a well-known fact that women’s biological clock results in decreasing fertility and ovarian reserve as they age. This decline is exaggerated after the age of 35. Egg (oocyte) freezing allows the freedom for women to preserve their fertility while their eggs are in their prime.

When is it used?

There are several reasons why you may choose to freeze your eggs. From a social perspective, you may not yet have found the right partner, are concentrating on establishing your career, wish to continue your education, and want to ensure that when you are ready to have a family, you are able to. Oocyte freezing allows you to have this option.

From a medical perspective, oocyte freezing is often recommended for young women undergoing cancer treatment since chemotherapy and/or pelvic radiation has the potential to affect the ovaries. It should also be considered for any surgery which can impact ovarian function, or for women whose families have a history of premature ovarian failure as a result of a chromosomal abnormality or has a history of premature menopause.

What to Expect:

You will be required to have all the same tests as those women undergoing a cycle of IVF (with the exception of the semen analysis).

Once your physician has determined that you are a candidate for egg freezing you will under go the first two steps of the IVF procedure, ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval. Once the eggs have been retrieved they will be examined under a microscope and the mature eggs will be cryopreserved (an ultra rapid cooling technique where the eggs are stored in liquid nitrogen).


The complications that can arise from Egg Freezing include infection, bleeding, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) and stress.

Success Rates:

Egg freezing is a relatively new technology with limited data available on success rates. Pregnancy success rates are dependent upon the age of the woman freezing her eggs and the number of viable eggs frozen.