Your first steps

Your first steps

Navigating the world of assisted reproduction might feel overwhelming, but rest assured, it’s a journey travelled by many. This guide aims to provide a step-by-step understanding of finding and purchasing a sperm donor’s sample through

Step 1: Registration

First, you need to sign up on Click the 'Sign Up' button on the homepage and follow the instructions. You'll be asked to provide some basic information, including your name, contact details, and reason for seeking a donor. This process helps ensure a secure and personalised user experience.

Sign up here

During registration, you will be required to state the country of treatment. This affects donor availability: some countries only allow ID Release or only Non-ID Release donors, while other countries allow both. To avoid one donor having too many children in an area, a donor’s availability in a country is also affected by how many families have the right to use the donor. This is handled using the pregnancy quota system and is the reason you need to buy a pregnancy quota in addition to sperm straws.

Read more about pregnancy quotas here and donor types here. 

Step 2: Set Your Criteria

Next, it's time to establish your donor requirements. DonorNetwork enables you to refine your search by specifying criteria such as ethnicity, height, eye and hair colour, education level, and medical history. However, maintaining an open mind is crucial. While these filters can help narrow down potential donors, the 'perfect' match may not always be attainable. When applying filters, consider them as 'hard requirements'; bear in mind that you won't be exposed to donors who are excluded through this process. On the other hand, this feature can be used to your advantage. Research suggests that decision-making tends to be easier when there are fewer choices to consider.

DonorNetwork’s user-friendly platform enables you to save your search parameters, allowing you to revisit the list of potential donors over multiple sessions. The platform also allows you to compile a shortlist of favourite donors, streamlining the decision-making process. Moreover, the system offers the option to hide the profiles of donors you've ruled out, keeping your selection process focused and efficient. This robust feature ensures that you can meticulously explore all potential matches without the need to recreate your search criteria each time, thereby making the process of finding your suitable donor both convenient and systematic.

Start your search here

Step 3: Browse Profiles

Once your criteria are set, you can begin browsing donor profiles. These profiles are thorough, providing detailed information about each donor. You'll be able to review their personal and family medical history, physical characteristics, educational background, hobbies, talents, IQ and sometimes even adult photos. Our donors also provide a personal message to future parents. Take your time to review these profiles; it's a crucial step in the journey.

Step 4: Optional Counselling

Choosing a sperm donor is a significant decision. To help you with this process, offers free professional counselling services. A counsellor can provide insight into the emotional aspects of choosing a donor and help you feel confident in your choice.

Book a free counselling session here

Step 5: Selecting and Purchasing

Once you've identified a donor who aligns with your criteria, it's time to proceed to the purchasing phase. The procurement of donor sperm entails adding your chosen sperm straws to your cart and navigating to the checkout. Donor-Network prides itself on maintaining a transparent pricing structure, which encompasses costs relating to storage and shipment.

It's crucial to select the sperm concentration in accordance with the type of treatment you're undergoing. You can learn more about how to choose the correct concentration here.

When deciding on the quantity of straws, bear in mind the possibility that the donor may sell out if your initial attempt doesn't yield a successful pregnancy, or if you're planning for future siblings with the same donor. To safeguard against this, we provide an option to reserve additional straws for storage and future use.

Additional opportunities:

  • Genetic matching. We all carry genetic dispositions for disease. But it’s only relevant if you choose a donor that carries the same genetic dispositions as you. Reduce the risk of having a sick child by comparing your genes with that of your preferred donor. Read more about genetic matching here.
  • Regional or global donor exclusivity. Donors that have not been used in a region can be purchased as exclusive donors, ensuring the donor isn't used for starting other families.

Step 6: Shipping Arrangements

After you have finalized the purchase of your donor sperm, the next step is to coordinate shipping. Donor-Network employs cutting-edge logistics, offering flexible shipping solutions at a chilly -196°C using specialised containers. These containers can securely store donor sperm for up to 14 days, preserving the sample's quality and viability.

When planning the shipping date, timing is crucial due to this 14-day preservation window. You need to synchronize the shipment with your treatment schedule. If you're undergoing a procedure such as Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), the shipment should ideally arrive a few days before your procedure. This allows some buffer time for any potential shipping delays while ensuring that the sperm sample remains viable for treatment.

Whether the shipment is headed to a fertility clinic or health professional, it's crucial to communicate with them beforehand to discuss you plans and make sure you understand their regulations and requirements regarding sperm sample receipts and storage. This will ensure a smooth and efficient shipping process, allowing you to focus on your upcoming treatment.

Read more about planning your shipment here

Step 7: Insemination

The final step in the process is insemination, which typically takes place in a fertility clinic. Your healthcare provider will guide you through the process, which may involve Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) – depending on your personal circumstances.