Sperm donation 

Hope for a child despite infertility 

Couples considering sperm donation have often already undergone one or more fertility treatments, but the desired success has failed to materialise. The same applies to oocyte donation. However, this treatment is not an alternative in Germany, as it is not permitted in Germany for ethical and legal reasons. Even though oocyte donation is accordingly not part of the range of services offered by the MVZ PAN Institute, we explain this procedure on our website in order to provide you with as much information as possible.

The decision to undergo fertility treatment with donor sperm involves not only medical but also psychosocial and legal considerations. In principle, the transfer of donor sperm is an option if a man who wishes to have a child is infertile or has severely limited fertility or if artificial insemination procedures already used have not led to the fulfilment of the desire to have a child or have proved too onerous. Even in the case of a hereditary disease on the father's side, which was determined in the course of a human genetic consultation, a treatment with a sperm donation can be useful. 

1.Insemination or IVF/ICSI?

Sperm transfer or fertilisation with donor sperm is only possible if the woman's fallopian tubes can pass freely. If both fallopian tubes are blocked, artificial insemination is an option (IVF/ICSI). The same applies if several inseminations have been performed unsuccessfully.

2.How are the donors selected?

In Germany it is clearly regulated who can become a sperm donor. The age of the donor is usually between 18 and 40 years. All sperm donors must be very fertile and physically and mentally healthy. In addition, the health status in the family of each potential donor is closely examined. If there are chronic or hereditary diseases in the family, such as epilepsy, heart defects, asthma, rheumatism or psychiatric illnesses, sperm donation is ruled out. 

To reliably ensure the health of sperm donors, the following procedure is followed: After a potential donor has passed the initial health check, which includes screening for infectious diseases, their sperm samples are frozen in liquid nitrogen (cryopreservation) and stored in a sperm bank. After six months a new examination takes place. If the donor is still free of infection, the preserved sperm is released for fertility treatment. 

The MVZ PAN Institute cooperates mainly with German sperm banks. These usually allow their customers to select donors based on hair and eye colour, height, weight, education level and blood type. 

3.How does the treatment work?

Before the treatment can take place, hormonal stimulation of the ovaries is usually performed. A medication then ensures that ovulation takes place at the desired time. No later than 36 hours later, the thawed and specially prepared sperm is introduced into the uterus through a thin tube. Such intrauterine insemination is usually completely painless.

If the sperm donation is used in the context of artificial insemination (IVF/ICSI), fertilisation takes place outside the body. The procedure then proceeds in exactly the same way as with IVF or ICSI treatment using the partner's sperm. 

4.What are the chances of success?

The chances of success of the treatment depend mainly on the age of the woman and any restrictions on her fertility. In women younger than 40 who have no identifiable fertility problems, the average probability of pregnancy per attempt is about 16-19%. In women over 40, the probability decreases significantly. For the success of IVF or ICSI treatment, it makes no difference whether a sperm donation or the partner's sperm was used.

5.What are the risks?

Despite preliminary medical examinations of the donor, not all diseases can be excluded. This means that random genetic mutations can cause physical or mental disabilities in the unborn child. It can also lead to illness during pregnancy or complications during childbirth. So the risks are similar to women who get pregnant without fertility treatment and the vast majority of children are born healthy.

However, a special feature resulting from ovarian stimulation is the raised likelihood of a multiple pregnancy. In such a pregnancy, the physical strain on the mother is significantly raised and the risk of premature labour also increases. In addition, the likelihood of children being born prematurely increases.

6.What about the psychosocial aspects?

Those who choose to conceive a child through sperm donation are faced with several questions that can be troubling. This is not only about the expectant parents, but also about the situation and feelings of the child. Experts accordingly recommend that before treatment with donor sperm, not only should general counselling and information be sought, but also specific psychological counselling. At the MVZ PAN Institute, psychological care is an integral part of the treatment.

7.What is the legal situation?

In Germany, not all questions concerning a possible legal paternity of the sperm donor have been clarified, which may result in inheritance claims, maintenance or custody obligations. The question of how a child conceived using a sperm donor can assert his or her right to know his or her own biological parentage is also not clearly regulated. Legal advice is certainly useful on this subject, as it provides information on the current state of the law. 
If you decide to undergo fertility treatment with sperm donation in our clinic, you will conclude a contract with the MVZ PAN Institute and the sperm bank. The following points are regulated in this contract:  

  • Determination of parenthood
  • Retention of the donor's personal data
  • Information and contact rights of the child

The cost of treatment is also covered by this contract.

Good sperm

Bad sperm

Oocyte donation treatments are not allowed in Germany. They are used in some countries when a woman's desire to have a child remains unfulfilled because no follicles mature in her ovaries. There can be various reasons for this, for example the premature onset of menopause, a disease, genetic causes or even the surgical removal of the ovaries. The method of oocyte donation is also used in the context of surrogacy, which is also not permitted in Germany. 

How does oocyte donation treatment work?


In an attempt to fulfil an unfulfilled desire for a child through oocyte donation, the donor's ovaries are stimulated with medication so that several oocytes mature at the same time. Doctors then remove the oocytes by puncture, usually under an anaesthetic. The retrieved oocytes are then fertilised with sperm outside the body - IVF or ICSI - and implanted in the recipient. Cryopreservation for later transfer is also possible.