Journal Article

Maximum number of live births per donor in artificial insemination

Charlotte Wang, Miao-Yu Tsai, Mei-Hsien Lee, Su-Yun Huang, Chen-Hung Kao, Hong-Nerng Ho and Chuhsing Kate Hsiao

in Human Reproduction

Published on behalf of European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology

Volume 22, issue 5, pages 1363-1372
Published in print May 2007 | ISSN: 0268-1161
Published online January 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2350 | DOI:
Maximum number of live births per donor in artificial insemination

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The maximal number of live births (k) per donor was usually determined by cultural and social perspective. It was rarely decided on the basis of scientific evidence or discussed from mathematical or probabilistic viewpoint.


To recommend a value for k, we propose three criteria to evaluate its impact on consanguinity and disease incidence due to artificial insemination by donor (AID). The first approach considers the optimization of k under the criterion of fixed tolerable number of consanguineous mating due to AID. The second approach optimizes k under fixed allowable average coefficient of inbreeding. This approach is particularly helpful when assessing the impact on the public, is of interest. The third criterion considers specific inheritance diseases. This approach is useful when evaluating the individual's risk of genetic diseases. When different diseases are considered, this criterion can be easily adopted. All these derivations are based on the assumption of shortage of gamete donors due to great demand and insufficient supply.


Our results indicate that strong degree of assortative mating, small population size and insufficient supply in gamete donors will lead to greater risk of consanguinity. Recommendations under other settings are also tabulated for reference. A web site for calculating the limit for live births per donor is available.

Keywords: artificial insemination by donor; assortative mating; coefficient of inbreeding; consanguinity; hereditary disease

Journal Article.  5934 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Reproductive Medicine

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