What is Therapeutic Donor Insemination?

Therapeutic donor insemination (TDI) helps single women and women in same-sex relationships to have children. TDI also helps couples with severe male factor infertility or when there is risk of the male passing on a hereditary disease.

This infertility treatment places sperm from an anonymous donor through a woman's cervix and into the uterus at the time of ovulation. The use of frozen semen to prevent sexually transmitted disease is recommended by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At commercial sperm banks, donors are tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

The Northwestern Medicine Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine unit works with California Cryobank, a commercial sperm bank.

The sperm bank provides information about the physical characteristics, medical history, education, and ethnic or racial background of the donors. More recently, some donors have given permission to reveal their identities if requested by the child at some point in the future.

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